Monday, March 4, 2013

The First Reform Is To End The Corruption And The Hypocrisy

Maybe if Lucifer had thrown in a helicopter and a vacation castle Jesus would have given in.


I might be experiencing information overload when it comes to the Vatican and the upcoming Conclave.  I'm finding it difficult to even put coherent thoughts together on what I truly would like to see from the next Pope.  I think part of my problem has to do with what I am currently seeing from the Cardinals, most of which I absolutely do not want to see carried forward.

First off is the prominent place of Angelo Sodano as Dean of the College of Cardinals.  It is incomprehensible to me that this man is anywhere near this conclave.  I still have no idea why Pope Benedict didn't retire him the exact same way he 'retired' Sodano's pet project Marcial Maciel.  In the last 10 years Sodano has brought more controversy to the Vatican than he has competence and so in typical Vatican fashion he is given a prominent place in the selection of the next Pope.  Italian papers are floating the story that he and his old time Secretary of State cronies are proposing Cardinal Shero of Brazil for the papacy with Cardinal Sandri who is technically from Argentina but really from the Vatican City States or the Italian Cardinal Piacenza as Secretary of State.  This would be a combination of Ratzinger II and Sodano II, but it would give the South the papacy.  And yet as far as Sodano and company are concerned the real power is in the Vatican State Department, and that would be kept safely in the hands of the old guard.  Sodano is not a dummy.  He doesn't care about the papacy, he cares about the power inherent in the Office of the Secretary of State.  That's where the big boys play and Sodano got to play very big games under JPII.  As JPII's health incapacitated him, Sodano got to play big games with very little supervision, and that included  no supervision for the Vatican Bank.  On this score, I pray the other Cardinals have had enough of Sodano and his ego and his games.

Another thing I do not want to see is anymore preference for 'the new movements' like Opus Dei, Communion and Liberation, Focolare, or the Neo Catechumenate.  Elitist Catholicism is an oxymoron and a very real danger to the Church.  That was another lesson Cardinals should have taken from the Legion of Christ mess, but the lesson they have taken seems to be the more money and priests a movement generates the more Catholic it is.  They may be more Catholic, but they are not more Christlike---which I thought was supposed to be the end goal of the Catholic spiritual quest.  Perhaps I misunderstood something along the way.  OD is right where it wants to be with AB Ganswein the slated doorkeeper for the new pope.  That has got to change.  Global Catholicism does not need Opus Dei, more of a parallel church than anything, becoming the source of power in the main Church.  I'm sure lots of other organizations that trade in secrecy and fascism would prefer the OD influence stay right where it is, but I do not.

I do not want to see Catholic teaching used a bartering chip for political preference, right, left or center. Just as I do not want to see collegiality reduced to a loyalty oath, or Catholic spirituality used to marginalize whole groups of people. I do not want to see the CDF turn itself into Big Brother so Catholicism becomes nothing more than corporate group think with an imprimatur.  I do not want to see Catholic Identity promoted like Catholicism is nothing more than a commodity like Coca Cola or the New York Yankees.  Finally, I do not want to see regimented Catholic ritual substituted for the hard work of bringing the Kingdom to Earth.  I do not want to see anymore clerical abuse scandals and that will continue to happen if the clerical culture isn't completely reworked and that absolutely means Catholic sexual morality must be reconfigured on the basis of 'right relationship' and not biological procreation.

I have only one thing I do want the Cardinal electors to reflect on.  That would be the temptations in the desert.  I want them to think very deeply about this story and then ask themselves if they truly reflect the world view Jesus was trying to teach because it's very hard for me to see this world view when Emeritus Pope Benedict takes a helicopter on a 10 mile flight to the papal vacation castle. Like a lot of other things about Catholicism juxtaposed against the actual teachings of Jesus,  it just doesn't compute.

34 comments:

  1. Thanks Colleen for your analysis and overview of the situation in the Church today.


    The helicopter ride included a ride over the Roman Coliseum in which many Christians were thrown to the lions. Has EPBXVI thrown the Christians in the Catholic Church again to the lions of Opus Dei? The lions to me represent the one's you've mentioned here. If the Church's Cardinals go anymore in that direction, the only explanation would be their bargain with the devil.


    I do wish that the Cardinals would read Job, the Psalms, the Gospels, instead of acting like CEO's to a business that wants to run and ruin Christ's message with the exact reverse message that is truly abominable before the Lord and a delight to the devilish. I wish they would get serious about real Faith and give power and glory to God.

