Resignation Rumors

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Well this was inevitable.  When something that hasn’t happened for almost six centuries happens, there are going to be rumors about why it is happening:

VATICAN CITY – With just days to go before Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, the Vatican is battling rumours that his decision was triggered by an explosive report on intrigue in its hallowed corridors of power.

The secret report compiled by a committee of three cardinals for the pope’s eyes only was the result of a broad inquiry into leaks of secret Vatican papers last year — a scandal known as “Vatileaks”.

The cardinals questioned dozens of Vatican officials and presented the pope with their final report in December 2012, just before Benedict pardoned his former butler Paolo Gabriele who had been jailed for leaking the papal memos.

The Panorama news weekly and the Repubblica daily said on Thursday that the cardinals’ report contained allegations of corruption and of blackmail attempts against gay Vatican clergymen, as well as favouritism based on gay relationships.

The Vatican has declined to comment on these two reports, with spokesman Federico Lombardi saying they were “conjectures, fictions and opinions.”

In an interview with El Pais, one of the investigating cardinals, Julian Herranz, said the scandal was “a bubble” that had been “inflated”.

“There will be black sheep, I am not saying there are not, like in all families,” he said, adding that the investigators had “spoken to people, seen what works and what does not, lights and shadows”.

Speaking to Italy’s Radio 24, Herranz said the idea that “Vatileaks” might have influenced the pope’s decision was one “hypothesis” among many others.

“These are decisions that are taken personally in the deep of one’s conscience and they must be profoundly respected,” the 82-year-old said.

At his final public mass last week, Benedict himself condemned “religious hypocrisy” and urged an end to “individualism and rivalry”.

“The face of the Church… is at times disfigured. I am thinking in particular of the sins against the unity of the Church,” he said, without elaborating.

Go here to read the rest.  Is any of it true?  Who knows?  Considering the harsh things that many Popes have said about the papal bureaucracy I am not shocked at the idea.  However, to be too credulous about such allegations is to confuse cynicism with wisdom.  Like anything else, we will have to see what evidence is brought forth, if any, to support the allegations.  One lesson however that the Vatican needs to know is that in the modern age secrecy is difficult to maintain and that truth is usually the best disinfectant. The Vatican has issued a non-denial denial which is reported on here.  That is insufficient and will merely give conspiracy theorists more fodder for speculations.

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Thought For the Day


I am truly surprised by this:   The Arizona Democratic Party is planning to hold a vote this week to determine whether

Saint of the Day Quote: Saint Joseph of Cupertino

  I like not scruples nor melancholy: let your intention be right and fear not. Saint Joseph of Cupertino     There


  1. I sat through the child protection seminar three years ago and left confused by two things: how can the Archdiocese straight faced say that there is no homosexual connection to the abuse and how can it be that the highest ranking members of our clergy were not utterly enraged by the stories they heard.

    I have read snipets of the referenced allegations for several years due to translations of Italian news outlets – outlets consumed with interest in scandal, particularly secular and Vatican political scandal. Allegations of homosexual impropriety at the Vatican are legion.

    The elephant in the room is that homosexuality appears to be more prevalent than we want to acknowledge and enough of our clergy are acting on their impulses to bring scandal to the Church on an ongoing basis. Benedict forcefully affirmed the Church’s position early in his Papacy. We will likely never know if he would have gone farther or if the push-back from the hierachy was too much for him to have purged their ranks of the actively homosexual priests.

  2. “how can the Archdiocese straight faced say that there is no homosexual connection to the abuse”

    The efforts to make such an argument, in defiance of all the facts of the abuse, were both striking and ridiculous.

  3. I sat through the child protection seminar three years ago and left confused by two things: how can the Archdiocese straight faced say that there is no homosexual connection to the abuse and how can it be that the highest ranking members of our clergy were not utterly enraged by the stories they heard.

    They say it because they are listening to members of the helping professions, in part out of lack of self-confidence and in part because their lawyers tell them to do so. As for the helping professions, denying the pathologies and personal responsibility of the homosexual population is part of their professional ideology. It is a postulate.

  4. As I understood the argument, attraction to children is a distinct class of sexuality, distinguishable from homosexual and heterosexual sex. Fair enough… But, within that class, surely there are sub-classes of those attracted exclusively to young boys, exclusively to young girls, and indiscriminately deviant?

    The other problem I had was that the presentation used only the most eggregious abuse as examples, the ones that left me, as a parent, wondering “and the parents let this go on for how long?” The Grand Jury Report in Philadelphia suggests that a large percentage of the coerced sex was from male clergy to post-pubescant boys, 16 to 19 years old or so.

