Tuesday, September 29, 2009

You've Got To Be Kidding Me!

I imagine there are any number of bishops in the USCCB who would be more than willing to transfer the donations of their laity to Cardinal Rode in order to gain access to this kind of wardrobe.

When I came across this article on the National Catholic Reporter website, my jaw dropped. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

Vatican asks U.S. bishops to fund $1.1 million sisters study
Cardinal Rodé asks bishops to send money directly to his congregation
By Thomas C. Fox NCR 9/28/09

The projected cost of a three-year study of U.S. women religious congregations is $1.1 million and Rome has asked the U.S. bishops to provide funds to offset these expenses, according to a letter by Slovenian Cardinal Franc Rodé, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and obtained by NCR.

“We have a projected budget of $1,100,000 for the three years which the total work of the apostolic visitations will require,” Rodé wrote in a July 14 letter. “I am asking you, my brother bishops, for your help in offsetting the expenses which will be incurred by this work for the future of apostolic religious life in the United States.”

Since the Vatican announced the study last December, it has never publicly stated how much it estimates the comprehensive inquiry will cost or who will pay for it. A Vatican document sent to the heads of U.S. women’s congregations last summer suggested that those chosen for on-site visitations defray costs by paying for and hosting visitation teams, “and, if at all possible, transportation costs related to the visit.”

Read the full Rode letter here.

In an interview last July with Catholic News Service, Mother Mary Clare Millea, superior general of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, chosen by Rodé to be apostolic visitator and head of the investigation, declined to discuss costs or funding. However, Millea told CNS that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops would not be funding the effort. (So much for the credibility of Mother Millea.)

“Anyone who has contributed has not wanted their name to be publicized,” she said. “The [Vatican] congregation is conducting the visitation so they're ultimately responsible for financing it,” she said. “We have a project that is going to last three years. We are welcoming the support of individual dioceses, individuals or groups who would be willing to help defray the expenses.” (I've always wondered if the identity of those who did not wish to be identified were Opus Dei and the Legion.)

Rodé’s July letter came in the form of a general appeal to U.S. bishops. It was addressed: “Your Eminence/Your Excellency” and began with an explanation: “My dear brother bishops in the United States, as you are aware, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, in an audience on Nov. 17, 2008, authorized an apostolic visitation of the principal institutes of apostolic women religious in the United States.”

His letter went on to say, “We count on your support in this effort to:
“look into the quality of the life of apostolic women religious in the United States
“learn more about the varied and unique ways in which apostolic women religious contribute to the welfare of the church and society
“assist the church to strengthen, enhance and support the growth of the apostolic congregations to which approximately 59,000 women religious in the United States belong.”

The letter said, “May I suggest that the donations you wish to make be sent to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, 00120 Vatican City State, Europe. Please specify that it is to be used for the ‘Apostolic Visitation of Institutes of Women Religious in the United States.’ ”.......... (Complete article can be read here.)


Needless to say the comments after the article are not supportive of Cardinal Rode's concept of how his Congregation will come up with the ability to finance their own investigation.

Here's one I especially liked:

"I call for the laity of the Catholic Church to conduct an investigation of hierarchy of the Church of Rome. Due to the declining numbers of Catholics attending Holy Sunday Mass, the increase of law suits from sex abuse cases involving Catholic priests and the depletion Church funds to cover such law suits, it is advised that the Lay branch of the Church conduct a study to
a) •“look into the quality of the life of clerics in the Church
b) •“learn more about the varied and unique ways in which clerics have impacted the life and function of the Church in ministering to the faithful
c) •“assist the church to strengthen, enhance and support the growth of the clerics which seem to be in a state of serious decline in Church within the United States.
Seems appropriate to me."

And then it was followed by this gem:

"And I third it!! Let's send a letter to the bishops asking them to fund it!"

I think my favorite was this one:

"We plan to hang you. Please supply rope."

As of my writing this piece, the comments have been updated and the trads have hit the board in force. ( love the internet.) The trads are not addressing the obvious problem Cardinal Rode has in starting an investigation with out funding, they are instead blaming American bishops for allowing the LCWR to become goddess worshipping new age pagans. Therefor the bishops should fund the study. This completely ignores the fact the bishops funds come from the laity and not their own pockets. I can't see where there is much accountability inusing other people's money to pay for your mistakes, but it seems to make sense for the trads. Maybe the trads are used to this because it's exactly how the bishops have paid for the sexual abuse crisis.

I suspect Cardinal Rode will find his money the way he always finds money. He will accept 'gifts' from the Legion, the Knights of Columbus, the Legatus crowd, Opus Dei, and the other right wing cults which seem to run the Vatican. I imagine the Legion in particular will cross his palm with much silver in order to secure their own favorable outcome with their own investigation. Perhaps as one wag commented, the LCWR should send Rode a Mercedes, a bunch of frequent flyer miles, and a thousand dollar ham.

What I find more interesting is the timing of the release of Cardinal Rode's letter. Pope Benedict is in the midst of a pastoral trip to Czechoslovakia and some person in some diocesan chancery leaks this bombshell of a letter. Nothing like keeping a spot light on the real truth of the Vatican, which is not really about pastoral outreach to secular atheists or agnostic European liberals. It's about maintaining access to centers of power. I wonder how much the Vatican 'owed' to the K of C that their erstwhile Republican Catholic leader is now on the board of directors of the Vatican Bank.

