The 9 Stages of Irrelevance

If you haven’t figured it out, there are many in the Church hierarchy who are hoping you completely lost your memory of the last few decades, let alone 2018. It’s like they hope we’ll totally forget what’s been going on if they just keep telling us to just wait a little longer on that reform they promised us. Sometimes I think it’s because they don’t have children (well, none that we know about) and don’t understand that, when parents are trying to protect their children, our memories are pretty hard to erase.

I know many of you are going to tell me that the abuse has been going on for decades longer, and I don’t disagree, but really, 2002 was the biggest coordinated media-focused effort where we were told that the Church would move hell and high water to make sure the abuse stopped. Meh, not so much.

2018? That was the year the mainstream media, law enforcement, and legal organizations decided that they were no longer going to ignore what was going on. For some, it was just too good of a story. Heck, even Hollywood decided not to ignore it. For others, it was a payday for their law firm. I’m going to assume law enforcement just wanted to protect and serve. Those of us faithful Catholics who have been diligently saying “It’s still happening!” finally had allies, albeit strange allies. The enemy of my enemy and all.

Let’s start with early 2018. In February, news broke that the Vatican, from the Pope on down, had ignored the abuse of children at a deaf school. Then came the scandal in Chile where the Pope actually said that those accusing the bishop there were spreading calumny. Then in America the McCarrick abuse came to media light (although soooooo many knew long before it hit the mainstream media, including the Vatican). Then there was the scandal in the Honduran seminary which was attempting to be turned into a gay brothel. Geez. (The head of that archdiocese is Cardinal Maradiaga – papal buddy and appointee to the C9). Oh, and Cardinal Maradiaga was also investigated in 2017 and accused of financial mismanagement by the papal envoy. Let’s see, where is he now? Still working at the Vatican. He also accused the 50 Honduran seminarians as “gossipers.” And then came all the grand juries and investigations in other countries, such as Germany. And let’s not forget Archbishop Vigano.

The pattern that emerged last year was

1) accusation

2) denial

3) blame the accusers,

4) “Oh! Uh, yeah. It happened. We just didn’t know!” (even though everyone knew), 5) “Oh, we’ll fix what we said was already fixed!” 

6) “The laity must get involved!”

7) “We’re going to ignore the laity!”

8) “You can’t do anything, we’re working on it!”, “Still working!” and finally

9) “It’s the laity’s fault and definitely, definitely, definitely not a problem with homosexual priests!”

Seriously, it’s a looonnnggg pattern, but one played out just like that in the U.S. Let me refresh your memory:

1) Victims quite clearly made accusations about McCarrick and to the police departments around the country for quite a while.

2) The McCarrick situation was totally ignored, and he was even given nice little awards here and there. While some dioceses took accusations seriously, some quite evidently ignored them. Again, McCarrick was a perfect example.

3) I think Archbishop Vigano is a perfect example of what happens when you step out of line and shed some light on the reality of the situation.

4) Cardinal Tobin is the perfect person cast in the “We knew nothing!” role. The guy lived with one of the biggest perpetrators, but yeah, he didn’t see a thing, along with Cardinal Cupich, Bishop McElroy, Cardinal Mahony, Cardinal Dolan, Cardinal Wuerl, etc., etc., etc.

5) The Vatican said they’d fix the problem in February. The USCCB tried to actually give it a go in October but were cut off at the knees by Cardinals Wuerl and Cupich thanks to the Vatican. The Vatican said “No trying to do anything until we have our grand meeting in February,” which then only became a meeting on half of the abuse problem (minors) and totally ignored the other half. They also haven’t uttered a peep on the USCCB’s proposals which they said would be dealt with. What were those? How to police the authority (bishops) and…

6 & 7) setting up lay oversight. Remember? That idea has been floated since 2002 but has never happened with any degree of credibility. Lay women have quit the Vatican “Papal Commission on the Protection of Minors” organization because nobody was listening, AND have we heard about that in any concrete terms at the “Meeting on the Protection of Minors?” Again, let’s not forget the USCCB was going to vote on a lay oversight committee until that was forbidden by the Vatican.

8) This laughable “Meeting on the Protection of Minors” kicked the can down the road even before they started downplaying all expectations that they would be able to do anything (not that we expected anything). We’ve ignored a HUGE chunk of the problem for decades! Why start now?

