A Nod and Smile Moment?

The Schönborn/Sodano dust-up got some “clarification” from the top. This is just so interesting and snark-friendly on so many levels, I can’t resist.

Rock and a few commentators noted that while Cardinal Schönborn may have been “slapped,” the Austrian archbishop hasn’t publicly withdrawn his criticism of the former Vatican Secretary of State, nor his suggestion that some aspects of Church discipline are worth examining for possible reform. One tactic when confronted by someone is to nod and affirm their words without words of one’s own. A lack of objection makes it seem agreement is at hand. But in truth, a person keeps her or his own opinions. All while nodding and smiling.

So now we know only the pope can officially criticize cardinals. It sure seems that only God can discipline them.

It borders on disrespect, but this seems like another “Benedict moment.” The same day the council for re-evangelizing Europe kick-starts, this. And Belgium. It’s not an attractive moment for the institution. How many Catholics are hung out to dry over this with friends querying just what the heck is going on with the Church these days.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to A Nod and Smile Moment?

  1. Liam says:

    The capital sin in the culture of romanità is that of showing a brutta figura. Oh, the humanity! Cardinals openly critiquing each other is but one example. Laity open criticizing their bishops is another. Et cet.

    Romanità has its good values compared to those of the Anglosphere, but we all tend to prefer own cultures to those of others.

  2. Jimmy Mac says:

    An autocracy exists to perpetuate itself, defend itself, not air its grievances in public, and never, never, never admit that anyone other than the Favored Few could EVER have a valid complaint about any of the priviliged members of the Sanctum Sanctorum.

    Benedict is one of the Favored Few, has spent most of his life in that rarified atmosphere, and most likely actually believes that he and his cronies are indeed above criticism. Any idea of pastoral ACTION (not pious pablum for which he and his cronies are so very famous) doesn’t include listening to and taking action on valid criticisms.

    To expect othwise is, well — PROTESTANT!

  3. Liam says:

    Over at America’s “Right Carpet, Wrong Cardinal” post on this subject, Charles Jordan had this illuminating comment with a more nuanced understanding than I offered above about the romanità involved here, and his speculation strikes as potentially correct (though I am not sure):

    “The only context by which Archbishop Benedict’s action makes sense is that the Archbishop of Rome used a very minor error of Schoenborn’s; which was to rightly, if not correctly, criticize Sodano in public; so that he, Benedict xvi, shows that he has control of the issues Schoenborn raised. Thus the Archbishop of Rome created a spectacle showing that he is in charge.
    Further in this scenario, Sodano already has a noose around his neck whether he knows it or not. In as much as Sodano is sitting on a one legged milking stool, it is only a matter of time before we see that he is allowed to swing in the ecclesial wind. In short, Archbishop Benedict has insured that we see Sodano muddied by his own deeds, and crushed by his own failures, without the distraction of or problems of incorrect processes of fraternal correction.”

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