It's becoming more and more apparent that this LCWR investigation is all about who has influence and power in the Vatican and just how secure those interests feel that they can be this blatant about exercising that power. Pretty freakin' blatant.

On the other hand, the silent majority really is finding their voice. It's probably only fitting that the issue which is motivating that voice centers on the very sisters who were so instrumental in raising that majority in the Catholic faith. Pope Benedict may very well be the Pope on whose watch the Church once again fractures because of the corruption with in the hierarchy. No amount of papal perfume concerning positive evangelization can mask the stench coming from the Vatican curia. So be it.

And now for a personal note. I will be attending a Navajo ceremony for the rest of this week, and so this blog will not be updated until Monday, October 4. Until then blessings on all of you.


  1. October 4 - the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. I look forward to your return. Happy trails Colleen!!!

  2. It is outrageous, and it deserves to be widely reported. I hope all of the American faithful are informed that their donations are going to be spent on this.

    I suggested in a comment on that article that they should have a special collection at Masses specifically for this cause. Only the detractors of American women religious think this investigation is necessary, so let them pay for it.

  3. It is outrageous PrickliestPear. When I look at the picture with the Roman Catholic prince in his long red robe I believe it is even more outrageous, especially when they have the money for their expensive lifestyle. Money should go to the poor and hungry. I no longer give directly to the Church, but give to the poor. I've halted all donations that might go to Rome and their selfish purposes.

    I think that the Bishops need to put an end to this type of Pharisaism from the Vatican and peacefully protest this this sort of thing by not having any donations go for this ill-conceived project against the Sisters.

    word verification is unflo, as in unflo of money to these princes.

  4. Hahahaha. We're starting a trend here with these photos! Hilarious.

  5. p.s. I should have added that the article is not funny at all, a very sharp, clear expose of muddy muck at the top! Stop the donations, please.

  6. butterfly,

    Most bishops will do exactly as they're told. That's how they became bishops.

    With regard to their expensive lifestyles, I think maybe it's time the RCC took a page from the Orthodox Church, and started promoting only monks who have taken a vow of poverty to the rank of bishop. We would see a very sharp decline in the careerism in the hierarchy very quickly.

    (Of course it won't happen.)

  7. One can always count on the Vatican lackeys to put on one good drag show!

    Not one red cent for frou-frou. If I want to see dressup I will go to the Castro Street Fair before paying for dried up old men to pretend that they are pretty (which they ain't).

    Jim McCrea

  8. To add insult to injury, Rohde is a member of the Congregation of the Mission, the Vincentian Fathers, followers of Vincent de Paul.
    Also, the founder of the Daughters of Charity - largest sister order in the world.
    Their work is missionary, parish mission, and seminary training.
    So, what brought Rohde to this point in his life? Pretty far afield for a Vincentian.

  9. PrikliestPear, I like your idea for them to "start promoting only monks who have taken a vow of poverty to the rank of bishop. We would see a very sharp decline in the careerism in the hierarchy very quickly."

    These careerist in the Church are really no different than CEO's of large corporations. They will work to put anyone out of business who might infringe on their princely lifestyle.

    Jim, I agree, a drag show. The priests accompanying this AB look like Count Dracula's little helpers and notice the other one holding the other red had for the prince, his little drag dress-up mates. These guys are pathetic and a disgrace & do not in any way shape or form represent Jesus Christ. What a sham. Holy and devout to God my a_s.

  10. Holy cow, I haven't heard the term frou frou in ages, but it is sooo apropos.

    I too wonder how Rode, as a Vincentian has reached the point where he swathes himself in yards of red silk and drives a Mazerati. Perhaps he has secretly become a Legionare.

    Butterfly, I suspect it's not an accident that I leave on Michaelmas day and return of the Feast of St. Francis.

  11. Us old geezers know frou-frou and have used the terms since you young whippersnappers were pups and puppettes!

    Jim the Geezer

  12. What a wonderful picture. It says it all. I like the little fellow, I presume it's a fellow, standing to the left and almost out of the picture, who gets to hold the cardinal's official red hat.

    Keep on the money trail!

  13. Geezer dude, whoa man, what's up with the antique lingo? You been tweetin' with the Cardinal?

  14. Francis of Assisi stripped himself to poverty for the love of Jesus - and this overfed pompous snot wants to persecute women religious who work with the poor, after the example of Francis & his Master, the Lord Jesus.

    1. the little boy in me wants to step on the 'train' of his robe as the Cardinal is walking....just for fun:)

    2. The Vatican - the wealthiest single entity on earth wants the laity of the US, which has entered a major economic depression - to pay for this nonsense?

    ...there are many four letter words which come to mind.....!

    3. Indeed, this is a Pogram...a Putsch organized by the clawed hand of Opus Dei & their many ancillaries, to punish women religious for daring to think for themselves.

    ...and in many cases, for daring to actually LIVE the Gospel. Not live off of it, as the hierarchy does!

    4. I hear not one iota about helping the increasing ranks of the poor in the US...from the Vatican or the calorie laden bishops.

    The greatest irony is this:

    While I do not personally agree with some of the uber radical liberal stances which SOME US female religious have taken, there is one overriding thing which I must say....which I must credit them with:

    Working with & for the poor, elderly, disabled, imprisoned, lonely & disaffected. Being Christ to those whom they help.

    ...in other words, the work which "Father" is never around to do, as he is:...out....on the phone.....busy.....at lunch.....in a meeting...on (perpetual) vacation......ditto for the bishops.