9) We are told that by liberal mouthpiece Massimo Faggioli, as seen here, that it’s all our fault due to “clericalism”. You, ladies and gentlemen, all need to apologize for the abuse crisis. You treated your priests with a little too much trust and reverence. And believe me, Massimo is not the only one to try and float this idea, just the latest.

https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/04/martins-twitter-manifesto/
Ninth, clericalism must die. The system that privileges the word and status of bishops and priests over those of lay people (and parents); that insists on an exaggerated deference for clergy and bishops, and that has functioned as a closed world, must be dismantled.

 

https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/27/its-your-fault-laity/
So, what is clericalism? Clericalism is an exaggeration of the role of the clergy to the detriment of the laity. In a culture of clericalism, clerics are put on a pedestal and the laity are overly deferential and submissive to them. Pope Francis notes that clericalism is not only fostered by priests, but also reinforced by lay people.

Just what is clericalism in the mind of Bishop Zinkula?

Perhaps a few examples of clericalism would be of assistance:

Coddling seminarians and telling them how special they are.

Insisting that priests or deacons go to the front of the line at meals and wakes because they are more important and busier than everyone else.

People telling me, when I am pondering an issue, “Whatever you want, Bishop.”

It all comes down to your fault, people, no matter how you slice it. If you show respect for your local priest, seminarian, or bishop, you might as well have abused the victims yourself. If you call out the abusive clergy, you are “The Great Accuser.” Just face it, fellow faithful, this “Meeting on the Protection of Minors & Blatant Ignoring of the Rest of the Victims” is going to give the Church ZERO help in fixing the problem. It’s all on you, and it’s definitely not going to be done by the national bishops’ conferences or the Vatican at this point. They have produced NOTHING that hasn’t already been chatted about before at the endless conferences and summits. This was a dog and pony show, but they seemed to forget that they should bring dogs and ponies. But it’s not about homosexuality. Sure. Not. At. All. In. The. Least.

So how is this going to get fixed now? This is going to be done bishop by bishop, diocese by diocese, and some of the good guys are going to be completely skewered for it. Hopefully, the good leaders will start to realize that “sly as the serpent, gentle as the dove” is going to have to be the new method of operation, and I’m hoping they will start some sort of coalition to protect the faithful. The American bishops had to sit on their hands for four months waiting for some scraps of food to be tossed their way. Apparently the master forgot about them. What are they going to do now? Their March meeting is coming fast. Are they just going to ignore the fact they were told to wait for instructions that never came? Or are they going to demand that the supposed canonical questions are ironed out and they can implement their ideas?

Think about it. The Church hasn’t even come up with a plan to stop one of the most heinous things going on in the world today. It’s not simply that they’ve failed to implement a plan. It’s that they don’t have one. I’m quite sure that some bishops and cardinals don’t want anyone to police them. Clearly that was the reason Cardinals Cupich, Wuerl, and their ilk worked so hard to make sure that didn’t happen and will continue to do so.

BTW, I’d like to thank the reporters who have heard the laity loud and clear when we asked repeatedly when homosexuality’s role in the abuse crisis would be dealt with. I hope they keep hammering them on this. The hierarchy will continually try to reframe the answer to a question not asked. The question isn’t “Did homosexuality make them do it?” The question is “What are we going to do with the knowledge that the overwhelming number of these cases involved homosexual activities by priests?” The answer is obvious to anyone who actually wants to stop abuse.

 

Program for Disaster!

Can we just look at the program for this increasingly obvious waste of time in Rome this week? http://www.pbc2019.org/meeting/program

The Protection of Minors in the Church

THURSDAY 21 FEBRUARY: RESPONSIBILITY

9.30        1st PRESENTATION by Sig. Card. Luis Antonio Tagle:

Smell of the sheep. Knowing their pain and healing their wounds is at the heart of the shepherd’s task

Thirty minutes of a talk we’ve heard before ad nauseum.  Stop trying to smell like sheep and maybe listen to them for a change. And I don’t mean your handpicked ones.

10.15   2nd PRESENTATION S.E. Mons. Charles Jude Scicluna:

Church as field hospital. Taking responsibility

Thirty minutes of another talk we’ve heard before.  I am intrigued by “taking responsibility” and cannot wait to hear who they are referring to here.  I’m afraid of what I might hear, though, because I think I’ve heard multiple times this week the laity is supposed to apologize for clericalism. 

