Burning Banners

Seems like there’s more to the story than just a priest who links burning rainbow banners with exorcisms, calls for the pope to resign, and gets booted from a wedding at the last minute.

I did check a link to the priest’s talk at Mass two weeks ago. Some wishful thinking:

Horribly, as you all know from the recent news, gay predators in the Church have not gone away, and things like the Dallas Charter have done little to curb the loose morals of many ordained clergy.

A few things. First, better psychological screening has cut down somewhat on a centuries-long tradition of abuse, at least since the 80s. Second, what the Charter missed was bishops, not clergy. Most of us know that now. And many of us knew it from the way the JP2 bishops circled the wagons for the institution in the 90s.

Pope Francis removed sanctions imposed upon then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick by Pope Benedict.

We don’t know that at all. The NCReg has walked their story way back from sanctions once they found papal secretary Georg Gänswein failed to back up any notion other than friendly advice to a limelight-hogging retired archbishop.

Father Kalchik then offered to ghost-write a papal bull for the Holy Father.

I think some conservative commentators are alarmed that the man’s bishop would ponder sending him off to enforced medical treatment. But it seems like the news of JP2/B16 darling Ted McCarrick, plus other news of conservative misdeeds has really set off some people.

A pastor, however, is different from most other Catholics. A pastor has a responsibility to be a spiritual leader for the entire flock to which he is entrusted, as well as any stray sheep who happen to wander into the fold. Even sinners. Even LGBTQ people. Even those who may be abusers.

If we are to believe the outings, Archbishop McCarrick committed his acts up to the year 2001. If he flouted any kind of sanctions in 2008 or 2009–Archbishop Viganò admits a lack of clarity here–nobody else seems to be able to verify anything serious at all. It still seems to me that a pope who would take down a rural bishop on a remote continent for suggesting discussion on controversial topics would act with greater vigor in the case of a bishop with “widely known” indulgences for anti-chastity.

I think the front porch Catholics simmering over Pope Francis have, in most cases, a shipload of growing up to do. The dangers are not from left or right Catholics, but extremists who have permitted themselves to be blinded to the suffering of others. Talking about women or married priests does not harm individuals. Covering up crimes and thinking that secrets can be kept does grave harm. Christianity has traditionally separated out sins and crimes. Some are grave matter. Some less so. Talking about married priests is serious stuff. But it is not gravely sinful. Covering for clergy who have violated vows of celibacy and committed acts contrary to basic chastity? This is the kind of behavior that gets a person a millstone’s path to the bottom of the sea.

Father Kalchik seems to be a troubled man, by his own admission. But he’s also not seeing the bigger picture.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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