20 May 2013
Catherine Deveney has a hard-hitting article on the Cardinal O’Brien scandal. And what’s not happening with a prince of the church, his confreres in the hierarchy, and any sense of heading to closure on the cult of secrecy.
What are those two demands? They are not the journalist’s. They seem to be the words given to us by the hierarchy:
- respect without scrutiny
- authority without accountability
From Professor Werner Jeanrond:
As a church, we have failed to come to terms with homosexuality. The highest clerical representative of the church is himself a victim of the system which didn’t allow him to own his homosexuality.
Let’s not go there. This isn’t about same-sex attraction as much as it’s about two other more critical things. First, the inability of a cardinal to keep the promises he made at the onset of his clerical career. And second, the abuse of his power to manipulate, bully, and dominate people–simply because he could.
Keith O’Brien is no victim.
O’Brien is a timebomb. Anyone who thinks this is only about his behaviour – or just the behaviour of Scottish clergy – is naive. It is about clergy worldwide. But the scandals behind at least one other Scottish bishop are legendary. Sexual “misconduct” is rife among the priesthood. Heavy drinking is common. Payoffs have been made to cover scandals. Serious abuse has been concealed. O’Brien knows where the bodies lie. And the hierarchy knows he knows.
Catholics need more from their clergy, top to bottom. Respect for the scrutiny of the laity, if not the wisdom and will to conduct scrutiny themselves. And accountability for the sins of the system.
28 April 2013
So … when the Vatican says it won’t ordain any bishops for a country until an investigation is complete, is it something like an “episcopal interdict?” Cardinal Marc Ouellet, head of the Congregation for Bishops, has communicated his office will not fill three vacancies in Scotland dioceses. And despite Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s sensational resignation on conclave eve, the investigation continues. Cardinal Ouellet’s office “also wants evidence on the allegations of a ‘gay mafia’, sexual bullying and open sexual relationships in seminaries made in a recent book by a serving priest in Lanarkshire, Father Matthew Despard.”
This could get interesting.
I still think there should be a more explicit connection between the faith witness of an archdiocese or diocese and its status as a red hat see. A scandal-ridden bishop taints his diocese. There should not be red hats for Boston, Philadelphia, or Edinburgh. Or any other archdiocese touched by serious cover-up of criminal clergy. At least not for another round or two of appointments. Additionally, the premiere see of a region should shift to another city. Keep an archbishop in Philadelphia, for example, by all means, because of its size and standing. But the metropolitan should be in Pittsburgh or Hartford of elsewhere.
Even if Pope Francis doesn’t take my suggestion and shake up the hierarchy, it does look good that Rome is getting serious about the cover-up of sex abuse. We’ll see how this plays out in places like Newark.
25 February 2013
David Gibson characterizes a campaign season as “nasty, brutish.” Doesn’t it seem to be the case? Another breach from the secular culture into the Church. These red hats had better watch out–at this rate they might end up at the fringes of the so-called Culture of Death.
Not intending to defend Scotland’s Cardinal O’Brien, who’s never struck me as a favorite, but isn’t it strange that three days after the man offers a thaw on mandatory celibacy, he’s out? And if he can’t be a kingmaker, is someone else in the college a kingbreaker?
Indonesia’s another big country without a “vote.” Cardinal Julius Riyadi Darmaatmadja will stay home form Rome due to failing health.
Good thing Pope Benedict allowed conclave opening to move up, eh? What if the College continues in conclave through Holy Week? Is there a person to celebrate the Triduum at St Peter’s if there’s no pope? All almost all the cardinals will be holed up in the Sistine Chapel, right? Does some random Italian bishop take over? Or will sede vacante be expanded to triduum vacante and all the parishes in Rome on their own for hosting the pilgrims?