|Must Read Statement on Corruption in the Catholic Church
Voice from the Desert
June 23, 2008
The following letter from Dan Burke of Huntley, Illinois, to Roger Schweitz, the Bishop of Anchorage, Alaska, is the most honest statement of the current corruption in the Catholic Church that I've read. I'm publishing it with the author's permission.
Please feel free to pass this hard-hitting, tell-it-like-it-is letter to a friend and consider providing a comment below.
The letter was brought to my attention by Tom Doyle.
And thank you, Dan Burke.
* * *
23 June 2008
Bishop Roger Schweitz
225 Cordova Street
Anchorage, AK 99501
Re: Repairing Priest Relations
I read the June 13th AP piece by Rachel Zoll, " Bishops Target Priest's Morale" quoting you, Merz, the Chairman of the Review Board, Aymond, the Chairman of the Committee for the Protection of Children and as usual came away unimpressed and in amazement that the Bishops continue to ignore the root cause of the festering disaffection within the Church, failing to see that lack of accountability is the underlying basis for the malaise now extant within the Catholic community, in turn affecting Priest morale…ie: the flock sees the clergy and its leadership as corrupt……and why not!
Corrupt at several levels:
· Failing to institute a vetting system when recruiting
· Failing to reign in financial mismanagement and to explain financial details in Stewardship Appeals
· And worst of all - failing to take seriously, wholesale broad based intentional misconduct, on a level that would qualify in the real world as "Abetting Criminal behavior" and "Obstruction of Justice"
As an example of financial mismanagement or the use or misuse of 'stockholder' funds, the Cathedral of Our Lady in Los Angeles was completed in 2002 at a cost of over $200 Million, originally budgeted for $180 Million, when a $20 Million dollar Cathedral would have sufficed.
The Cathedral's plaza is filled with palm trees, fountains and a waterfall and beneath its main floor, an undercroft of 1,270 crypts and 5,000 niches prepared for future burials, a campanile [free standing bell tower] topped with a 30-foot cross housing a carillon of 18 bells, a 58,000 sq. ft. conference center. Constructed with the largest use of alabaster in the world, all 27,000 sq. ft. of the delicate stone having been quarried in Spain. Windows are a mosaic of thousands of tiles of nearly 20 different sizes set horizontally in rows that range from 3 to 24 inches wide and 13 to 34 inches tall, all set against Belgian tapestries depicting saints lining the 300 ft. Nave.
The edifice includes towering 30 ft. entrance doors of solid bronze coming in at $3M, a $2M wooden ambo [lectern], a $1M tabernacle, a $1M cathedral bishop's chair*, a $250K presider's chair, a $250K deacon's chair, and visiting bishops' chairs costing $150K each. Cardinal Mahony himself designed the altar, made of burgundy Rosso Laguna Turkish marble coming in at $5 million. * Can you believe it?…$1Million for a chair!
I ask you, is it the mission of the Church to use money that could have paid for victim compensation or to assist the poor, or is it to allow an arrogant jerk Cardinal to build a beyond opulent edifice to satisfy his ego?
Recently, the Los Angeles Diocese took a Public Relations hit when it asked four elderly nuns in their late 60s and early 70s living in semi-retirement to move from their Diocesan owned home so that it could be sold by the Diocese, the proceeds to be used for payment of Priest Sex Abuse settlements.
Sins of the Fathers being visited upon the Sisters?
When Enron failed, WorldCom tanked, Adelphia was looted and Tyco excesses were foisted upon the stockholders, the financial scandals prompted an unusually not 'tuned in' Congress to pass the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
The Act established the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and mandated senior executives to take individual responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of corporate financial reports, enumerated specific limits on the behaviors of corporate officers, described specific forfeitures of benefits and civil penalties for non-compliance.
Given what has happened in the Church these past 35 years, with out of control mismanagement, (1) a 'failed vetting system' or total lack thereof that permitted upwards of 5,000* + abusing and pedophile priests to be ordained, (2) abusing priests being transferred about resulting in the abusers re-offending in many instances, (3) the decision of one man like Cardinal Mahony to squander $200 million on an edifice dubbed 'Cathedral of Our Lady', why shouldn't the church and its priests be in a morale stupor? * A USCCB statistic, not mine.
