On the liturgy front …
Bishop Robert Finn directed the diocesan worship office today to remove its participation in a special Latin-language “Solemn High Mass” being celebrated June 26, said a knowledgeable source in the chancery office. Organizers say the Mass is to “promote unity” among the faithful amidst the “discord and disunity during this present darkness.”
It seems that if anything has unified most of the diocese is an extreme distaste of the way sex abuse has been handled and a desire that the bishop resign.
What I’m sure is more the point of this liturgy is to calm and bolster the few faithful who are conflicted in their alarm over the grave sins perpetrated and hidden, and the sense that their bishop may well be in deeply over his head.
The main story is that the diocese may have broken legal commitments by not adhering as promised to a 2008 agreement that stipulated better behavior on reporting abuse. Naturally, that latter point will get sorted out in court. But it’s one more obstacle for the institution in Kansas City.
And lastly, if tradition won’t assist in vanishing the scandal, Bishop Finn seems to think throwing more clergy at it will:
Fr. Joseph Powers, rector of the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in St. Joseph, Mo., has been named the Vicar for Clergy, a new position, and “will assist the bishop with any allegations of clerical misconduct,” the diocese said in a statement.
Given the recent track record, I’d think the KC/SJ faithful would feel better about a lay person appointed as vicar for clergy. Of course, that would signal a full-scale retreat from neo-orthodoxy.
I loved my six years serving my parish in this diocese. I may not like the bishop’s ideology or his inexperience, but I wouldn’t have wished this mess plop in his lap. It just gets worse and worse.