I notice over at the NCReg that Pope Benedict met with departments heads and cardinal over the recent leaks. Spokesperson Federico Lombardi mentioned that the Holy Father wishes “to “speed up” the conclusion of the “Vatileaks” scandal and to “restore serenity and trust” in the Curia.
At the risk of overdoing the snark, good luck on both.
I think there are two ways to end a scandal. One is absolute truth-telling. I suspect Pope Benedict himself isn’t completely in the know regarding what passes for the truth in the Curia these days. Maybe this meeting was a tongue-lashing for them to get their house in order. If so, we won’t ever hear about it. Unless the leaker is one of the dicastery heads or one of the cardinals mentioned. NCReg blogger Edward Pentin name-dropped for us:
Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar General Emeritus for the Diocese of Rome, and Slovak Cardinal Jozef Tomko, former prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples who also co-heads the commission of investigation.
That other way to end scandal? Someone goes to prison. Someone responsible, and I don’t think it’s the butler. And usually when something goes to trial, it’s not a speedy end. Nor is it an economical one.
Alessandro Speciale at the RNS sums up a good bit of the leaky situation here. What do we really know? Two big things, really:
(T)he allegation of widespread “corruption” by the Vatican City State’s No. 2 official, who is now the pope’s ambassador to the United States; and details of a behind-the-scenes wrangling over new Vatican financial transparency norms, part of an effort to align the Holy See to international standards.
Mr Tedeschi, ousted head of the Vatican Bank, seemed to have been on the right track toward transparency and goodness. And yet …
(H)e was at odds with (Cardinal) Bertone over norms that should ensure that the Vatican is accepted into a European list of financially transparent countries. A leaked memo by one of the bank’s board members — American Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus — contains a veiled accusation against Gotti Tedeschi as a possible source of the leaks.
I don’t like this kind of public stuff. Don’t like the secular echo from Wall Street, that, if true, the regular Joe gets arrested and the banker goes free. That rankled in 2008-09 and it still bothers today.
Pope Benedict strikes me as the sort of guy who does well sitting at his desk and reviewing notes of meetings. I hope he’s less influenced by second-hand testimony of others. Though from his days at the CDF, I tend to doubt it. I think a pronouncement will come, well-worded and scholarly, and then the people directly involved will comply or not, as they see they can get away with something.
It does make you wonder what sort of leader will be selected as the next Bishop of Rome. When all the ecclesiastical muckety-mucks descend on Rome for Friday’s feast, I’d sure like to be a fly on the wall around the discussions on who the next pope should be. Has Vatileaks altered the thinking of the College of Cardinals in any way, do you think?
Meanwhile, from 20th century 12-step spirituality:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Amen to that.
I had a dream last night I was browsing in the library through the Aurelio Zen books authored by the British mystery writer Michael Dibdin. Maybe I can absorb something of Italian-style politics through those. What do you think of that?
Worthy women are everywhere to be found. But as I research them, it seems as if France has a great share. Continuing a parallel observance to the Fortnight for Freedom, let’s look at a bit of the persecutions endured by the founder of the Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny.
The French Revolution provided a background of persecution in the young life of Anne-Marie Javouhey, known as Nanette to family and friends. It did not deter her from teaching neighborhood children in her youth. When convents were eventually restored, Nanette joined the Sisters of Charity. Before final vows, she experienced a vision of children of different races and cultures. “These are the children God gives you,” she was told.
Other women were attracted to Nanette’s vision and apostolate. Her new congregation, based in an abandoned monastery in Cluny, opened schools for the poor. And not just in France, but across the world from the Caribbean to French possessions near Madagascar.
French Guiana became a testing ground for Mother Javouhey. Up to the time of her efforts there, praise for her and her fledgling community was universal. Her efforts with children in a French colony were on matter. Wholly another were her congregation’s efforts with freed slaves. White farmers seethed over the success of her efforts to help Blacks build a fruitful community. They complained to the bishop, who also steamed over the sisters’ independence. So he excommunicated her.
Mother Javouhey did not fare much better in her homeland. Bishop Bénigne-Urbain-Jean-Marie du Trousset d’Héricourt, of the see of Autun, insisted on his right to depose her and become the order’s superior general, thus being able to control finances, rules, mission efforts, and travel of members of the congregation. Unsuccessful, Bishop d’Héricourt attempted to dissolve the order.
The Archbishop of Paris offered a respite, inviting the sisters to relocate to his diocese, and offering his full support.
Years later, Mother Javouhey had these words for her adversary:
We ought to think of (him) as one of our benefactors. God made use of him to try us when as a rule we were hearing around us nothing but praise. That was necessary, for since our congregation was succeeding so well we might have thought we were something if we hadn’t had these pains and contradictions.
Opposition to goodness, even if a saint herself counts it as an opportunity for holiness, remains a grave sin. These worthy women show us that the path of saintliness lies in a believer being able to labor mightily on behalf of others, especially in relieving their sufferings and injustices. And yet, we cannot stand idly by and watch persecutors have their way with the oppressed.
Sacrifice or meal: what’s Church teaching?
3. By instituting in the form of a sacrificial meal the memorial of the sacrifice he was about to offer the Father on the altar of the cross, Christ made holy the table where the community would come to celebrate their Passover. Therefore the altar is the table for a sacrifice and for a banquet. At this table the priest, representing Christ the Lord, accomplishes what the Lord himself did and what he handed on to his disciples to do in his memory. The Apostle clearly intimates this: ‘The blessing cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ and the bread that we break is a communion with the body of Christ. The fact that there is only one loaf means that though there are many of us, we form a single Body because we an have a share in this one loaf.’(cf. See 1 Cor 10:16-17)
In a way, the usual practice of multiple individual hosts might reinforce the notion of a common meal a bit more than the symbolism of a single Body, or a sacrifice. I’ve often thought the way the priest prepares the gifts says a lot. Is it a place setting in front of him, or a sacrifice at the center of the altar?