* In 1995 Sen. Bob Packwood [Oregon] resigned following mounting evidence of sexual harassment of his office staffers.
* Boeing CEO Phil Condit, resigned in 2003, as a result of the defense contracting scandal that ultimately saw two Boeing executives, ex Air Force procurement official Darleen Druyun and chief financial officer Mike Sears sent prison.
* Again in 2005 Boeing fired its CEO Harry Stonecipher for having an affair with a staffer.
* In March 2007, less than a week after visiting the Walter Reed medical Center following allegations of deplorable conditions, newly installed Defense Secretary Robert Gates summoned Army Secretary Francis Harvey to Washington and fired him on the spot. Harvey's statement to the press?…..I was head of the Army…what can I say…the buck stops with me…I have to take responsibility. This is the real world Schweitz.
* Just five months ago Merrill Lynch fired its CEO Stan Lynch for poor performance, and mounting losses,
* A week later Citibank fired its CEO Chuck Prince for poor performance, mounting losses.
* Just this past week Defense Secretary gates fired Air Force Secretary Michael Wynn and Air Force Chief of Stall General Michael Moseley because lower level individuals under their command flew 'armed' nuclear weapons from Minot North Dakota to Louisiana, allowed the accidental shipment of Nuclear 'triggers' to Taiwan and found that an operational officer was not able to be reached while on duty because he was playing video games on his computer. In explaining his actions, Gates stated that oversight standards for the U.S. nuclear arsenal had deteriorated on their watch. Gates found the mistakes to a problem developed over time within the culture of the Air Force requiring stern action to send a message.
When you have 5,000 + priests, and some Bishops by the way, out there abusing and another 108 Bishops and Cardinals covering up and transferring abusers who continued to abuse in many instances, HOW does one NOT come to the conclusion that both the abuse and the broad based massive cover-up had become part of the culture of the clergy, resulting in leadership failing to (1) defrock abusers and failing to (2) 'sack the Bishops and Cardinals' who covered up and transferred?
Here they are from the USCCB' audit: I see you are on the List!
The names of the transferring or covering up Bishops and Cardinals are: Roll Call Please!
·Bishop Gregory AymondAustin, Tx
·Bishop Robert Baker Charleston, Sc
·Bishop Robert Banks Green Bay Wi
·Bishop Gerald BarnesSan Bernardino, Ca
·Bishop Eusebius Beltran Oklahoma City, Ok
·Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua Piladelphia, Pa
·Bishop Raymond BolandSt. Joseph, Mo
·Bishop Anhony BoscoGreensburg, Pa
·Bishop Robert Brom San Diego, Ca
·Bishop Tod BrownOrange, Ca
·Bishop Alexander Brunett Seattle, Wa
·Bishop Edmond Carmody Corpus Christi, Tx
·Bishop Matthew ClarkRochester, NY
·Bishop Patrick Cooney Gaylord , Mi
·Bishop Alvaro Corrada del Rio Tyler, Tx
·Bishop Daniel Cronin Hartland, Conn
·Bishop Edward CullenAllentown, Pa
·Bishop John CumminsOakland, Ca
·Bishop James Murray Kalamazoo Mi
·Bishop William CurlinCharlotte Nc
·Bishop Eldin Curtiss Omaha, Ne
·Bishop Thomas Daily Brooklyn Ny
·Bishop Joseph Delaney Ft. Worth Tx
