Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rome Calls Two To The Woodshed

Bishop Raul Vera Lopez will be off to see the Powers that Be about the same time Archbishop Chaput is installed in Philadelphia by those same Powers.

In July I ran two stories on two different men, Cardinal Jose Policarpo of Lisbon, Portugal and Bishop Raul Vera Lopez of the Diocese of Saltillo, Mexico.  Vatican Insider is currently running two pieces about these men and how they have been called to the Vatican woodshed.  In Policarpo's case, his trip was over statements he made about the lack of theological reasons for the prohibition on ordaining women, and in Lopez's case, his trip involves both his support for a gay and lesbian group and  for a human rights campaign to de criminalize abortion in all States in Mexico.  The following is an excerpt from the Vat Insider article on Cardinal Policarpo.

...Now, the Portuguese daily paper reveals a behind the scenes description of what happened over the past weeks, stating that the Lisbon patriarch was summoned by the Papal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone. The conversation took place in Castel Gandolfo in the first half of July, while the Portuguese cardinal was in Rome to participate to a plenary session of the newly formed Papal Council for the new evangelization. Publico writes that Policarpo was treated with extreme kindness “because the Vatican was afraid he would react negatively to a strong reprimand.” (How sweet, Bishop Ruiz will not be so lucky.)

On July 2, a few days before the meeting with Bertone, Policarpo had received, through a papal nuncio in Lisbon, a letter by cardinal William Levada, prefect of the former Holy Office. According to a testimony obtained by Publico, the letter apparently had him very worried. For this reason, on 6 July, the patriarch wrote a clarification statement. The Portuguese daily paper, however, highlights that this was not the first time Policarpo had made statements of this kind about women priests: however, it was the first time that his words had been reported by the international press.

António Marujo’s article provides several of the cardinal’s statements as examples. In 1999, a year after his appointment as Lisbon patriarch of the diocesan center, Policarpo led people to believe that the matter of women priests had not been settled at all and that what was needed, was a period of maturing of the communities and the Church, since today the idea of “women carrying out duties that were unthinkable thirty years ago is now accepted within the Church.” (Notice phrasing:  Policarpo led people to believe.....)

On May 2003, in Vienna, the cardinal responded in a similar fashion to a question during a press conference in which mention was made to a letter sent by Pope John Paul II in 1994 and the Congregation’s subsequent clarification of the Doctrine of the Faith. Policarpo explained that in his opinion the matter “is not settled that way; from a theological point of view, there is no fundamental obstacle; there is this tradition, let’s call it that way... it was never done any other way”. In that same interview, the Lisbon patriarch stated that at the present time it was not appropriate to raise the issue because it would have triggered “a series of reactions,” but he concluded saying that “If God wishes it to happen, and if it God’s plan, it will happen.”

The document of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith to which reference is made, was the answer to a doubt published by the former Holy Office (at the time led by cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who had archbishop Tarcisio Bertone as his right hand). It asked if “the doctrine, according to which, the Church cannot ordain women priests, as proposed in the apostolic Letter Ordinatio sacerdotalis” had to be “deemed definitive” and “part of the deposit of faith.” The answer, approved by Pope Wojtyla, was “affirmative.” The Congregation at the time explained that “this doctrine requires a permanent confirmation because, based God’s Word, written and constantly kept and applied in the Tradition of the Church since its origins, it was infallibly proposed by the ordinary and universal teachings of the Church” and thus, “it must be followed always, everywhere and by every faithful person, since it belongs to the deposit of faith. (I can't wait until the Vatican updates the Nicene Creed to include this gem in our deposit of faith.  That would certainly stop all the talk about women's ordination.)