    Surely the man who finds young men or women attractive is in a different, albeit deviant too, place than one who is attracted to young children?

    It is surprising to me that the Church treats homosexuality within the churchas nearly taboo and that makes me wonder if these recurring stories are not true.

  5. As I understood the argument, attraction to children is a distinct class of sexuality, distinguishable from homosexual and heterosexual sex

    There are biologists who specialize in taxonomy; some are ‘lumpers’ and some are ‘splitters’.

    There is a specialist in sexual behavior named Bailey (sociologist or psychologist at Northwestern, IIRC) who was raked over the coals by ‘activists’ about 10 years ago for publishing a monograph which argued that transexualism is a surface manifestation of one of two sorts of deviance: it can express intense homosexuality or an odd sort of sexual fetishism. This thesis got some people’s noses out of joint.

    A librarian of my acquaintance had this to say: “all schemes of classification are ultimately arbitrary. The point is, ‘can you learn them’?”. This may not be altogether true, but should the purveyors of psychotherapy and ‘counseling’ really be accorded such trust that one does not notice that their taxonomies are verrrrry conveeeenient.

  6. The Grand Jury Report in Philadelphia suggests that a large percentage of the coerced sex was from male clergy to post-pubescant boys, 16 to 19 years old or so.

    The Grand Jury apparently fancies that the Catholic clergy have a median age of about 32 and are recruited exclusively from the ranks of military officers and athletic coaches.

  7. The OT and NT both acknowledge that bestiality and male homosexuality exist in the human condition. The medical community sees a distinction between same-gender attraction (homosexuality, from homos, Greek, not homo-Latin so it is genderless). And attraction to infants and pre-pubescent males and same for females AND post-pubescent males and females. Media and bishops alike and at times Vatican offiicials bandied about the word “homosexuality” to apply to all without distinction. The US bishops have a Charter that presumes that even one allegation made, proven or confessed decadaes ago demands the canonical death penalty for clergy. The sociological evidence and Court cases are slowly revealing the high incidence of abuse by males, and females, single and married against each gender of all ages. The media-legal mud and revelations from Church and State officials are slowly showing that University professors, medical personnel and teachers as well as all varieties of Protestant and Jewish clergy and also guilty of power-abuse of all age groups from grade school through University and adults in the various medical and other professional care, are a large part of the actual story. Most abuse is incest and abuse within the family. Is it not time then to lay off old and false unproven allegations and past deeds of hierarchy and clergy and deal with the whole culture and Church and make a sharp distinction between very sick men and women and boundary violations by clergy who were coming to emotional maturity after a sheltered all male formation and education- hot-house versus the wind and rain of the outside world.

  8. Besides AA-1025 has anyone read Bella Dodd’s interviews and the number of young men of communist persuasion who were sent to the seminaries to subvert the faith? Her book School of Darkness is still available. All this was planned out by the Grand Masonic Lodge in Rome, read the Alta Vendita–which one of our past popes had printed had his own expense so lay people would be warned.

  9. It would be comforting to be a conspiracy theorist and believe that the problems within the Church were caused by Masons and Communists. Alas, this is so much crank wackery, and our problems are basically a result of too many of both the clergy and the laity turning their backs on traditional Catholicism in favor of Catholicism Lite, a Catholicism stripped of its beauty and empty at its core.

  10. “….comforting to be a conspiracy theorists…”

    There’s nothing comforting about the warfare going on, nor the means by which the enemy will use to win souls. On the two hundredth anniversary of the Masons a young seminarian studying in Rome was witness to the celebrations of professed destroyers of Catholic Church. St. Maximilian Kolbe noticed the hatred of the Masons as they waved their banners of Lucifer crushing the head of St. Michael.
    This is a warfare of the possession of souls by Christ through grace or by the prince of this world through sin.
    To easily dispute the notion of conspiracy and name it “crank wackery” is akin to saying that spies never existed in WWII. You are correct in the obvious, that Catholic Lite is the choice of many, however to rule out subversion of our Holy Church by any means possible is unbecoming of your great intellect.

  11. Nope Philip it is simple rubbish today. The problems that currently beset the Church are not caused by evil conspiracies of, cue the foreboding music, Masons, Communists, Liberals et al. Would that it would be so easy to set all aright by merely defeating a small, albeit influential, cabal! At bottom our problems are caused by too many people within the Church behaving as if they did not believe what the Church teaches is actually true. That is what is at the core of all of our problems: the abuse crisis, the fact that the Mass is celebrated today throughout this country with all the awe, splendor and majesty of a tupperware party, the fact that Catholics routinely vote for pro-aborts, etc. The crisis of the Church is not external but internal, and it is a simple failure of belief.