·Bishop Francis DiLorenzo Honolulu, Ha
·Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio Camden Nj
·Bishop Daniel Dinardo Sioux City Ia
·Bishop Thomas DoranRockford, Il
·Bishop Norbert Dorsey Orlando Fl
·Bishop Michael Driscoll Boise Id
·Bishop Thoma Dupre Springfield, Ma
·Cardinal Edward Egan New York
·Bishop John Favalora Miami Fl
·Bishop David Fellhauer Victoria Tx
·Bishop Joseph Fiorenza Galveston Tx
·Bishop Ralphael Flis Superior Wi
·Bishop Patrick Flores San Antonio Tx
·Bishop Harry Flynn St Paul Minneapolis Mn
·Bishop David Foley Birmingham Al
·Bishop John Gaydos Jefferson City Mo
·Cardinal Francis George Chicago, Il
·Bishop Joseph Gerry Portland Me
·Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger Evansville, In
·Bishop Joseph Gossman Raleigh Nc
·Bishop Charles Grahmann Dallas Tx
·Bishop James Griffin Colombus Oh
·Bishop Jerome Hanus Dubuque Ia
·Bishop Daniel HartNorwich Conn
·Bishop William Higi Layfayette, In
·Bishop James Hoffman Toledo Oh
·Bishop Howard HubbardAlbany NY
·Bishop Alfred HughesNew Orleans, La
·Bishop Joseph ImeschJoliet Il
·Bishop Samuel JacobsAlexandria La
·Bishop Michael JarrellHouma-Thibodaux La
·Bishop William KeelerBaltimore, Md
·Bishop Thomas Kelly Louisville, Ky
·Cardinal Bernard LawBoston Ma
·Bishop John Leibrecht Cape Girardeau Mo
·Bishop William Levada San Francisco Ca
·Bishop William Lori Bridgeport Conn
·Bishop George Lucas Springfield Il
·Bishop Robert Lynch St Petersburg Fl
·Cardinal Roger Mahony Los Angeles, Ca
·Bishop Adam Maida Detroit Mi
·Bishop Henry Mansell Buffalo NY
·Bishop Theodore McCarrick Wash DC
·Bishop John McCormack Manchester Nh
·Bishop Patrick McGrath San Jose Ca
·Bishop John Mc Raith Owensboro Ky
·Bishop Carl Mongeling Lansing Mi
·Bishop Anthony Milone Great Falls Mont.
·Bishop Manuel Moreno Tucson Az
·Bishop James Moynihan Syracuse NY
·Bishop Robert Mulvee Providence Ri
·Bishop George MurrySt Thomas US Virgin Is
·Bishop James Murtaugh Palm Beach Fl
·Bishop John Myers Newrak Nj
·Bishop John Nevins Venice Fl
·Bishop Thomas O'Brien Phoenix Az
·Bishop Raymond Pena Brownsville Tx
·Bishop Michael Pfeifer San Angelo Tx
·Bishop Daniel Pilarczyk Cincinnati Oh
·Bishop Anthony Pilla Cleveland Oh
·Bishop Ricardo Ramirez Las Cruces, Nm
·Bishop Daniel Reilly Worcester Ma
·Bishop Justin Rigoli St Louis Mo
·Bishop Thomas Rodi Biloxi Miss.
·Bishop Frank Rodimer Paterson Nj
·Bishop Placido Rodriguez Lobbock Tx
·Bishop Robert Rose Grand Rapids Mi
·Bishop Sylvester Ryan Monterey Ca
·Bishop Roger Schwietz Anchorage Al
·Bishop Michael SheehanSanta Fe Nm
·Bishop Richard SklbaMilwaukee Wi
·Bishop John SmithTrenton Nj
·Bishop John Steinbock Fresno Ca
·Bishop Phillip StralingReno Nv
·Bishop Walter Sullivan Richmond Va
·Bishop Arthur TafoyaPueblo Co
·Bishop James TamayoLaredo Tx
·Bishop James Timlin Scranton Pa
·Bishop Donald TrautmanErie Pa
·Bishop Kenneth UntenerSaginaw Mi
·Bishop Willaim Weigand Sacramento Ca
·Bishop Donald WuerlPittsburgh Pa
·Bishop John Yanta Amarillo Tx
·Bishop Paul ZipfelBismarck Nd
Incredible isn't it? 108 Cardinals and Bishops transferring and or covering up abuse for 5,148 abusers resulting in 11,750 pedophile victims – both USCCB statistics - and NO ONE in the CHURCH did anything about it!…..including the nitwit Pope, John Paul.