Bishop Lopez will undoubtedly receive a very different reception when he makes his trip to the woodshed.  In his case Chaput's CNA Spanish affiliate has combined with Life Site news to lead the charge against Lopez, and it doesn't appear anyone holds more sway in the Vatican right now that Chaput.  Why would Lopez all of a sudden merit such a spot light from two North American Catholic propaganda outlets?  The answer more likely lies in Ruiz's stances on social justice and his avid support for married deacons than it does on his support for gay dignity in the church or the decriminalization of abortion. Hence, we have this from the Vat Insider article:

He remained close to the poor ever since his work in Ciudad Altamirano, where he became priest in 1988. In 1995 he became one of Samuel Ruiz’s (bishop of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas at the time) possible successors. On 14 August 1995, the Pope appointed him coadjutor bishop with the right to succession. (Samuel Ruiz was another Mexican bishop beloved by his people but not so much the JPII Vatican.)
He finally settled in Southwest Mexico in 1994, when the Country was still under the influence of the guerrilla movement of the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (Zapatista Army of National Liberation). By appointing him, the Vatican wanted to achieve the quick replacement of Samuel Ruiz and to pull the reins in on the indigenous theology project in Mexico which was at its peak at the time. This was about the time that the Vatican began to show its concern.
But the attempt failed. Not long after his arrival in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Vera became one of the most radical defenders of the actions of permanent married deacons (as substitutes of presbyters) and of the diffusion of what Rome calls the “Diaconal Church”. The Vatican saw this as an organised attempt to do away with clerical celibacy. (Again another glaring example of how the all male celibate priesthood is more important than Jesus Christ Himself.  Sure does make one wonder why?)
This change forced the Apostolic See to appoint him Bishop of Saltillo (on 30 December 1999), before confirming his succession of Samuel Ruiz who was replaced by Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel.
Vera’s appointment, however, did not put an end his social demands. He used his position to defend exploited mineworkers and the needs of the families of individuals who had disappeared, mostly because of drug traffickers.
Furthermore, Raúl Vera applied the pastoral care model of San Cristóbal to Saltillo, widely promoting the ordination of permanent married deacons who according to him “are able to perform the work of priests in the most remote communities.” His incessant, quasi political proselytism and his stance with regard to certain matters have not warmly welcomed by Mexico and Rome. (Yes, only right wing 'quasi political proselytism' is permitted.--Try this article by Frank Cocozzelli on Archbishop Chaput.

Vatican Insider is an interesting read.  I am predisposed to think it has plenty of Opus Dei money behind it. It has a most definite political slant.  Couple this with the seeming unending influence of Archbishop Chaput in global Catholic affairs and I can't help but wonder who really is running Roman Catholicism.  

Lately, Benedict's papacy is beginning to look a great deal like JPII's papacy, and I'm not talking liturgically and theologically.  I see those as fog for another agenda. For some reason it is critically important for the real power in the Vatican to maintain an all male celibate priesthood with a large percentage of closeted gays.  It's way too obvious that the quickest way to get to the woodshed is by advocating, even gently advocating, positions which threaten the celibate priesthood or the position of gays in the Church.  Forget sexual abuse, our worst criminal enabling bishops are either in the Vatican curia or free to wander the globe with no accountability to anyone.  If the people of Ireland are curious as to the where abouts of Cloyne's Bishop Magee, they should reflect on the anonymous cushy lifestyle lived in his later years by American Archbishop Marcinkus.  He of the Banko Ambrosia scandal.

Yesterday I wrote the current version of the clerical system is spiritually bankrupt.  Actually it appears more and more as if it's running a serious deficit and has no desire to impose a debt ceiling.  Maybe because it's real energy is locked up in the same financial morass that is taking down Western economies.  That would be the energy of unfettered greed, not spiritual holiness. 




  1. Only those that would follow The Way of Christ can be a service to Christianity at this point. Our leadership is vested in maintaining itself without change no matter which of the capital sins it breaks. I recently heard a young "conservative catholic" state that greed itself was not a sin but was the bases of good economics.

    Perhaps we could hear very much the same from the Magisterium if we replaced the word greed (the magisterium does not admit to greed - yet) with misogyny, or homophobia or even the culture that wishes it were able to live up to its own rules of celibacy. Yet the mistrust and hatred of any person is not the Way of Christ. The rules of celibacy as shown by Richard Sipe are simply not able to be practiced very well by most clerical men. It leaves them in a state of hypocrisy and feelings of sinfulness. It leads toself hate.

