|This is a prophetic sign as the hierarchy is at the end of it's ability to drain off the clerical abuse crisis.|
There is so much information flooding out from the Catholic world on so many different topics and events, it's pretty hard to keep up with the flow. Just in the last two weeks we have endured:
1) The USCCB call for their crusade in favor of their definition of religious freedom, which is really an overt attack on the Obama administration.
2) Bishop Jenky of Peoria give a sermon on socialism, fascism, Hitler and Stalin and how somehow President Obama 'could' belong in the same company.
3) A Holy Thursday homily from Pope Benedict directly criticizing the Austrian priests for doctrinal dissent on priestly discipline, including the ordination of women.
4) News reports out of Ireland about the silencing of at three priest/theologians, and information there are more who wish to remain anonymous in order to avoid further discipline including loss of priestly faculties.
5) The announcement of yet another government investigation of an Archdiocese, this time it's Melbourne in Australia, and this time it was triggered by the horrific number of suicides linked to abusing priests.
6) The on going abuse trial in Philadelphia in which testimony from three different witnesses has implicated Bishop Bransfield of Wheeling, West VA as an abuser---charges Bransfield, who is in Rome with the group of millionaires known as the Catholic Foundation, has denied. Additional testimony has revealed a three year relationship of some sort between Cardinal Bevilaqua and a woman known around the Chancellery as 'Fatal Attraction'.
7) Another request from Bishop Finn's attorneys for SNAP documents coupled with the decision from the judge in Finn's case that he continue to trial.
8) An attempt by a group of Gonzaga alumni to rescind Gonzaga's invitation to Archbishop Tutu to serve as their commencement speaker and receive an honorary degree because Tutu espouses 'culture war' positions at odds with Catholic teaching.
9) The pending complete rehabilitation and reconciliation with SSPX.
10) The results of the CDF investigation of the LCWR and the implementation of an oversite group of three bishops.
This is a lot of stories to keep up with and it's overwhelming in it's sheer volume for such a short time. There are trends in all these stories. For one the priest abuse crisis is far from over. As more and more information from Philadelphia comes out the more incredulous I am with the perversity with in the Archdiocese. One sub trend in this testimony is that predators were protecting themselves by threatening black mail against other sexually active priests up to and possibly including Cardinal Bevilaqua. Which makes me wonder just what is the basis of the 'loyalty' so important to the Vatican in it's promotion of bishops. Why is it so important that SNAP be silenced? I'm seriously beginning to wonder if it isn't because too many dots will get connected if SNAP collects too much information from intentionally isolated survivors.
Another trend is the universal and very quick condemnation of any discussion which threatens the existence of the current male celibate priesthood. Which again, makes me wonder just why it's so important that we not change this system and open it up to at least married men and a female diaconate. Could it be that the actual version of 'loyalty' this system operates on can't be sustained with married men and women because it has nothing to do with loyalty to Jesus or the Church itself?
Finally, there is the LCWR investigation and it's outcome. It's pretty obvious the CDF, but especially the USCCB, somewhat suddenly does not dare trust the LCWR to be left to it's own devices. One reason I wonder why that is because I am well aware the current head of the CDF was a long time leading member of the USCCB. Cardinal Levada himself does not having a shining record when it comes to clergy abuse. What do those LCWR sisters, who are after all, out and about in parishes and other Catholic activities, possibly know about the real comings and goings and doings and not doings of members of the USCCB? Perhaps it is a great deal too much for their own good.
I wrote last week the flood is coming for the clerical system. This week points to some serious cracks in the foundation. It won't be long before the whole clerical edifice is swept away and I imagine the Church will survive this specific flood. After all, Jesus did say something about the gates of hell not prevailing against the Church and the clerical system is far from the entirety of the Church--no matter what they think about themselves.