Do you really believe that Christ would have countenanced the diatribe that has thus far emanated from the Bishop's conference? I think he would be turning over the tables and throwing the rascals out……to paraphrase Matthew 21:13. Sound familiar?……rascals who allowed this to go on and who now duck responsibility.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. This scandal, the cover up, the lack of accountability in the leadership from the top down…no firings, no demotions, no dismissals….well it simply takes your breath away because in any other company, corporation, organization in other words the real world…they would be gone with this record!
Frank Keating, retired Governor of Oklahoma and former Chairman of the National Review Board, resigned from the Review Board over frustration arising from the refusal of the Bishops to cooperate, citing their preference to deny, hide, obfuscate, suppress names of offenders, resist subpoenas, noting that the Bishops listen too much to their lawyers and not enough to their hearts.
Former White House Chief of Staff and U.S. Rep. Leon Panetta, a California Democrat who served on the Review Board and was one of those who met with Cardinal Francis George commented on the continuing abuse allegations arising out of the Chicago Diocese stating at a news conference, "it confirmed for me what is at the heart of this pedophile priest problem, the Catholic hierarchy's failure to understand the seriousness of the crisis".
George's response? According to three sources contacted by Sun Times reporters, that when the members of the Review Board met with George, he issued a warning, "you will be the downfall of the church!" The group was dumbstruck. "The bishops and priests have failed to deal with this scandal" Panetta told George. "The healing process could not begin, Panetta said, unless the church acknowledged the problem".
Indeed, the Rev. Richard McBrien, a theology professor at Notre Dame, got it right on when he recently said that "survey after survey showed that as much as people were appalled by the behavior of predatory priests, they were more appalled by the behavior of the Bishops in covering it up!" Repeat after me…more appalled by the coverup!
No where is the truth of the adage that an organization cannot be counted on to police itself more evident than in the church.
It's about accountability and transparency….both of which are woefully lacking in the mission of this church….which did nothing to sack its CEOs ie: the transferring Cardinals and Bishops even though the Church knew of the emerging scandal as far back as 1985 after the submittal of the report by Canon Lawyer Thomas Doyle.
Recently Rockford Illinois Diocese Bishop Doran, when confronted with the allegations surrounding Harlan Clapsaddle, had him temporarily removed from ministry, sent for treatment and unbelievably put in back in ministry at a Nursing Home, without disclosing to the Nursing Home his past, [ sound familiar ] which was not revealed to the Nursing Home, until two days before Clapsaddle resigned for good. Some management!….and Doran wants Stewardship money from the stockholders?…no explanations?…no questions asked?…and if he doesn't get, he'll extract it out of operating funds!
Your efforts to restore Priest morale comes on the heels of the single greatest scandal to beset any institution against a backdrop where not ONE SINGLE transferring Bishop or Cardinal has lost his job, the ultimate in disdain, and is an example of mismanagement at its zenith that would not be tolerated in the public arena, and cries out for accountability at every level not just financial, but in personal responsibility as well by those who transferred rather than managed, who covered up instead of leading by example.
In 1993, a former seminarian reported sexual abuse and exploitation at age 18 by Fr. Michael Yakaitis who was then ( you are going to choke on this ) a "spiritual director" and Dean of Students at St. Mary of the Lake seminary in Mundelein, Illinois.
The student seminarian reported it to seven church officials.COUNT 'EM 7, including:
· Fr. John Canary former Vicar for Priests and current Rector - St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein;
· Fr. Larry McBrady former Vicar for Priests in the administration of Frances Cardinal George;
· Fr. Gerald Kicanas former Rector - St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein and current Bishop of the Tucson Diocese;
· Fr. Cletus Kiley former Rector - Niles College Seminary and current assistant to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops;
· Cardinal Joseph Cardinal Bernardin; Hope he is working it off in Purgatory!
· Fr. James Presta Rector - St. Joseph College Seminary, Loyola University of Chicago; and
· Fr. Michael Foley former Rector - Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary High School.
None of the above deny it, with Fr. John Canary admitting on February 7th 2005 in an on-air interview with television reporter Jay Levine of WBBM channel 2 Chicago, the earlier reporting of the abuse by the seminarian.
Nothing happened! I guess the 'blue code of silence' not only exists in the police department.
