The Archdiocese of Los Angeles appears to be in the process of black balling Fr. Geoffrey Farrow. See this article from Bilerico and the subsequent posting from Fr. Geoff on his own blog.
I wish I could say this surprises me. It doesn't though because I have repeatedly seen this kind of blackballing in effect in Catholic dioceses and colleges and parishes. It happens with impunity. Fr. Geoff's situation is somewhat different in that this time it didn't involve just the usual character assassination, it also involved a form of financial black mail. I guess the Archdiocese of Los Angeles hasn't had enough of swimming in the swamp of borderline criminal behavior.
Speaking of borderline criminal behavior, maybe it isn't all borderline. It seems the Feds are investigating the archdiocese. Could this be a prelude to bringing RICO charges? That could prove very costly and embarassing for the Archdiocese. What a shame.
I can see it now, Cardinal Mahoney will get a transfer to Rome right before he has to testify. Vatican State diplomatic immunity does have it uses. Cardinals seem to be immune from blackballing, unlike lowly diocesan priests, but it's all about Jesus don't we know.
My second tale of a priest involves Fr. Peter Kennedy of South Brisbane's St. Mary's parish. This is the parish which is being 'evaluated' prior to the soon to come formal announcement that it is no longer in communion with the Roman Catholic Church. St Mary's will have self excommunicated and brought the sanctions on itself. This link is to a podcast Fr. Kennedy did with ABC Brisbane. It's about 45 minutes long and really entertaining. It will make you burst out laughing and maybe shed a tear or two. Fr. Kennedy, like Fr. Farrow, does not come across as some sort of left wing fanatic. He comes across like a compassionate thinking man. A real Jesus priest.
In the interview he mentions the group of 'traditionalists' who came into the parish with video tape equipment and then went to the Vatican with their evidence. Fr. Kennedy doesn't say so, but it's common knowledge in Australia that the ring leader actually flew to the Vatican with his 'evidence', and essentially put a Vatican gun to the head of Archbishop Bathersby of Brisbane. Which I guess goes to prove when you are traditional and have money you will find comfort in the Vatican.
It's worked for Tom Monaghan. Tom now has one of the board of directors of his very own Ave Maria University as the Archbishop of Detroit. Archbishop Vigneron was one of the most outspoken of California Catholic bishops with regards to Prop 8. I imagine that Bishop Tom Gumbleton will be hearing from Archbishop Vigneron in the very near future. This Vatican appointment is another positive message to traditionalists and conservatives. Detroiters better brush up on their Latin.
It does seem as if Benedict is hell bent on leaving us with a much leaner and certainly meaner Church. I wonder when enough will be enough. Probably when Vatican II is only so much dust in the traditional wind and that wind blows through a lot more empty churches.