This is like a Clue result: It was Butler Brown, in private chambers, with a cell phone camera. Actually, the dude’s name is Paolo Gabriele. Early news reports today declined to say where in the Vatican the suspect was being held. I wonder if the dungeons are down the hallway from the crypt.
The young miss finishes up her last final exams today. Summer vacation beckons. She’ll be getting home in an hour or so. Algebra is hard work, so we have a little chicken korma and fruit-flavored rice prepared to start the decompression from academics.
Over the years, I don’t bother with the fine points of preparing ghee anymore. I might skip or substitute traditional spices too. Saute coriander, cumin, garlic, and ginger in butter. Add a puree of mango (a great tenderizer for chicken), red pepper, shallots (my wife doesn’t like onions), and usually jalapeño. This mix I forgot to add the spicy stuff.
Then I fold in carrots, cauliflower, and white meat chicken pieces. Cook 25 minutes, then add chopped cashews and cilantro. Oops on the last one–we ran out of it.
I save the juice from “light” canned fruits. They say it’s pear juice from concentrate. After grilling basmati rice in olive oil with turmeric and paprika, use the juice of about a half lemon and cook as usual.
The family prefers potatoes to cauliflower, but I had the latter, not the former. The sauce was a little runny, so I threw in some potato flakes. So there: they got it after all. Again, I usually use fresh ingredients, but we’re heading out of town for a few days this weekend, and the larder is a little low on some key items.
Blessington could have dissected Lynn on the facts, but instead he chose to repeatedly insult and demean a man in a priest’s collar who wasn’t fighting back. It seemed like the ideal way to create sympathy for Lynn among jurors. It may be the only way the defense has left to possibly win the case.
(Mr Blessington) cited a handwritten note that he thought Molloy had written on a 1991 memo from Lynn. “Unnecessary statement,” the note said. “Never admit to victims that there are other cases.”
That wasn’t Molloy’s handwriting, Lynn told Blessington, that was Cardinal Bevilacqua’s handwriting. That caused a stir in the courtroom, as Lynn dropped the dime on his dead boss. Bevilacqua was found dead on Jan. 31, a day after Judge M. Teresa Sarmina ruled the cardinal was competent to testify as a witness at this trial.
You did whatever the cardinal told you to do, Blessington asked.
“I did do what the cardinal asked,” Lynn said.
Blessington asked if Lynn had ever lied to victims of sex abuse. Only once, Lynn said. Blessington sneered at that. The prosecutor charged that Lynn had also routinely lied to parishioners by not usually telling them the real reason that abuser priests were being removed from parishes, so they could be shipped out to sex clinics for psychiatric evaluations. But parishioners were told the priest had Lyme disease, Blessington said, or that Father was leaving for health reasons.
“The cardinal wouldn’t allow me to announce why someone was leaving,” Lynn responded. And the dead cardinal took another hit.
Not long after Msgr William Lynn became the first US church official to be charged with facilitating a cover-up of abuse cases, word swirled among his Philadelphia confreres that “If Bill goes down, he’s taking everyone with him.”
What does Rock mean? His archdiocese? All the vicars general, and other high-placed bureaucrats around the country?
Since beginning trial in late March, the longtime Secretary for Clergy of the roiled Northeastern archdiocese has mostly sat expressionless, slumped in his chair at the defense table as a parade of witnesses and reams of Chancery files gave detailed accounts of “powder keg” priests, gut-wrenching romps by serial predators, and at least one cleric whose perceived “disobedience” was dealt with more swiftly and severely by his superiors than seemingly any had been over reports of misconduct with minors.
That last one’s going to bite the bishops, to be sure. Certainly there are important non-sexual matters dogging the Church’s mission. But doubt is widespread from this crisis, and eroding support for bishops is widespread across ideology and intentional practices among the faithful.
While Msgr Lynn’s supporters are bringing rosaries to pray during the trial, I can imagine a bishop’s appeal to pray might well be redirected elsewhere by many in the flock. People also get discouraged and leave the Church. Bishop candidates may wonder why they would leave a pastorate, or more likely a bureaucrat’s chancery desk to clean up someone else’s mess somewhere. Or perhaps the path to the cathedra is one way out of being a yes-man in a moral food chain that would seem to wear down any morals-driven person.
We know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven. So we are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord. Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are at home or away. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.
The Scripture scholar Jan Lambrecht, SJ, wonders about a progression in Saint Paul’s theology of death. He suggests a certain progression starting in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, continuing through 1 and 2 Corinthians, and arriving at a deeper sense with death in Philippians 3:20-21. I don’t think this theological progression is suitable homiletic material for mourners. Unless the deceased was herself or himself a Pauline scholar. But it might influence the suggestions to the mourners. From Professor Lambrecht:
In 1 Thessalonians and 1 Corinthians Paul sees the time period after death still as a state of “sleeping”; in Philippians and presumably in 2 Corinthians as well this situation is depicted as “being with Christ.”
From 2 Corinthians onwards, death before the Parousia belongs to the normal course of events and Paul himself reckons with his own death. In 2 Corinthians he is still somewhat afraid of death; in Philippians he is longing for it.
What does this mean? Today I’d say the more important reflection for a mourning assembly is that the “sleep” after death strikes people as metaphorical. It might really be that the dead are put on hold until Christ’s Second Coming. But after two millennia, that seems like tremendous uncertainty. Billions of believers have died since apostolic times. What they experience is a great mystery. But our ministry to the dying and to mourners has enough obstacles without introducing doubt and wonder.
Does Paul seem afraid in the passage above? I wouldn’t say so. He’s just as focused on the unseen aspects of faith. And his trust in Christ is absolute. He spends a lot of words convincing his Corinthian friends of this. Paul’s earnest appeals in 2 Corinthians may give just enough of an emotional connection to mourners. Personally, I prefer Phil 3:20-21, but you can’t go wrong with this passage above. This reading also has that classic line, reminding us “we walk by faith, not by sight.” That sets up the preacher very well indeed for the proclamation of Christ in the Gospel and the unfolding of the message in the homily. And a Christ-centered message at the funeral Mass is often a welcome word, if handled with pastoral care.
Let’s wrap up the Spiritual Sixteen. One of these NPM Top-25′s will be the last to advance to the Eternal Eight.
The top organ hymn in the Dance is now the top remaining seed. Will it outpoll “Pange Lingua”? Time will tell.
about Todd Flowerday
A Roman Catholic lay person, married (since 1996), with one adopted child (since 2001). I serve in worship and spiritual life in a midwestern university parish.
Neil has been a blogging collaborator for the past several years on Catholic Sensibility. He brings his unique experiences from theology, spirituality, and the ecumenical sphere. Pay special attention to each one of his posts.