Worse…want to know what Yakaitis did? Introduced the seminarian to pornography and alcohol when the seminarian sought counseling from "this spiritual director" over confusion about his own sexuality….preference included….then initiated the abuse and later to avoid any repercussions "threatened to expose" the seminarian's sexual preference if he revealed what took place. Yakaitis should have been defrocked!…but wasn't….what a Church!
In 2000, the former nun principal of Holy Family school in Chicago reported to the Archdiocese that Rev. Daniel McCormack - the recently convicted offender - may have had inappropriate contact with a child in 2000. We may now change "may have" to definitely did!
In 2001 Cardinal Francis George appointed the same Fr. Michael Yakaitis from the above 1993 episode, to be student Chaplin at the University of Chicago's Calvert House, a Catholic facility for Catholic youth attending the U. of C., without checking Yakaitis' background which was in the file of the Diocese clearly evidencing prior credible sex abuse allegations, to which abuse, Fr. Yakaitis has since admitted in 2005. Cardinal George and his staff did not even check Yakaitis' file when sex abuse scandal was on everyone's tongue! But one wonders why the mope was even still around as a priest instead of being defrocked? The Catholic Church complicit in the Obstruction of Justice…in "aiding and abetting".
In 2003 Francis George had the Rev. Kenneth Martin living in the Cardinal's residence next door to an elementary school while "working" for the archdiocese knowing that Martin had previously been convicted after pleading guilty to abusing a boy for 3 years while a high school teacher in Maryland.
In 2006 with the McCormack case, we have an abusing priest who with a Masters of Divinity from the same Mundelein Seminary out abusing boys as late as 2002 when sex abuse was on everyone's tongue proving* that his urges were far more powerful than his common sense, exposing himself to criminal prosecution when this behavior was such a hot button issue.
*The reason to keep these guys out of ministry and away from children and preferably behind bars….they cannot and do not control themselves.
Then on January 28th 2006 his 'eminence ?' Francis George publicly commended the principal of Holy Family school for coming forward in 2000 and reporting Fr. McCormack and expressing regret that the archdiocese failed to respond sooner!
These failures to report the abusers, is not a mistake…..it's a pattern! Indeed the principal before writing her letter had called the Chancery Office to report the suspected abuse and was told not to press it if the parents were not pushing it! Some Church!
The arrogance!…the gall!….with just this past week, goofy Bishop Gregory Aymond, Chair of the U.S. Bishop's Committee for Protection of Children and Young People, telling CBS News that because Bishop Anthony J. O'Connell was prohibited from wearing 'clerical attire' and no longer permitted to serve in ministry; that these two restrictions were a 'significant consequence and penalty' for the abuse allegations leveled against him which he did not deny and which were found to have overwhelming credibility. Christ would give him a 'millstone' and Aymond, probation!
Transferring Bishops who covered up need to be sacked and Bishops and Cardinals like goofy Francis George who have repeatedly 'blown it on their watch' need to resign like Francis Harvey of the Army did, not be elected to Presidency of the USCCB…with the future successor President and nitwit Bishop Gerald Kicanas saying, he knew [pre-ordination] about the three reports of "sexual improprieties" against then-seminarian Daniel McCormack, yet still supported McCormack's Ordination, saying, "It would have been grossly unfair not to have ordained him."
Kicanas needs a 5:30 AM blindfold appointment before the 'ready!…aim!…fire!'squad.
Merz's predecessor, Robert Bennett former head of the USCCB's Review Board was quoted acknowledging that many Bishops abandoned their responsibility [ that's a laugh – how about virtually all ] so why should Catholics now have confidence that Bishops will not do so in the future?
Further evidencing the seriousness of the morale issue, Merz is quoted in Zoll's piece as saying he learned of one priest who was exercising in a public gym when a passer-by said, "Are you waiting for a boy to lie down next to you?" Even Mahony himself reports that while posting a letter at a mailbox last year, he was apparently spotted and recognized by a local congregant who suddenly and unexpectedly socked him the face knocking him to the ground. I only wish I had been there to implore Mahony to apostolically 'turn the other cheek' so I could have delivered a 'haymaker' of my own!
