Monday, April 15

Veritas calls for calm and doesn't think the present Situation is the same kind of crisis as was the Reformation.

I hope he's right, but it's funny how these things happen. After all, who was Martin Luther? One Augustinian monk in Germany. But when the time is right and various cogs in the wheel all turn in the right (or wrong) direction, massive change can grow out of small events. In fact, some make the argument that history is nothing but a serious of unforeseen ramifications of minor events.

As I see it, the reason is this is such a huge crisis is not just because of the crimes and sins of pedophilia themselves, but of the authority's reactions. What has already happened, and will only continue to happen if somthing's not done to remove the offending bishops soon, is that the teaching authority of the Church will be even more compromised than it is already. You can hear hints of it all over - what "right" do these people have to talk about abortion, name your issue here when they don't even have their own house in order?

Portrait of a Mean Mommy.

Tired baby. Baby so tired he was half asleep on the way back from Grocery Store Adventures. At home, baby gets a nice lunch, is nursed and goes to sleep. Baby gets put in crib, Baby pops right up in protest. Mommy says "Night-Night, Joseph" and proceeds downstairs. Baby wails for thirty minutes. Mommy fetches baby, resigned to their mutual fate, sets baby up on couch next to her while she works.

Baby promptly falls asleep, sitting up.

Finally, Baby goes into crib. Mommy stops blogging so she can do some real work. For what, twenty minutes? We'll see.

Cardinal to ticket agent:

"A round-trip (I hope) ticket to Rome, please."

Cardinals called to Rome for Saturday meeting with Pope.

Here's my suggestion:

Start praying. Now. Say rosaries. Make holy hours. Stop by the church on the way home. Tonight, contemplate the beauty of God's night sky and pour out your heart to the Creator, through Christ whose Body this is. Pray for open hearts. Pray for openness to the Spirit. Pray for COURAGE. Pray that blinders may be removed and the gravity of this crisis may be understood. Call in St. Catherine, St. Francis of Asissi, St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Theresa of Avila and all the great reformer saints. Pray, pray, and pray again.

Thanks to Relapsed Catholic for this link:

Fr. Andrew Greeley unleashes his fury on "resigned priests" who suggest structural change might be in order. Are ya listenin' Eugene Kennedy and (I think) Thomas Groome?

Hey. I just noticed something - someone bought my Blogspot ad! My site is now ad-free, thanks to some kind donor! Thank you so much, whoever you are!
A reader was inspired by the previous tale to write with this horror story:

This story hits my nerve. We have in our part of the Archdiocese of
Philadelphia, a priest, who 15 years or so ago, was convicted in federal kcourt for trafficing this stuff. It was whispered about by the adults. Seven years ago, he was transferred to a parish on the very edge of the diocese ( This is a common tactict, to get these guys away from the "important" people who would cause the kind of commotion we see now).


Immediately, the whispers started....why wasn't he allowed to say mass? Why is he listed as "in residence" and not a associate pastor? and why is he in
charge of CCD and the youth groups?


Well, a little later, a nun at this parish got tired of hearing the stories of people calling up the chancery and getting hung up on. Not rebuffed, hung uon. She went to Federal court in Philadelphia and got copies of the trial transcripts. Several weeks later she was given notice by the pastor to immediately vacate the convent. She moved in with parishoners until she could get her stuff. ......


Oh, I forgot the fruits of this unholy situation. The grade school was closed down, and many parishoners tranferred to an ethnic parish accross town which now needs to build a a new church and school. Other Parishoners left the doicese and attend a parish five miles away, which just completed
it's 3rd church expansion in 15 years. And this church which was built in 1962 with an elevator in a neighborhood where neighbors mean something, this church that seats 1000 but only 300 parishoners by now and the empty school stands as a testament to Satan himself.


Amy, the truth is that these weeks have been hard, the truth is that these people do not care, and the scary thing is that we ain't heard nothin yet.

And for an assesment of where things stand now, see Our Man on the Case, Rod Dreher here.

Am I too judgmental? Probably. No doubt.

God is merciful and forgiving. No one who comes to Him seeking forgiveness and healing will be turned away. And that goes for every single sin in the book.

So who am I to judge? No one.

But here's the thing. A couple of weeks ago, there was an ABC news special on the Crisis. One of the priests they "found" who'd been convicted of a child-related sexual crime and was still in ministry was a priest in Evansville convicted of posession of child pornography. I had done a couple of searches of the Evansville paper online to see what the reaction of his parish was, but had come up with nothing. Until today, when the New York Times ran a story on him (link requires registration).

Here's what disturbed me most: the reaction of some of the parishioners.

After his prison sentence was complete, the priest was assigned as a hospital chaplain. Protests happened. But over at Holy Trinity parish:

So Father Vogler registered as a sex offender with the police department and filled in for vacationing priests around the diocese. People at Holy Trinity said they prayed he would become their pastor.


"His first line, before anything happened, he said, `I am a public sinner,' " Carol A. Anslinger, the organist, recalled of Father Vogler's first homily. "The whole church melted. The people opened their arms up with forgiveness."

...Even as they express unease at Father Vogler's past, there is clear relief that it was pornography and not sexual abuse.


"There weren't any children crying to their parents," said Charles Burns, 50, a postal worker who has attended Holy Trinity for a decade. "Father Jean was hurting himself, he was hurting his ministry. He wasn't hurting anyone else."

Memo to the world, including Charles Burns: Pornography is not a victimless crime. He participated in it by purchasing and supporting it. He contributed to the horrendous victimization of many, many children. I mean, I have to say, at the risk of incurring your wrath, we're not even talking about "regular" pornography here (which is not a victimless crime either, but at least involves adults) - we're talking about a guy who...well, you get the idea.

Anyway. I just don't know, and it will take some time for me to sort this out. We all stand before God as sinners, including our priests and parish ministers. It is wrong to place them on pedestals or expect them to be models of anything but sinners open to the mercy of God. But something about this story makes me very, very uncomfortable. Maybe you can help me out.



Article about how Polish Catholics are dealing with the accusations of abuse against their now-resigned Archbishop


The calls for change gained momentum early this month as new evidence surfaced that church officials knew about Paetz's behavior for years, but failed to intervene. Particularly disturbing for Poles was the fact that it was not the church itself that stepped in first to protect the young seminarians from an abusive archbishop, but the country's fledgling free press.


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