  12. As I understood the argument, attraction to children is a distinct class of sexuality, distinguishable from homosexual and heterosexual sex.

    Pedophilia is often used to include ephebophilia– under-aged, but have gone through at least part of the sexual change. (depending on what source you’re looking at, too)

    Probably a lot more common than little-kid pedophilia, and much more likely to get a “pass” or be actively defended.

    From memory, most of the sex abuse in the US was homosexual and aimed at post-pubescent boys.

    Very vulnerable targets, especially for abuse by experienced predators. (That’s why “under aged” isn’t tied to “has started puberty.”)

  13. All of which begs the question: Why doesn’t the Church acknowledge the homosexual connection to the abuse? The first step in healing a patient should be diagnosis.

  14. I think Rembert Weakland about sums it up. Former Archbishop of Milwaukee he was heterodox and orthodox Catholics often wondered how he had risen so far in the heirarchy. It came out after he had resigned that he used 450,000 of Church money to pay off his male lover who revealed the story to the press anyway years later.

    Needless to say Weakland has never paid back a dime of the hush money. This thief sits today on the board of directors of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference. He is living evidence of the truth that there is clearly a “lavender Mafia” at work within the Church that promotes its members and protects them. The next Pope will have his work cut out for him if he decides to attack this evil head on.

  15. Even afterward, Margaret Steinfels said she thought Weakland a ‘good bishop.’

    I suspect

    1. The problems with sexual corruption in the Church are only weakly related to the degree of heterodoxy in a given diocese. One problem with making that assessment is that when you look at a given accused priest, you often find that the bishop in office while he was in formation, the bishop who ordained him, the bishop in charge when the supposed offense took place, and the bishop who processed the complaint against him were four different individuals. That aside, some dioceses have had an alternating series of conservative and liberal bishops. An accused priest in Rochester may have been ordained by Bishop Kearney, supposed to have molested a youth during Bishop Hogan’s tenure, and faced an accusation under Bishop Clark.

    2. The Holy See lacks the manpower to police the Church in aught but a haphazard and episodic way. The Holy See needs to ensure that there are appropriate procedures incorporated into canon law and to be meticulous in its selection of bishops. There will be occasions where a general visitation of a country’s seminaries is in order. However, the leg work has to be done by local ordinaries, or it is not done.

    3. And, of course, what the diocesan bishop can do is often prophylactic. One wretched bit of business has been the accusation against sitting bishops that they are ‘covering-up’ and ‘not protecting kids’ when the complaints they were receiving were filed 15 years after the fact; a bishop cannot protect a 29 year old man against something which happened when he was 14 (when the bishop in question was an administrator at some suburban parish the next diocese over).

  16. For what’s it worth; Goodbye good men, by Michael S. Rose asks the questions “what happened?”
    He interviewed over 150 people, priests and laymen in the Catholic Church.
    To sum it up, Liberal attack from the inside.
    Under attack is status quo for Our Holy Church.

  17. Rose’s book was subject to some persuasive criticism at the time of its publication on the part of Fr. Robert Johansen and Brian St. Paul, among others. Rose and Dale Vree were fairly neuralgic about it. (The burden of the complaint was that while the problem described was real, some of the specifics were bum raps and much of the narrative was dated, referring to situations no longer current). I think we error if we see it as enemies burrowing away (although that happens) and avoid thinking about problems in the evolution of institutional culture. Why, during the period running from about 1925 to 1985, were an escalating contingent of men with latent (and subsequently uncontrolled) sexual dysfunctions ordained; why did the bulk of the ongoing problem abruptly evaporate around about 1990; what lies behind the irresponsible behavior of a selection of bishops (keeping in mind that addressing the problem well was impossible even for the most capable and conscientious bishops), among them McCormack, Sheehan, Matthiessen, Grahmann, Tshoeppe, Law, &c. ? I am not sure a satisfying and credible answer has been tendered; certainly some of the self-appointed gurus (Andrew Greeley, Thomas Doyle, Richard Sipe, Leon Podles) were not offering any.

  18. Art Deco-
    Good questions.
    Is it possible that many just looked the other way?
    Is it from years of orchestrated planning…yes Donald add the foreboding music here…, however it does make one wonder if the checks and balances we’re washed over on purpose, or deliberate.
    We are left with many questions.

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