Is it any wonder that the disdain and cynicism that exists is a DIRECT product of the magnitude of the scandal and the way the leaders collectively 'covered up', abetted and 'obstructed'?
Still think the Emperor wears no clothes? Do you still share in the collective ignorance of others like you, denying the obvious fact that this Church and its leadership has blown it? Can't see the elephant in the room? The obvious truth that this Church has committed through its Pope, Cardinals and Bishops crimes of aiding and abetting, and crimes of obstruction of justice.
Nero fiddled while Rome burned and like Nero, John Paul II concerned himself with trivia while the greatest scandal to beset any institution in modern times was in full swing. No, I do not have to show up in the pews on January 1st, August 15th, November 1st and December 8th, December 25th, Easter Sunday, or 40 days later, or at least make an Easter Duty nor to show up on Sundays to be saved…that is for the lemmings.
If a U. S. President were 84 years of age and unable to talk publicly since 2003, unable to walk in public since 2002 and had Parkinson's for the past 10 years, would you have confidence in and be guided by a President so frail? What about the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U. S. Armed Forces?
Wouldn't you have expected that a person in such condition to step down or retire, and allow another in better mental and physical health to exercise the post or position? Why is it that the church requires its Cardinal and Bishops to retire at age 75 but allows senile old men to hang on to their death at age 84?
Rare is the 84 year old who has not noticeably slipped in abilities at all levels, strength or the lack thereof termed frailty, attention, clarity of thinking, stamina, ability to recognize deception or avoiding being duped or controlled by others - witness the amount of scams perpetrated upon the elderly.
Pope John Paul II in a letter to the world's elderly released on October 1 1999 par. 17 thereof stated:
" It is wonderful to be able to give oneself to the very end for the sake of the kingdom of God. At the same time, I find great peace in thinking of the time when the Lord will call me: life to life".
On other occasions he likened his continued stay upon the throne of St. Peter as a trial undertaken willingly, accepting suffering not unlike Christ on the cross. Enduring the suffering, he was likening himself to Christ, but at the expense of the Church, which he had long since been unable to lead, his ever positioning advisors calling the shots.
If Christ would not abandon the suffering of the cross, neither would he abandon his suffering. No, he forged on…..unfortunately, at our expense and the expense of the Church as a whole!
Kind of reminds me of the story of the grandson, who shows up at work with a sad face. Upon being queried by co-workers as to the source of his apparent distress, the grandson relates that he just returned "from a funeral having buried his grandmother". Displaying appropriate empathy, the co-workers offer their sympathies while also inquiring as to the age of the grandmother. "She was 91", comes the reply. "How did she go?" " She died in her sleep", the grandson replies. Hearing this, the co-workers reply: "Well if you have to go, that's the way to go…in your sleep!" The grandson replies: "Yah, good for her; but not for the other 3 passengers in the car".
John Paul mentally died, lost competency somewhere starting fourteen years ago, not good for the rest of us in the car, who he was driving (leading). I personally saw him in St. Peters from 50 feet away for 10 minutes in Nov. 2001, wheeled in on an electric Pope scooter. He was beyond feeble, inaudible, doddering, giving a 'private audience' to some heavy hitters' [contributors] from S. America, so his advance men [ their words not mine] told our tour guide. Sure enough a husband & wife made it up the middle aisle after his assistants secured him to the throne of St. Peter. In a secular world, Papal Blessings bought and sold to those who can afford it!
I know of NO successful INSTIUTION in the world where the leader is permitted to lead into one's eighties or hangs on to leadership while evidence of dementia and failing health impede that leadership except dictators and goofy Popes.
The Church needs to change; needs to include in its policy making one-half of its membership heretofore excluded….WOMEN ; needs to "term limit" the time that any one Pope can hold that position either by mandatory retirement age or outright term limit. No Pope should be permitted to occupy that position for more than 10 years, and any election should equally be term limited by age, all having to retire by age 70 including Bishops and Cardinals.