    Good economics can not directly erupt from the fearfulness of greed. Spirituality will not stem directly from hypocrisy. Spirituality, and a more just economic system can come from those reacting against greed, avarice, envy, misogyny, homophobia, and a total breakdown in what is important about human relationship. (Celibacy does not lead a person toward human relationship but leads toward schizoid personality development and fear of relationship.) One thing certain, spirituality is not stimulated by the fearful Vatican mindset. It is when one takes the gamble of personal vulnerability to form loving interpersonal relationship that we begin to see meaning or the beginnings of what is spiritual.

    What can we do. Perhaps our best weapon in both civll and religious society is to speak truth. Two Bishops got a little too close to truth and they are facing now the admonishment if not the punishment of the seth. Yes, what we see when there is mistrust of truth is really the workings of hypocritical, sinful and hateful people who in Catholicism would lead us. People who follow The Way of Christ simply will not have it. They will not follow. Yes every generation will have a pleural core of people heavily tempted and formulated by greed, envy and fear, but we must not follow them because they lead only to a purulence. The only antibiotic is truth and the way these leaders fight truth is with costly ever present propaganda of infalibility.

    I think Western Europe has shown the Church that people simply will not follow. It is now happening in the U.S.. Do we need a new Evangelism? Well, we need a Church leadership that follows The Way of Christ for that to work for Catholicism. It is time for those that wish to follow The Way to realize, it is not found in the Roman Magisterium; from top to bottom this group of would be leaders has been corrupted by fearfulness of what the Egyptians described as an ancient god -- the seth.

  2. First I propose that the Vatican really look at it's mission statement as given by Jesus in the New Testament. In order to do that of course, they would have to factor in they don't actually have Jesus's words verbatim, which means they would have to formulate a composite based on the over all tenor of all the Gospels, and that might have to include those that aren't in the current Canon.

    If they did that they would find there are some things which will not change, and other things which are open to change. In order to do this they would have to take on a much more humble approach to their own history. That would be step one. But only step one.

  3. You are not a fake Colleen. The fakes are those in the Magisterium. Excellent post. Also, I appreciate rdp46's comment very much.


  4. (Celibacy does not lead a person toward human relationship but leads toward schizoid personality development and fear of relationship.)

    This is so true for so many religious celibates. It's really unfortunate because this world is all about the power of relationship and God knowing His own creative Self through the novelty of touch. Really, the doctrine surrounding the priesthood is pretty much all backwards.

  5. The Roman Catholic Doctrines concerning Sex in general may be what is leading this Church to implode from within.

    Let's see, there is the way that clerics are controlled by celibacy. They can not marry because this would take assets away from the church and push them toward wives and family. Thus the Church keeps more and from the life style of modern Bishops (about = to $300,000 per year) we see there is little trickle down! There is also the idea that even something so rudimentary as masturbation is a terrible sin a mortal sin = to rape of a child. If a person feels he or she is already going to hell, what keeps that person from doing even more terrible things? Celibacy is the cause of extreme hypocrisy in the clerical live. According to Sipe only about 50% of all priests at any one time are celibate if you include masturbation as a cause for braking this state. I recall confessing this sin and being horribly chastised. What can that teach a teenager? How can he or she approach another on a date in a reasonable way if they feel that they are very unchaste and undeserving of such a good person? Or in the other extreme maybe a teenager wishes to date someone that they know is not celibate because they feel so bad about themselves. Where is the sense of these teachings? Psychologically and scientifically, we know for instance that masturbation is a normal part of growth and development and it may at times serve as a way to keep a young person “celibate” by not leading them toward intercourse. Oh yes, those hormones are powerful chemicals and neurotransmitters. A woman going through difficult menopause can certainly testify to that.

