The Observers

Amidst all the kerfuffle in Kansas City, a few commentators have zeroed in on the observant parents, teachers, and principal whose observations landed Fr Shawn Ratigan in a criminal investigation and his bishop in hot water. Consider this tomayto/tomahto moment from the blogosphere.

A sign of the “internalized clericalism of the laity,” writes Jamie Manson. The lesson to be learned by having a creepy pastor:

(L)ay Catholics must stop making themselves subservient to their imagined notions of the power of the hierarchy, and must instead allow themselves to be channels of the power of God that is made manifest through sacrifice, courage, and truthfulness.

They must recognize how their internalized clericalism may be impeding their prophetic participation in the Spirit’s unfolding work in our church.

Max Lindenman sees something different:

It was in the watching and the waiting that the staff and parents of St. Patrick’s transformed passivity into activity. They compared notes on Ratigan’s behavior, corroborated one another’s impressions, and checked those against expert opinion. Thanks to their vigilance, Julie Hess, St. Patrick’s principal, was able to fuse a mosaic of apparent non-events into a coherent picture of pathology. In May of 2010, she reproduced this picture in a 28-paragraph report (pdf) …

What do you think?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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