There's a number of interesting stories on the web today. Fr. Gerhard Maria Wagner has written a letter to the Vatican asking Benedict to withdraw his nomination as auxiliary bishop in Linz, Austria. Fr. Gerhard is the priest who thinks God creates natural disasters to punish cities for their sexual sins. Austrian Catholics were not happy about this appointment for a number of reasons. It seems the Diocese of Linz did not have Fr. Wagner's name on the short list they submitted to the Vatican and Austrian Catholicism is in the main more liberal than ultra conservative. The Vatican has accepted his resignation in the interests of Catholic unity.
Most Catholics are not inclined to see God punishing whole cities for the sins of the few. That went out with Sodom and Gomorrah, probably after God saw that wiping out whole cities for sex crimes led directly to drunken incest between a father and his daughters. Now that I think about it, these must have been the same girls Lot offered the crowd in place of the angels. No wonder the ladies had a warped attitude towards sex.
Fr. Kennedy of St Mary's Brisbane passed out after his last official Mass at St. Mary's. He seems to be a pretty sensitive man and it's not hard imagining the stress getting to him. Mixed emotions will do that to the strongest of people. St. Mary's response has vacillated back and forth with Fr. Kennedy deciding he would not lead a break away congregation, but would continue to attend St. Mary's as one of it's faithful. The archdiocese is promising to work towards healing.
The Australian Indigenous leaders who signed a treaty with St Mary's have their own concerns and are pressing ahead with legal complaints against the Archdiocese based on Indigenous customary law. By the way, in case one thinks this is grandstanding, I know of at least one similar legal argument that has worked for a band in the United States and they were able to retain their rights to their sacred and ancestral land. In the link above though, the concerns are about St. Mary's and Fr. Peter Kennedy honoring their obligations under the treaty.
I understand that the Archdiocese is the bigger concern for St. Mary's, but I also think it's indicative of either a failure to prioritize or a lack of understanding as to what they were about when they signed this treaty. I hope this issue is straightened out as well.
Finally the Vatican is finding itself in another opportunity to engage in a lose/lose situation.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is to have an audience with Benedict on Wednesday. The Vatican says they will treat this as a visit from a head of state as Pelosi is third in the presidential line.
Pro lifers are hoping Benedict will excommunicate her or dress her down in some way for her "pretention at reinterpreting Catholic moral and theological teaching." The trouble with this expectation is that the left would then expect the Vatican to excommunicate other fine upstanding self professed Catholic politicians like Mugabe or Berlusconi. Not a happening event.
I doubt the Vatican really wants to give any more press to Pelosi's "pretensions at reinterpreting Catholic moral and theological teachings." And I suspect the reason is because she made some real points about real inconsistencies in the history of Papal teachings regarding ensoulment and full personhood.