    Finally the implosion is caused by a leadership that will not face the wrong mindedness of celibacy. There is no logical reason that anyone should think that this state is either virtuous or leads one to God. Good Loving Relationships lead people to virtue. A person moving toward schizoid behavior (a byproduct of an attempted celibate life for most people who try it without a lot of sexual understanding and even experience) does not lead a person toward loving relationships but away from any very meaningful interpersonal relationship at all. Celibacy is more like fasting, something that we can do for a sacrifice but if taken too far becomes a complete personal deprivation. Deprivation never seems to lead a person toward good emotional or intellectual development. What then happens is that person because of the very powerful hormonal influence begins to cheat in some way. This may be soothing and allow some intellectual development when it only involves masturbation or one night stands, but in the end causes a sense of cheating, lying to oneself, hypocrisy and self hate. (continued in next post)

  6. Some who are unstable internally then tern to more serious perversions of street prostitution, affairs with parishioners and yes Child RAPE. What about the affairs with married parishioners either men or women or both? It is a situation in which the priest is in a position of “authority” and must not ever again be permitted. It is for the priest as it is for the doctor or the therapist, a very large breach in professional ethics. These affairs with married women that have and are taking place with clerics of all ranks, including Bishops, Cardinals and Popes are another reason for the implosion of the RCC. I actually thing that the pathogens inside the RCC are so very sever that even a good dose of truthfulness from the leadership probably would not be enough to save the RCC which is dying from an advanced disease process.

    Vatican II was and attempt to begin the badly needed course of antibiotics, but “Blessed John Paul II” slowed the IV dose and Benedict has turned it completely off.

    What now? Only thing possible is a return to The Way of Christ. A type of Christianity practiced during the first 3 or 4 centuries after Christ’s death. The RCC clerical system has produced leaders fearful of truth as revealed by the Spirit in each generation. They have become the Egyptian Seth. They have chosen to lead lives on the dark side guided by fear not love. My belief ---- It IS Too late for them now. The implosion has begun like a slowly igniting atomic bomb. First the people of Western Europe refused to believe in the leadership and clerical system -- they became catholics in name only. Then the explosion of the sexual scandals pointed to the hypocrisy of the inner circle. The inner circle refuse to correct their own problem because they were too fearful of loosing their life style or the clerical system that they mistakenly believe in. Now this implosion is like a million mouse traps with ping pong balls placed on them. A few go off and there is no stopping the rest. It is tragic but we must see it as an opportunity for moving on in the loving Way of Christ. A true Catholic leader will seek his or her own followers like in the early days and he or she will do as Colleen has -- learn from those following her leadership. This is what the Priesthood of Baptism IS all about. So it is clear what comes next after the implosion or the certain death of such a poorly organized structure for increasing the spirituality of the peoples of the world, there will be a new resurrection of The Loving Way of Christ and that will take Truthful priests of Christian Baptism to lead in The WAy of Jesus Christ.

  7. Yes I was surely hacked. I wish I was in Aberdeen or where ever it is I am supposed to be stranded. Right now I could use a good vacation.

  8. "A true Catholic leader will seek his or her own followers like in the early days and he or she will do as Colleen has -- learn from those following her leadership. This is what the Priesthood of Baptism IS all about."

    You are saying that Colleen is the only act to follow, or that her followers are the only one's to follow. And if her followers are taught wrongly and one follows them, then what? I don't have to believe in Colleen. The Holy Spirit can not be put in a box like that.

  9. @rdp46

    Church teachings on sex and sexuality have destroyed most of its teaching authority.

    Traditional or orthodox sex is for procreation. All other sex is a mortal sin, even masturbation. The atrocious results are seen everywhere. Although some may argue that abstinence and celibacy are not the cause of the problem I agree with you, they create a bad psychological state of mind for this required hypocrisy cannot be resolved by an individual.

    "Deprivation never seems to lead a person toward good emotional or intellectual development." Amen.

    We could all develop ourselves through "discipline", or training, by practice of fasting, meditation (Yes, there is Catholic meditation!) and other temporary means.

    Consider one of our Western cultural icons, the fat friar, who's girth betrays his worldly weakness. Sin? Crime? Psychological or physiological problem? More than one of the above?

    And the solution(s)?


    PS Colleen, please remove my comments above about phishing.


  10. Church teachings on sex and sexuality are absurd, backward, ignorant and false.

    I'm a babyboomer and I know people around my age whose parents divorced because of sexual problems directly related to the teachings of sex from the Church.

    People are so confused about sex because of the Church's teachings.

    The world reflects the ignorance of the Church's immature teachings on sex.