Child of Viganò

A facebook friend alerted me to this Crux piece on a report published by Anthony Figueiredo, a Newark diocesan priest, Rome resident, and occasional travel aide for ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

The source confirms some sort of restriction in place–the former Washington archbishop admits it in the one-sided correspondence. That’s not really news. It’s more than believable that the college of cardinals needed protection from scandal, so why wouldn’t Pope Benedict XVI be satisfied to impose secret sanctions? It begs the question on why non-cardinal bishops weren’t treated with the same solicitude.

And if said sanctions ended questionable behavior that wasn’t widely known outside the clergy, did it really matter that the retired archbishop ramped up his globe-trotting in 2012 and continue into a new papacy? Pope Francis has had his say on what he terms “airport bishops.” We can guess what he thinks of frequent fliers among his brother shepherds.

Maybe Pope Francis had every bit of knowledge from secrets kept on two other continents. And maybe the Vatican was satisfied with a few years (2008-2011) of relative quiet, though not in a monastery.

My conservative friends seem to be going, “Ha! Archbishop Viganò was right all along!” And I think, not so fast. I would certainly be interested to comb through the archives in Rome or the Vatican embassy in Washington. Journalists more so, I imagine. I think a person can send correspondence, but without seeing responses, we might judge they range anywhere from “That nut job sent another e-mail.” to “This is important stuff we need to get to the pope ASAP!”

End result is we get a bit more action in social media for another day or two. A bit of heat. But no more real light. Msgr Figueiredo looks like a child of Archbishop Viganò to me. He doesn’t need to be selectively releasing emails for public view so much as working the clerical culture from the inside out. Maybe he is. And if so, hat’s off to him. But if not, the question remains: why not?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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2 Responses to Child of Viganò

  1. Liam says:

    I am not sure the period of institutional entropy the Catholic Church is currently in is bad; my sense is that one good thing that may come of it is less dependence on hero-worship of oracular popes and prelates that’s obtained as reaction-formation over the last 230 years, but the entropy certainly will feel dis-orienting. Entropy at more local and personal levels more insidious, which the ideologically-energized centrifugally whip themselves out into more distant eddies. As a alt-Catholic-right-side bookend to James Carroll’s keening over his vocational misadventures, I find commenters over at at post on NLM nodding in agreement about how the communion of the faithful really ought to be administered after Mass except on Easter Sunday because that’s Really How The Rite Developed To Be(TM). To me, these bookends have more in common than in difference: confusing fingers for the sun/Son. Which is very human of us all, even if we don’t develop our thoughts out that far.

    • Todd says:

      I get that. But I don’t think James Carroll is enough of a counterpoint. He’s a son of pre-conciliar culture, and a man–still–of the institution in many ways. There are people farther out who would be religious anarchists. They don’t even care about the priesthood, as for them, it’s already been abolished in personal practice.

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