Saturday, April 27

In a leadership vacuum...in steps Cardinal McCarrick, at least according to the Washington Post.
Whether you agree with all of his conclusions or not, you'll probably be interested in this piece in the Washington Post by a columnist for the Irish Times asking the interesting question: Horrid scandals have rocked the Irish Church, too. Why weren't their leaders called to the Vatican for a Confab? What's so important about the American Church?
My third least favorite character in all of this, Bishop McCormack of Manchester, NH went to the parish of an accused priest and...

-- Bishop John McCormack urged St. Patrick parishioners to support their priest with letters and prayers Saturday in a speech that made no direct mention of the boy the Rev. Edward Richard is accused of abusing.


The Diocese of Manchester placed Richard on leave Monday, the day after learning he was under criminal investigation for the alleged sexual abuse of a boy in the 1980s. Richard has not been charged, but law enforcement officials confirmed the investigation Friday.


McCormack said the Diocese is supporting Richard and urged the parishioners to do the same.


"What I'd like to assure you, is that while he's on administrative leave, he will be supported by the Diocese," he said. "He already has legal counsel and psychological and pastoral care to help him deal with these devastating accusations."


"I encourage you to drop him a line and tell him how much he means to you, because during this time he needs your support," he said.


McCormack also asked the congregation to pray for Richard and others, but he did not directly mention victims of abuse.

He also commented on Cardinal Law and his own role in the Boston Archdiocese situations: Sort of:

On April 12, McCormack said he would answer questions about his time in Massachusetts within 10 days. On Saturday he said his answers were coming "soon."




Interesting survey of American Catholics' responses to The Situation in the NYTimes (link requires registration, doo-dah, doo-dah)
A lot of you don't have much use for Gary Wills, but you really must read his op-ed in today's Times

It's a look at how St. Augustine, as bishop of Hippo, handled a scandal involving one his priests, who, it was discovered after his death, had betrayed his vow to divest himself of all property

The short answer? With openness, honesty and (dare we use the modern lingo?) transparency:

Augustine did not protect his priests' reputations by covering up any possible offense, but by openly investigating all of his priests, with a promise that audits of their finances would be publicly delivered at Mass. He reported on each case singly. After finding that some priests still had joint holdings with family members, he insisted that these be instantly renounced. Immediate and public divestiture was the condition of their remaining in the community.



Then Augustine issued a warning, saying that any priest found holding property in the future would be instantly expelled: "I will not let him divest himself of it and stay, but I will delete his name from the clerics' register. Though he should appeal from me to a thousand councils, or sail to any other arbiter wherever — anywhere he can — yet, so help me God, he shall not be a cleric so long as I am a bishop. You hear me. They hear me."

For months, I've been looking for an incident from the church's history that might provide some sort of analogy to the present situation. This is an excellent one.

In case you're wondering how many priests have disappeared since late January, the AP has the answer:

At least 176 priests suspected of molesting minors have either resigned or been taken off duty in 28 states and the District of Columbia since the clerical sex scandal erupted in January, a nationwide review of Roman Catholic dioceses by The Associated Press found.

EWTN to air special discusions on the Crisis in the Church
Oh dear. We have a biter.

Last night, when I was trying to put his shoes on his feet, Joseph leaned over and gave me a good, hard bite. He did the same to Katie this morning, as she was trying to get a crayon from him. Chomp. I've only had one other biter - Christopher - and I don't remember it starting quite this early. (12 and a half months)

Interesting article from the Washington Post about Greek Orthodox clergy and the issue of celibacy.
Just for a little perspective....An article on Benny Hinn from the LA Times:

If Benny Hinn puts on a remarkable television show, the view from his side of the camera is even more incredible.


Looking into viewers' homes recently, the evangelist spotted a bald, overweight man with a heart problem. Wearing a yellow shirt.


Hinn said he could see the man walking away from his TV, resisting appeals to donate during a Trinity Broadcasting Network "Praise-a-Thon." "Come back," Hinn begged. "If you will come back and make that pledge, God will heal your heart tonight."



Warning: Template change ahead. I have a lot of writing to do this weekend, but I do want to take some time to examine the issue of my template. I like the general look of it - except for the narrow text column, but I've received a complaint that the font is too light to be easily read. So I think I might look around and see if I can find something else. Don't be startled if you return and things look different. It'll be the same old joint.
George Neumayer on Cardinal Mahony, again:

The zero-tolerance policy of which the American Church now opportunistically speaks will not extend to the bishops whose bad judgment and moral cowardice necessitated it.


Like tainted, money-grubbing politicians who suddenly morph into campaign finance reformers, the cardinals who caused the Church crisis now pose as experts on its solution.


Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, whom a jury in Stockton concluded in the late 1990s was a lying, pedophile-protecting bishop, is now the go-to reformer for the fashionable media. The media gobble up every red herring that falls from his cloak, never bothering to ask him why anyone should take him seriously after his own history of shocking negligence

The Vatican stopped by my website again last night.

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