No Pope should be allowed to fill the ranks of the Church leadership with his intellectual, philosophical and theological clones; but Bishops and Cardinals should be appointed by the Pope with the simple majority joint consent of both houses, the existing College of Cardinals and a worldwide lay board of 100 elected members.
A Church so constructed would be intellectually "pollinated" by the experience of its leaders coming into contact with others from the cross section of humanity and would less likely be rendered lemmings by one guy at the top appointing clones supporting one point of view to the exclusion of all others.
One does not have to study Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates, to have digested Pliny, Cicero or Aquinas, to have read Sartre, Descartes, Kierkegaard, Kant or Hume, to have listened to Eric Hoffer or Hans Kung to discern truth, recognize poppycock or verbal pandering, to distinguish reality from pretense and hyperbole from litotes, or to recognize crap. It makes no difference if spoken by a bigot, a conservative religious ideologue, or a Pope claiming infallibility….crap is crap no matter who says it. Much of what came from JP then and Ratzinger today is crap.
We the laity….the parishioners…are really like stockholders in a corporation. We are entitled to transparency, to accountability, to openness, to the truth. We should demand an annual budget by parish, by diocese, by country and by church in Rome….a list of the officers….a statement of assets and liabilities. I for one want to see how much is siphoned off by Diocese and sent to Rome. I want to see the Church's pension funds, investments, assets and liabilities. We are entitled to call for the resignation of failed leadership!
Owing to its failed leadership, the church finds itself where it is today, both here and abroad, at the crossroads of insignificance and lost identity, struggling for relevance in a culture it once defined, with its churches, excluding those not sold to pay for sex abuse settlements and judgments, in danger if not destined to become museums of Christianity, more likely to be visited by tourists with guidebooks than parishioners with prayer books.
And the reason? It is because the church is run by conservative ignorant men whose intellectual thought processes gravitate to preserving the status quo of values, even if it means covering up, and which are more concerned with form [the GIRM] than substance and which are deeply rooted in tradition, and whose leaders are motivated by an unwillingness to question past practices to determine if they comport with Christian concepts on the one hand or represent comfortable familiarity with the ignorance they represent and innate human reluctance to change on the other.
I am delighted that the Church is getting hammered in the Courts. The Church through its leadership has exercised zero accountability…transparency is non existent. My wife says I am likely to spend some time in the warm place for my attitude. I tell her that is ok, I'll tell St. Peter, " just put me over there next to one of those Bishops!"
When I see some heads roll, some sackings, some demotions, when guys like George get demoted and removed for having blown it three times on his watch, instead of being elected the president of the USCCB…well then…just maybe then I'll change my mind…but until then I can't wait for the Church to collapse under the weight of this scandal and the sins of its failed leadership.
This Church needs to account to its stockholders and not just financially as I alluded to at the outset….because mismanagement is apparent at every level.
How can anyone sympathize with a Church mired in internal corruption and mismanagement?
This Church is consigned to marginalization in an increasingly skeptical world by a better educated populace of God fearing people who have come to realize that salvation's destiny is in their hands, not in the traditional drivel marketed by Pope clones walking down the aisle in their goofy mitre hats and carrying crosiers whilst blessing the faithful in their pews…..sprinkling them with the use of a scepter dripping with holy water…..without ever taking responsibility for what has occurred….in other words, business as usual, "bow your heads and…."
Truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it. But, in the end, there it is.
Want to know what Christ is doing about now? He's sitting with his head buried in his hands atop his lap, slowly shaking his head from side to side, weeping and softly muttering, "I can't believe they are doing this in my name"!
12138 Wildflower Lane
Huntley, Illinois 60142
P.S. Rachel Zoll:
I know you covered the Cardinal Law cover up. How the hell can you accord the actions of Benedict as taking , "…the extraordinary step" when he merely met privately with victims during his April U.S. visit…?"
Benedict didn't do a damn thing and if truth be told, was the chief villain and Architect in the Church denial. It was Benedict who was the confidant and aide to that doddering old goofball John Paul those past 15 years prior to his death. When The Doyle report, commissioned by the Vatican in the 1st place, and was submitted in 1985, it was guys like Benedict that made the decision not to go forward but to cover up.
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