Saturday, March 23

Like I've been saying...

There are already married Catholic priests, like the grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great grandfather of the Ukrainian Catholic writer of this illuminating piece from the Washington Post

Part the Second of Our Series, "How to Cope."

Try really, really hard to erase the picture of the bishop snapping photos of his Speedo-clad employee from your mind. Holy Week is good for that. Gives you plenty of other things to think about.

Feeling bummed about Scandal-o-rama? Here's Part The First of my antitode: (besides watching a baby toddle around the house, arms, as they say, akimbo, turning only to crinkle his nose or show his dimples as he checks to see if you're watching him as he searches for Trouble, the sight of which seems to cure most my ills, at least.)

1) Read what St. Augustine has to say about the nature of the Church:

If you do not wish to be deceived and if you want to continue loving one another, be aware that each way of life in the church has hypocrites in her ranks…There are bad Christians, but there are also good ones. At first glance you see a great number of bad Christians, who as a thick layer of chaff prevent you from reaching the good grains of corn. Believe me, under the chaff there are also good grains of corn.(Discourse on Psalm 99)

In other words, we’re a mixed lot, and we always have been. Meditate on Matthew 13:24-30 and 13:47-49 for more insight into this frustrating reality.

I was saying before, if those of you, dearest brethren, who were present at yesterday's discourse remember, that the greatest persecutors of the Church are those Christians who refuse to live upright lives. For it is through these men that the Church is given a bad name, and from these men that she encounters hostility....(Fourth Discourse on Psalm 30)

So what does this tell us? Nothing changes. Which can be depressing, or heartening, depending on your mood at the time.

:Good God in Heaven.

In times in which human dignity is under attack from almost every direction, and the war-threatened world is in such need of a strong proclamation of the Gospel and aching hearts yearn for the healing that Christ offers, this is the leadership of the Catholic Church in America:

Among the claims, Urbanski alleged that the bishop: rubbed down Urbanski's legs and upper body after he had competed in a triathlon, booked only one hotel room for the two of them when they traveled together on a couple of occasions, frequently invited Urbanski to his house after work to swim in his pool, and took pictures of Urbanski in his Speedo bathing suit.

In retrospect, the bishop said, he had regrets about some of his behavior. But he is adamant that he never made any sexual advances toward Urbanski.

``Do I wish I didn't feel his biceps? Yes,'' he said. ``Do I understand the confusion? Of course. But I know what I did do, and what I didn't do. It's in the eye of the beholder

Here's the article from the Tampa Tribune.

And then, More from the St. Pete Times:

Urbanski complained that he was forced to share a room with Lynch when they traveled and that Lynch had made inappropriate advances toward him. Urbanski resisted going on a trip to Santa Fe last year unless he could get his own room, he said. He changed his mind when Lynch promised he had booked a suite for the two of them.

But when they arrived, Urbanski was disappointed to find a small room with a kingsize bed and a sleeper sofa. He took the bed while Lynch took the couch. Then, he said, Lynch shocked him by asking if he could take photos of a shirtless Urbanski so that Lynch could create Christmas cards with his head superimposed above Urbanski's muscular physique.

Urbanski did as he was asked without complaint. Then, he said, he excused himself and vomited in the lobby.

Reading all of this, one is struck by a tone of pure triviality, of people in serious positions just playing games and acting out a soap opera, and you just have to ask...this is how the institutional Church spends its time? This is how the institutional Church spends the people's money? The bishop snapping photos of the diocesan spokesperson in his Speedos after work? Yeah. True. Who has time for preaching the Gospel when you've got to give massages and consult with lawyers?


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