The various news reports surrounding the new pope are entertaining. Does he have one lung or two? Was he soft on South American fascism? I like this one: Cardinal Law ejected from Santa Maria Maggiore.
So hearing that the new Pope was offering prayers at the very same church, it seems (Cardinal Law) couldn’t resist a discreet peak.
But when Pope Francis recognised him, he immediately ordered that Law be removed, according to Italian media reports. He went on to command: ‘He is not to come to this church any more.’
One of the new Pope’s first acts will be to arrange new ‘cloistered’ accommodation for the disgraced cardinal, the Italian daily, Il Fatto Quotidiano, reported.
I have to admit that fifty-some hours into this pontificate, they’re laying the legend on a little thick. Pope Francis is no superhero. But after a long hierarchical winter, I have to ask what’s up with the paying hotel bills, breaking out of the six-candlestick-prison, and now the banishment of Cardinal Law. Do I want to wake up under the rule of Pope Pius XIII?
Mark Silk is upping the ante a bit. He wants to see my former bishop ejected from Kansas City.
If Francis wants to make as much of a mark by his handling of the abuse scandal as he has by his simple lifestyle, he’s got a ready-made opportunity. Last September, Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City was convicted of a criminal misdemeanor for failing to report one of his priests for possible sexual abuse of children. Thus far, neither the Vatican nor the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has so much as issued a statement on the matter.
It’s one thing to move a disgraced eighty-something into new lodgings. It’s another to reach past a national conference and do what should be done on the local level: American bishops taking their colleague aside and suggesting they will not stand in his way if he wants early retirement. Then the man steps down.
With respect to Professor Silk, I am not in favor of the pope removing bishops. I wasn’t in favor of it with the arrogant and juvenile handling of Bill Morris. I wouldn’t approve of it with Robert Finn. If Bishop Finn doesn’t resign, I’m okay with an Opus Dei bishop to continue serving for fifteen years as an example of conservative ideology run amok. I doubt he will transgress and endanger children again–that would mean prison time, and not the Cardinal George version of unjust incarceration. A lot of people will be watching.
When I read this criticism of careerism and vanity, I feel hopeful:
The cardinalate is a service is, it is not an award to be bragged about. Vanity, showing off, is an attitude that reduces spirituality to a worldly thing, which is the worst sin that could be committed in the Church. This is affirmed in the final pages of the book entitled Méditation sur l’Église, by Henri De Lubac. Spiritual worldliness is a form of religious anthropocentrism that has Gnostic elements. Careerism and the search for a promotion come under the category of spiritual worldliness. An example I often use to illustrate the reality of vanity, is this: look at the peacock; it’s beautiful if you look at it from the front. But if you look at it from behind, you discover the truth… Whoever gives in to such self-absorbed vanity has huge misery hiding inside them.
Good message from the red hat meet-up. Pope Francis and Cardinal Tagle and the Jovial One all having a good laugh. Hopefully they talked about how the Church is going to reinvigorate its spiritual life. That would be something with which I’m on board.