Friday, January 30, 2009

Tales Of Two Priests And Other Thoughts

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.


  1. Now, we can add "extortion" to the list of sins of the magisterial authorities. One more piece of evidence that proves that the Catholic Church aka the Magisterial Authorities and the faithful orthodox who support them are nothing more than common back alley criminals hiding behind the scepter of false righteousness.

    It is regrettable that CLUE did not have the courage to tell the catholic church to go take a flying f---. It could have started something really beneficial to everyone if they had.

    That is one of the biggest challenges we face now, as we work to bring greater integrity into our communities ... lack of integrity. We all know the MAFO's lack it, and so does anyone else who allows themselves to be bullied by the MAFO's.

  2. Money is might and might is money as far as the right wing traditionalists, misogynist and gay bashers in the Church are concerned.

    CLUE could have announced the tactic in newspapers that they were being strong-armed by the money changers in the Church and made a public case about it. Exposure is the best way to defeat such political tactics aka catholic extortion. CLUE apparently didn't have a clue as to how to respond in any other way but without courage. They could have been initially shocked and really unaware as to how to respond in any other way than how they did. CLUE submitted to fear.

    He who lives by extortion shall also have to submit to it at some point along the line. I am so reminded of the gospel and how Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers in this latest expose. As well, the Apostle Judas who sold out Jesus for a few pieces of silver comes to mind here.

  3. CLUE was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Even Fr. Geoff didn't want to see services curtailed to the extent they would have had to be, had the Archdiocese withdrawn their money.

    This was a vindictive evil deed on the part of the Archdiocese, pure and simple.

    The Hierarchical Church just doesn't seem to understand that it is no longer possible to do business as usual. The more these kind of things are exposed the better spiritual choices people can make about just what this Church stands for.

    It maybe that this church will eventually find itself standing pretty much all alone.

  4. this is insane... The very idea that the LA Diocese and its leaders are doing this is a new low for them. Politics as usual, I suppose but this just stinks. Jesus Joseph and Mary!! When will it stop?

  5. When will it stop?

    Last time I looked, extortion is a crime, regardless of who the perpertrator is.

    Last time I looked, interfering with a criminal investigation is also a crime, regardless of who the perpertrator is.

    It will stop when enough people on all sides say enough and start filing formal complaints against the individual bishops and demanding that they be prosecuted for their involvement.

    Secondarily, filing civil suits, individual and class action, for massive damage awards.

    To change the catholic church, force has to be applied in their most sensitive spot - their money.

    I'm actually surprised that the gay community has not already done that over the Proposition 8 fiasco.