Not many bishops can drag their whole diocese with them when they get indicted for failing to report information about a priest predator to the authorities. Sadly, many people are neither surprised nor saddened that Bishop Robert Finn has brought the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese -- the institutional apparatus not the people who are really the Church -- down this rabbit hole of ignominy with him for failing to act about a priest with a computer filled with child pornography.
Bulletins from the Human Side
They would never have thought about themselves in this way. In fact, they didn't think much about themselves at all. That is what made them both great and good at the same time, a combination that is elusive in what we might call the Age of the Drone that refers not to silent airborne weapons that blow people up suddenly, but to the grating windblown political pundits who bore people to death slowly.
Nobody would ever accuse the so-called Reform of the Reform of a lack of transparency. You can see right through its almost weekly moves to return Catholicism to the Eden of church life that they perceive on the far side of Vatican II.
Liturgical seasons, such as Lent and Advent, are meant to open us less to articles of the creed and more to the essential character of religion, the experience of Mystery.
That's not the Hercule Poirot small letter mystery with everybody grouped as if for a family photograph as the Belgian detective neatly answers the questions about and explains a death in which everyone is a suspect.
New York's Mayor Bloomberg has proven himself the Cirque de Soleil gymnast of political correctness by banning, on grounds of vague and affected nobility, the presence of any members of the clergy on the tenth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Towers. Has the Mayor asked New Yorkers whether they want members of the clergy present on the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks?
The sex abuse crisis among priests and other church personnel has now exploded like napalm across the entire Catholic world. New revelations tell an old story almost every day: that of the suffering of its victims, often in secret and compounded by ecclesiastical ineptitude, inattention, or moral insolvency.
The Reformers of the Reform resemble those who restore and sell antique cars. They labor strenuously to polish up once sleek models out of the '20s and flog them confidently as the next big thing in Catholic life.
It is hard not to believe that Pope Benedict XVI has either a richly cultivated sense of irony or a finely honed capacity, as the saying goes, “to put people on.” What else would explain his advice to Sicilians on his one day visit to that island last autumn? Catholic Culture reports that he urged Sicilians “to be saints” and then, in almost the same breath, offered a quick, sure passage to Heaven by telling them to “reject the Mafia.”
The lack of a sense of humor in the self-designated Reformers of the Reform is matched only by their lack of a sense of irony. Otherwise, they would have noticed the squealing dissonance between their assertions for their new/old translation of liturgical texts and the words of Jesus in the Gospel reading for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Part Two of Two
The first common characteristic of set-decorators is their affinity for surfaces. Professing commitment to the depths of the faith, they are obsessed with rustling cassocks, billowing capes, sounding bells and bows, the stuff, in short, with which they can redecorate the set of hierarchical Catholicism. If they build it, these clerics believe, the people will come.