Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Reform!

The report of the paedophile scandals are certainly being heavily massaged by the media but they are real scandals, they point to the filth that is in the Church. One of the biggest pieces of filth are sins of Marcial Maciel Degollado. Jason Berry piece on how far this corruption reached truly is shocking.
I suspect that neither the New York nor London Times will push Berry's arguement because Pope Benedict is obviously the broom that has swept this piece of filth out of the Church.
Father Tim has a very good post on this story, in which he reminds us that the corruption of the Borgias is still present in the God's Church.

The Church is in constant need of reform, Pope Benedict is the great reformer. As a priest it strikes me that reforming the clergy is crucial. Priests and Bishops must become Christ's men, the reform of the liturgy is central to the reform of the clergy. I don't think we priests are bad, most are pretty saintly, but I think as we have seen in the Irish scandals Bishops (and priests) seem more concerned about protecting the institution they have created rather than the proclaiming Christ. The great problem with Liberalism is that it is so Churchy, it sees the Church in sociological terms, at best; at worst, as in the case of Maciel, it becomes a power base, in both cases it is Christless Church, where the priest really preaches himself. Ultimately it is a dethroning of God, violation of the First Commandment: "Nuestro Padre", the Legionaries called Maciel and he encouraged it, is the worst example but it is pretty bad when Father invents his own doctrines and liturgies.

Christ has to be everything to a priest, serving Christ has to be central, bringing men and women to Christ has to be our very life, our nourishment, our oxygen. The Year for Priests has focussed on deepening priestly spirituality but it is the Liturgy that is crucial in the Benedictine reform. From a correct understanding of the Liturgy springs orthodoxy and asceticism.

I think we are beginning to see a secular led Reform in the Church. I am quite sure some of the attacks are almost Satanic but through it God is calling for exactly what the Pope is working for: a reform of the Liturgy and of the priesthood and of the whole Church. God hates hypocrisy as much as the NYT and the secular media feign to do so, but it is the Pope's reforms that will eventually bring about the change.

God Bless Our Pope!

15 comments:

Moretben said...

Yes. Remember that God even called Nebuchadnezzar "my servant".

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Amen!

shane said...

As Austen Ivereigh stated recently in the Guardian, Spain and Italy are likely to be next; then Poland.

It's just a matter of time before we hear of (a) priest(s) being murdered and churches burned.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Poland and Eastern Europe is different, the scandal there is collaboration.

Discreet Observer said...

Bravo, Father, bravo.

Drastic times need drastic measures (although actually teaching the Faith would be a good start).

Perhaps the clean up could begin by every single Prefect and Secretary of each congregation and commission in Rome offering their resignations. Then the Holy Father could decide who to keep and who to let go. After five years in the job he must know by now who should go and, equally importantly, which men of true virtue can replace them. The old boys network must be smashed and timeservers must be replaced by men of true faith and zeal, no matter what rank they are. For example, there must be men of worth in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith whom the Pope knows well and could be entrusted with greater responsibility. I can certainly think of one.

Then, perhaps, the use of the terna in suggesting names of bishops could be replaced by the faithful being urged to nominate priests for promotion. The nuncios are obviously not doing their jobs and should be sidelined until they learn how to act responsibly. They are there to serve the Pope and not go native with episcopal conferences. And talking of episcopal conferences; close them down and make a bishop once again responsible for his diocese. Bishops are the successors of the Apostles. The Apostles did not have conferences to decide their next moves; no, they went out into the world, on their own, to spread the Faith. Our bishops rarely go out into their own dioceses, they send out their episcopal vicars and suchlike to do the work they should be doing. "Too much to do, old boy, ecumenical and council meetings to attend to, you know. Can you do the confirmations for me."

The laity know where the faithful priests are and we are all fed up to the back teeth with the old boys (liberal and disobedient) network promoting only their own kind. It is this incestuous liberal club that has created this nightmare, and it is also this self-serving liberal club that will try with all their might to hang on to their power and thwart the Holy Father in his attempt to clean out the stables.

We must all support the Holy Father with our prayers (and priests with their Masses) but we should all write to the nuncio and let him know that we are completely dissatisfied with the quality of our bishops (if this be the case) and demand that he scours the country for sound, able, men of faith and courage to be promoted to the rank of bishop. There are many examples of priests who are worthy of promotion and we all know who they are. Why does the nuncio not know about these priests and do his duty?

Enough is enough and if the bishops are failing in their duties (on many fronts it seems) then we are entitled, even obliged, to make our displeasure known and help our Holy Father in his determination to clean out the 'filth'.

I think it would also help if our bishops could pluck up their courage and consecrate the Church to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Sirian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dominic Mary said...

Father : I think that one of your most significant comments was 'it is Christless Church, where the priest really preaches himself'.

Isn't that the problem with modern liturgy ? The priest is at the centre of it all, not Christ - it's about 'what Father decides to do today', not what the Church says . . . and the end result is that the laity become convinced that the priests are what matters, not Christ - which is when the priest's opinions take over from the Faith, and the Church starts to fall apart.

The Holy Father suggested a while ago that the Church may be about to become smaller, but more faithful. If by that he meant that the timeserving rubbish would decide to go elsewhere, then it seems to me that it can't come too soon.

berenike said...

Fr Ray - not really. I don't know what the UK press says, but "collaboration" can mean a PP signed a bit of paper agreeing to co-operate, never did anything else (or, like a friend of my gran's, when first asked if he could tell anything about the institution he worked in, said "er, okay", and began a long long tale of everyone who taught there and to whom they were married and where they'd studied and and and... a Dominican working in the Vatican used to do the same, waffle on at length about anything and everything), and in exchange for this "co-operation" was able to build a church or continue some pastoral work.