11.20   Working Groups

Seventy minutes of working groups.

12.30   Conclusion

Followed by a three and a half hour break!  It’s probably needed to help them get over the confusion of why they’re there in the first place.

16.00   3rd PRESENTATION Sig. Card. Rubén Salazar Gómez:

The Church in a moment of crisis – Facing conflicts and tensions and acting decisively

Umm, I’m sure this isn’t THE biggest crisis the Church has faced, but “a moment of crisis?”  We’ve been talking about this for seventeen years by my count.  When is somebody going to to the “acting decisively” thing already?!?  I mean, we can’t even agree on what’s caused this, but that’s DEFINITELY not on the agenda for this meeting.

 16.45  Coffee break

Twenty minutes to get them through a bunch more themes they’ve heard before.

17.05   Working Groups

Fifty-five whole minutes this time!

FRIDAY 22 FEBRUARY: ACCOUNTABILITY

Try to control your laughter.

9.15      1st PRESENTATION Sig. Card. Oswald Gracias:

Collegiality: sent together

Thirty minutes because nobody’s ever heard a thing about collegiality.  Oh, wait…

10.00   2nd PRESENTATION Sig. Card. Blase Joseph Cupich:

Synodality: jointly responsible

Thirty minutes on synodality, which now apparently means everyone is responsible for the mess some have created.

10.45   Coffee break

Twenty minutes to once again try to endure until the end of the charade.

11.05   Working Groups

This one looks like a whopping eighty-five minutes to regurgitate the endlessly repeated themes.

 16.00  3rd PRESENTATION Dott.ssa Linda Ghisoni:

Communio: to work together

Thirty minutes to wonder what in the hell the last seventeen years was about.

17.05  Working Groups

Another fifty-five minutes to figure out how to explain this to their flock followed by presentation of it.

SATURDAY 23 FEBRUARY: TRANSPARENCY

It’s going to take me awhile to stop laughing at this title. Seriously, the Vatican has failed so miserably in this area and they’re now going to lead the charge? Okay. One word: Vigano.

9.15      1st PRESENTATION Sup. Gen. Sr. Veronica Openibo, SHCJ:

Openess: sent out into the world

Thirty minutes on heaven-knows-what, but I can tell there might be problems when you don’t even know how to spell it.  And, yes, I’m going there because how much money are we spending on the messaging? Homeschool moms say spelling counts!

10.00   2nd PRESENTATION Sig. Card. Reinhard Marx:

Transparency in a community of believers

Seriously?????? Somebody should have pointed him in the direction of cleaning up the mess in Germany before he attempted to tell the rest of the Church how to do it.

11.05     Working Groups

Eighty-five minutes to talk about how they got stuck with Cardinal Marx.

16.00  3rd PRESENTATION Dott.ssa Valentina Alazraki:

Communication: to all people

I hope it goes something like “Actions speak louder than words,” but I’m reasonably sure this isn’t going to be the message.  Talk is cheap and “communication” is even cheaper. It’ll probably have something to do with lists of accused which, apparently, they think is going to make us all feel better about the situation.

17.30   Penitential liturgy (Sala Regia)

Can you say photo-op?

So let’s review.  The heads of the bishops’ conferences got on a plane to Rome to hear four and a half hours of presentations followed by not even six hours of “working groups.” People! Some of those bishops took longer to travel there than that!  For heaven’s sake.  Synod on this, that, or the other thing goes on for weeks and THE biggest crisis in modern Church history gets about eleven hours of work time??? Un-be-lieve-able! And there’s nothing new we haven’t heard to death.  If the laity isn’t upset about this crud, there’s NO moving them.

So, sheep, field hospital, crisis, collegiality, synodality, openness (they can’t even spell that one in the program!), transparency, and communication. Holy Father, I think we heard you the first bazillion times you’ve used these themes.  Did we really need to waste everyone’s time flying them to Rome for more of the same led by the same old do-nothing people who believe in the status quo?

I am, however, totally happy that the USCCB proposal, which was quashed in October, was on the program. Just kidding. That’s been suspended without a word indefinitely.

I realize that this whole meeting is supposed to be some giant bone but it’s not going to do and we won’t let this die. We want the faithful protected.  We don’t want just a defrocked cardinal and a pat on the head. Fix the morality problem in the Church, bolster it with authentic Church teaching, and you just might get somewhere.  We know that’s the problem. It’s always been the problem when the Church has gone through crisis. Listen to the doctors of the Church and maybe just try what they said for a change.  What a novel thought!  Drop the politically correct hooey and get back to TRUTH! #CupichResignNow

Let the Scapegoating of the Faithful Begin!