    ReplyDelete
  2. And glad to see you still have a sense of humor with the picture caption at the top of the page! LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Colleen, I think that stuff about Abp. Ganswein being the door keeper for the new guy is an exercise in blowing smoke. Unless---and it can’t be ruled out---they’re all truly mad and are moving into a psychotic, boundary-less state. With you, I want the Cardinals to do some honest reflection. Whoever they elect, I think there’s more trouble ahead before things start to settle; these guys haven’t been honest in years---they have a long way to go.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I admire you very much for having the stomach to spend time with the Vatican madness right now. This institution needs a complete overhaul, a major opening of its heart and mind toward the whole world and at the moment I cannot imagine being able to do so. Bravo for hanging in there.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Don't think we will see much honesty or much positive from this conclave. It probably will be good ole boys at play and play they will. It all stinks.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Cri de cour. I try to remember what Dorothy Day said, "the Church is a whore, but she is our mother."

    ReplyDelete
  7. Everything is beautiful in your statement, Colleen, but especially this: "Elitist Catholicism is an oxymoron and a very real danger to the Church."


    Yes!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I like your thoughts very much, Colleen. Your bottom line being the need to return to what is most basic to the teaching and the behavior of Jesus. As a Messiah, he totally contradicted Jewish expectations of what Messiah meant. The Jews of his time assumed a worldly Messiah, who would restore the glory of a Jewish Kingdom - on earth. Instead, Jesus taught that those who seek to place themselves "over" others, those who seek worldly glory (of whatever type), were not trustworthy. Instead, and actually we see this in the Hebrew Testament as well, the last, the inferior, the least likely - were - God's chosen ones.

    So I'd follow up your thoughts with a strong exhortation that the cardinals choose a pope who is not among THEM. Choose instead someone who has thought deeply about ecclesiology from a truly biblical point of view. From the view of Eucharist as a celebration of The People of God - as the already Consecrated Body of Christ - by virtue of Baptism. And I'd follow that up by the cardinals dissolving themselves immediately - by mass resignation. Short of these things, to my mind, no real reform is possible.

    Pie in the Sky? Yup!



    I don't look to the cardinal to do the right thing. They've risen up for all the wrong reasons, all too many of them. They are tainted. They've been sycophants all too many of them. Those with any credibility would be happy to follow your ideas, Colleen. And perhaps mine. I long ago lost faith in the hierarchy. Going back nearly 50 years.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Contemplative CatholicMarch 5, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Thank you so much for these thoughts. My catholic antennae have been picking up so much 'white noise' that it's been a struggle to make any sense of my thoughts. You've encapsulated exactly how I feel ! thanks Coleen ! Nick

    ReplyDelete
  10. From your mouth to God's ears, especially the part about the need to disengage Opus Dei, Legion of Christ, Focolare, Neocatechumenate Way, and Communion and Liberation and the other elitist groups. We don't need more fascism in the church.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Does anyone get the feeling that watching the Conclave unfold is like viewing Downton Abbey? Elaborate stage settings, complex scripts and the marvelous costumes! The actors say their lines perfectly, nobody goes out of character, or rarely...the Cardinal O'Brien event was clearly off script, and treated that way, "we don't want to talk about that anymore." People inside and out love it. Even the media are invested in the "series," whole lives built around the basic characters, heroes and villains...How is it possible to even imagine substantive change coming from this production? I wish I could imagine it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I sure can see it as exactly this with one very important difference. I watch Downton Abbey and find engaging albeit escapist entertainment. I watch what little of the Conclave unfold I allow myself and find a certain amount of despair. We as a people are so much better than this and the Faith is infinitely better. Why does it seem so impossible for that improvement to be reflected in the character of the leaders 'electing' the new pope?

    ReplyDelete
  13. My daughter said the same thing the other night. Only she thinks the Vatican should employ the script writers for Downtown Abbey and maybe the plot lines would improve.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Kathy, Sodano must know too much because that's got to be the only reason he is still around.

    ReplyDelete
  15. White noise is a good description. I really did try to think about what I wanted and realized what I really wanted was change in what I didn't want.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I guess we'll see. I personally real reform would necessitate moving the spiritual center out of Rome and ending the Holy See or turning the whole mess over to the laity. How many priests are wasted in jobs laity could do? I bet there's close to 800. Declericalizing the curia would free up lots of priests and put a major damper on careerism.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks Bill. I really do believe the elitist Catholics have done a great deal of damage to Catholicism in the first world. I never have understood why they have the burning need to turn the entire Church into their particular brand of Catholic expression. Besides, if they ever managed to do that they couldn't be elite in their own minds.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Yes, but we still have the right to ask our mother to clean her act up--before she gets too old and decrepit to do it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. To be honest Claire, I had a very powerful vision back right before the abuse crisis exploded in which I was shown a great deal of the corruption infesting the Vatican and how that impacted the collective spiritual health of Catholicism. That vision has fueled a great deal of what I deal with on the blog. I have spent the intervening years doing a lot of research.

