Healing and Renewal and Seeing Red

CNS covered this week’s four-day conference, “Toward Healing and Renewal,” held at the Vatican. I believe there’s some liturgical service planned–that may have been yesterday, or perhaps today. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for that.

Meanwhile, an interesting coincidence of Cardinal Egan’s “I’m sorry I’m sorry” and Msgr. Charles Scicluna, the promoter of justice (is that an official title?–it’s not in Caps) of the CDF:

It is a crime in canon law to show malicious or fraudulent negligence in the exercise of one’s duty.

Hold on to your red hats, this dude was talking about “the responsibility of bishops to protect children and punish abusers.” More:

It is not acceptable that when there are set standards, people do not follow the set standards.

Wow. I’m pretty sure the CDF functionary is talking about “men,” not “people” here.

Something’s in the Italian vino they’re serving at the Vatican these days. First that open rift over financial corruption. Now you have a lowly monsignor suggesting that bishops are doing a liturgical dance away from canon law and consequences for their actions. “(E)cclesial accountability has to be further developed,” is how CNS put he put it.

Still more, with a poke at the Congregation for Bishops:

What we need to do is to be vigilant in choosing candidates for the important role of bishop, and also to use the tools that canonical law and tradition give for accountability of bishops. It’s not a question of changing laws, it’s a question of applying what we have.

Well, indeed. Covering up crimes. Lying to the laity and presbyterate. Conspiracy. Fraud. Disloyalty. Delinquent in duty. And there’s no denying it: these were Roman choices, not local candidates. Rome-approved from the Golden Era of John Paul. John Paul the not-so-great-when-it-came-to-appointing-some-bishops.

Marie Collins, abuse survivor and conspiracy victim:

There must be acknowledgment and accountability for the harm and destruction that has been done to the life of victims and their families by the often deliberate cover-up and mishandling of cases by their superiors before I or other victims can find real peace and healing.

A good place to start would be symbolic leadership from the top. The Catholic Right is really ticked off–you know when the GLB’s and GLG’s are not only openly calling a JPII bishop names but suggesting prison orange is a better shade than cardinal red. As usual, I think they let their passions get the mastery of their good sense.

I think the Holy Father needs to eject the man from the College of Cardinals. Given the treatment of other bishops (like this one) for far less serious crimes, any lack of action on Pope Benedict’s part will show that this grave sin has stained the hierarchy from the bottom to the very top. At the very least, we have a precedent for Rome setting aside its own rules to suit a spiteful temperament.

And if Father Egan is really suffering from the ravages of old age, then it might not matter to him personally he won’t be wearing red, the color chosen, presumably, for those willing to suffer and die for service to the Church. The alternative might be returning the cardinals as a group to the simple black of ordained service, and reserve the red of suffering for those who actually were persecuted for the faith. And maybe also look at the practice of awarding red hats to sees with large populations. Given the dubious witness of places like Boston, Los Angeles, and Chicago, maybe it’s time to look to other cities–places that have shown more courage and virtue in standing up to evil and the seductions of secrecy.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Commentary, Ministry, sex abuse. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Healing and Renewal and Seeing Red

  1. Liam says:

    And, in case anyone is wondering, there is precedent within living memory (barely) for forcing out a member of the Sacred College: famously, Cardinal Billot, as a consequence of Pius XI’s muscular actions regarding L’Action française*.

    (*An action still lamented by some, as you can see in the comments here and the preceding entry in the series:


  2. Jen says:

    Something needs to change, but I don’t know if we’ll see it in our lifetime.

  3. crystal says:

    It’s in part this moral bankruptcy that make assertions of conscience in other areas, like the contraception mandate, so hard to believe. Where were these men’s consciences when they lied about sex abuse?

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