Oh my gosh! Is this the messaging that’s going to come out of the “Meeting on the Protection of Minors?” Are they actually going to go with blame the victims?! This is insane. https://twitter.com/MassimoFaggioli/status/1097857305712967681

faggioli tweet
Massimo, what kind of drugs are you on??? “Unpopular opinion?!?” That’s the understatement of the year. You just said the Catholic laity should apologize for priests who can’t handle their vows and promises of celibacy and chastity. Un-flippin-believable. I would have thought you could just look around and think that the “She asked for it!” argument is kind of sorta disgusting, but I guess I should know better by now. You’ve got issues. For the guy who is supposed to be an expert in the “role of the laity,” you seem to think that the role of the laity is that we are supposed to be the scapegoat of the immoral clergy. Nice try.

You might want to run your tweets past your compadres first, because we’ve gone from “The laity should never be asked to do penance for the sins of others!” to “The laity is responsible for the sins of others!”

Your buddy, Fr. Martin, SJ, told us the former not long ago:

However, in this case, to imply that the laity, in any way, should perform any kinds of penances, including fasting, is simply wrong. The laity should not have to do one minute of penance for the crimes, sins and failings of the hierarchy and the clergy.  https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/17/fr-martin-dont-be-that-guy/

Let me help you both out. You’ve both got it totally wrong. This is in no way the fault of the faithful, and yes, we should be doing all of the fasting and penance we can to make up for those who aren’t doing it themselves. If you’re going to scapegoat the faithful on behalf of the depraved, you, Massimo, are part of the true problem.

On the Eve of Denial-palooza…

I’m going to kick off this little blog post with an apology to my friends around the world. On the eve of the “Meeting on the Protection of Minors” AKA “Denial-palooza,” I’d like to ask that you don’t hold us responsible for Cardinal Cupich. If you want to find blame, go with the Jesuits. They’re the ones that lobbied hard for him. The fact is, most of us don’t like him. In fact, we like very few of our American cardinals. We’ve been shafted as almost the entire slate of American cardinals has changed in the last 10 years. We’ve at least got Cardinal Burke somewhere in the world doing what he can, and I’ll be nice and say MAYBE the completely defeated Cardinal DiNardo. That’s about it, so I’m sorry you’re saddled with the guy who said climate change and migration were so much more important than protecting people from immoral abusing priests.

If you are one of the people around the world (or at the Vatican) who think we love and adore Cardinal Cupich, the dissenting Catholic media has succeeded in their propaganda. Let’s look at the reality of the lack of adoration for Cardinal Cupich. He sent out this tweet this morning. https://twitter.com/CardinalBCupich/status/1097935698290724864

cupichtweet
At this writing, we’re out about five hours now from this tweet dropping. There are forty-some-odd replies (they’re rolling in by the second), and all but one (somebody tagging their friend) were critical of him so far. (Please don’t email me with the great “A-ha!” after you post a glowing tribute to him.) I’m sure his Jesuit buddies will eventually ride in to rescue him, but just look at the first five hours. There were definitely no “Thank you for all your great work!” posts. “Resign!”, “Fraud!”, and “Repent!” were the consistent message.

Let me be clear, we American faithful don’t like Cardinal Cupich. We don’t trust him. We don’t want him to represent us. We don’t think he cares about the abused. Bottom line, he was the absolute wrong choice to lead any conference on immorality and abuse of priests. Why?For so many reasons but remember, just a few short months ago, Cardinal Cupich actually said that the Holy Father had more to worry about than the abuse crisis. Then he ordered his priests to read a letter saying that the news report was edited to make him look bad (apparently, he doesn’t realize raw footage is a thing) and then gathered all his priests and gagged them. We’re all guessing great penalties came attached to breaking that silence. He’s just a narcissistic, hideous man who will stop at nothing to protect his image. I’m not really sure why he still thinks he has one, outside of the usual morally liberal strongholds, but he does.

So, we American Catholics are suffering right along with you. Hopefully, somebody can find a clever way to break the Vatican cone of silence and then, maybe, we’ll get somebody decent running the next “Meeting on Whatever.”

#ResignNow