    The corruption has many tentacles but it makes the incredibly beautiful Catholic collective energy look like marbled icecream. In other words it taints everything it touches because it's source is in the hierarchy and the clerical system. Cleaning it up is going to be very tough. It is doable, but it's going to take a collective desire to see it done on the part of the laity. As T'pel says below, the collective Church is far better than our leadership.



    I have watched things unfold utterly fascinated as one thread after another is exposed. There is more yet to come, and yet, it's been mind blowing to see how much really has been exposed in just the last decade--and especially recently.

    ReplyDelete
  20. So far that's certainly true Dennis.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Ganswein is still slated to be the Prefect of the Papal Household with the authority to determine who sees the Pope in consultation with the Secretary of State. He has got to go.

    ReplyDelete
  22. If I can't laugh about this I'll just get way too depressed.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I truly wish some of them would grow up.

    ReplyDelete
  24. "We as a people are so much better than this and the Faith is infinitely
    better. Why does it seem so impossible for that improvement to be
    reflected in the character of the leaders 'electing' the new pope?"


    Really powerful truth here Veronica. Why is this I wonder?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Colleen, You may want to look at what the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland have printed about the reason for Ratzies resignation. It makes some sense but only some.

    http://www.associationofcatholicpriests.ie/2013/03/gay-sex-rings-the-filth-corrupting-the-vatican-and-why-the-pope-really-quit/

    ReplyDelete
  26. I had read the Cornwell article over the weekend. There are certain things I agree are possible. Benedict's resignation automatically meant everyone else in the curia had to hand in their resignations. This does leave room for maneuvering for the next pope.


    I think Benedict is really sick and just ran out of gas. He's lost quite a bit of weight which you can really see in side by side photos of his face from when he was elected and now. I guess the one reason I don't really buy the 'sacrificial pope' story is that he had eight years to rid the Church of Sodano and didn't do it, and now Sodano is running the show. I also thought Dr McHugh's comment was really on target. Benedict's legacy is not pretty and truly hurt many many people. This was a conflicted man who never did seem to figure himself out. He hid his self ignorance behind his intellect, and did no one any favors. Even the trads were in the end very disappointed.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I've been trying to figure out if the failing is on my part or that of those leaders. Given the complete lack of transparency in the hierarchy... I'm falling back on the old adage about power and corruption. In the time between Benedict's announcement and his actual retirement, I kept hoping for a sign of good faith on his part in his releasing the report he'd gotten on the investigation. Since he did not release the report, I'm hoping the new pope [whomever that turns out to be] does. At the same time I'm trying to not put the Holy Spirit to the test in the matter. For all I know the report is an empty one. High state of spiritual tension within me over this.
    Veronica

    ReplyDelete
  28. Yes, the McHugh comment shows that you can only fool some of the people some of the time! McHugh live in reality, not sure Cornwell showed he does in his article, but the amazing thing is that the RCC and the new Pope are forced to face up to an ugly truth that they are responsible for. Because of the terrible things that this leadership has done and continues to do, no thinking Catholic can believe a word it say. dennis

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thank you for the analysis of the developing Conclave process. I read Joan Chittister's post on the NCR blog also today. What it makes me think is that the Vatican and hierarchy are moving ever faster towards an irrelevancy in the world of faith. The conclave and the next pope seemed headed towards a slow motion self decapitation of the absolutist monarchical structure, and the real leadership and service is being done by regular people, primarily lay people (mostly women) who do the day to day work of service to the parishes and to the poor. Alternative communities of worship and spiritual practice are emerging where persons with spiritual maturity are taking responsibility for their spiritual life and not handing it over to these incompetent and misguided hieararchs in red suits.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Colleen - just found this very interesting comment of yours in your December post on Richard Sipes (also in the comments section). Talk about being prescient! I've just referred to your posting at Gay Mystic.

    I don't think he will retire either, but you never know. There is precedent. If such a thing should happen, it would only be because he knew beforehand who his successor would be.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Super quick comment: Opus dei and the like aren't just elitest. They are actually Gnostic movements. I need to ponder this one but I think I'm right.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I can probably make something of a case for a certain form of gnositicism. I can easily make a case that some of them act as if they are the Catholic version of the Illuminati. Come to think of it, that would be gnostic.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Me too, very high state, and I know better, that it's a kind of a trap. It's just so hard to ignore the fact I know this Church is going to implode in the first world if it's just more of the same.

    ReplyDelete