Someone sprayed "paedophiles" on our Warsaw parish church on Holy Thursday. And it seemed to me the church was rather emptier over the Triduum than in past years, but this is only a vague impression.

Jason said...

Father,

What evidence is there that makes you think the Holy Father actually intends to effect a reform? It's clear that he desires the end, but less clear that he desires the necessary means. I want to be hopeful. Maybe you see something I don't?

Jason

GOR said...

To anyone who has been following closely the sad saga of the Legion, Berry’s ‘expose’ will not be news. This aspect of the Legion’s ‘business’ has been in the public forum for some time - documented on blogs by former LC members who were trying to get the word out about all that was wrong with the Legion and Maciel. But the Legion hotly denied everything, labeled the authors Judases (just as they did with the men who petitioned Rome for years to have their case heard) and threatened them with lawsuits.

That they showered gifts on high-ranking Vatican officials was well-known and that some - like the Holy Father, while still a Cardinal - refused those gifts, was also revealed. It is sad to realize that some in the Vatican acted no differently than politicians who are swayed by money to follow the wishes of the donors.

While many fault Pope John Paul II for his ringing endorsements of Maciel and the Legion, he was not the only Pope to have been fooled. Maciel succeeded in deceiving every Pope back to Pius XII. It was during the 1950s that the first investigation (and exoneration) of Maciel and the Legion took place. It took Pope Benedict to finally end the charade.

I used to think the Legion could be saved, but I don’t anymore. It needs to be suppressed and the innocent members invited to join other Orders or dioceses. But those who knew about and enabled Maciel’s depredations (and there has to be some number of these…) need to be brought to justice.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Jason,
The Pope is a man of evolution not revolution. The secular pressure is going to force many to look for alternative answers, the Pope offers the most convincing ones.

Bernadette said...

I like that: "A man of evolution, not revolution." Very original and very clever and very Catholic. Superb.

That quote should be on one of those long Bus poster campaigns.

A picture of Pope Benedict smiling and waving at one end, with Richard Dawkins scowling and looking miserable at the other end.

...And a monkey eating a banana in the middle.

If I were a Millionaire, I'd be dangerous.

Paul Mallinder said...

In my business life within the hi-tech industry we have struggled with many mergers and acquisitions. Companies often make exaggerated claims about their products. It normally stems from the owner, or the person in charge, of the company. We carry out due diligence to try and ensure the truth.
I see Pope Benedict as a person who is focussed on due diligence. He uncovers those things that most have not uncovered or do not want to make public.
His due diligence to the Liturgy is an outward sign of his reforming principles for the common good.

Red Maria said...

Yes, I very much agree with the sentiments in your post, Father Ray.

I've been reading Colm O'Gorman's book, Beyond Belief, an account of the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of the notorious Father Sean Fortune. I may review it later on this week on my blog.

I have and will continue to defend the Church's record of dealing with sex-abuse in general. In general I think her approach was of its time and not particularly better or particularly worse than those of other institutions. Many of the things which O'Gorman records as having happened in the Ferns Diocese in the 1980s, however, I wouldn't want to defend.

By the late 80s attitudes to sex-abuse had radically changed. BBC1 was available in large parts of Ireland, certainly so in Dublin and surrounding counties and many Irish people would have watched Esther Rantzen's That's Life programme, which she used to superb effect to educate the public about sex abuse, week after week.

Yet O'Gorman relates a catalogue of serious charges against the then bishop, Dr Brendan Comiskey. That he was written to time and again by parents of abuse victims; that on one occasion some wrote to the Papal Nuncio, who replied with a curt note saying that the Holy Father had been informed of their concerns and that was all; that Comiskey declined to cooperate with the police investigation into Fortune; that in 2002 when the BBC aired O'Gorman's programme, Suing the Pope, Comiskey publically promised to write to him and Fortune's other victims but did not do so and on and on.

I came to O'Gorman's book a sceptic, irritated by his political showboating on the one hand and what seemed to me like egregious attacks on the Church on the other. But his book has made me think again about some aspects of the Irish Church in the 80s.

His accounts of the bishop and nuncio's rudeness chimes with the arrogance of power I have seen here: of polite letters to bishops going unanswered, of grotesque establishment toadying - I still can't get over the fact that Cardinal Cormac appointed Sir Stephen Wall his political adviser, Herod in charge of a nursery, anyone? - of puffed-up, overpaid, underworked Church bureaucrats dismissing legitimate queries from journalists and bloggers; of so and so being in with such and such a crowd of people and x having a hotline to y; of there being no less than three (3)different marquees for three different social classes (what on earth for? Did they think that the proles would eat with their fingers and wipe their noses on their sleeves or something?) at Vincent Nichols installation Mass with the newly enthroned archbishop safely ensconced in the top drawer tent so he wouldn't have to press the flesh with the hoi-polloi ... and on and on. The whole thing is smothered in thickets of snobbism and crawling.

Reform sounds good and badly needed. But at the same time, Rome has to play its part too. By which I mean it has to pay closer attention to episcopal appointments overseas. There have been just too many cases of ragingly inappropriate men, like Rembert Weakland, being elevated to the purple.

Richard White said...

Some priests have behaved terribly and deserve to be punished. However, Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible" sticks in my mind from 'O' level English days. Isn't there a real danger of modern day McCarthyism within the Church in its haste to clean the mess up?