Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pope bans Cardinal

There is a report in the Telegraph that  on his visit to St Mary Major, the Pope met and chatted with Cardinal Bernard Law the Archbishop Emeritus of Boston who resigned after accusations of covering up child abuse which upset abuse survivors.

The Italian press however have a different take on the meeting, suggesting either that the Pope had visited Law or he had pushed himself into the visit but that Pope Francis had then either forbidden him from entering the basilica in future or had told him he is to be sent to a monastery to spend his life in prayer and seclusion.

From the little we know about this tough former Jesuit Provincial, our new Pope, the latter seems to be more his style. Separating the Church, or at least Rome and the Holy See from those who have been notorious in their failure seems to be a laudable thing. Although Pope Benedict took vigorous action against abusers, little was done to those bishops who co-operated in their sin by neglect or negligence.

If the Italian story is correct then this is the first indicator of a very welcome clean up in the hierarchy.


Arun said...

If this story is indeed true then what might happen to Cardinal Mahoney where his successor recently forbad him from any public duties in the Los Angeles diocese. Is he going to be told to go to a monastery for the remainder of his life.
Interesting, as Mahoney approached Francesco yesterday he was given a very brief greeting by the pope and then walked away, and Ganswein did not speak to him as he did with almost all the other cardinals. I suspect the cold shoulder will be pushing the cardinal off into monastic bliss very soon so that the actions of Arch Gomez are reinforced by the new pope.

Joshua said...

If true and just, one hopes it is a presage of things to come...

Supertradmum said...

God bless the new Pope.

Just another mad Catholic said...

Forgive me Father but if the italian take on the story is true then it would seem that the Holy Father is being quite vindictive.

Cardinal Law's failing, to the best of my knowledge was that he believed/trusted his Vicar Generals when they said nothing to see here.

Cardinal Law has already paid with the loss of his reputation and over ten years of self imposed exile at St Mary Major which was his titular Church. Now the Holy Father is expelling an octogenarian to make a point? If these reports are true he will have the bare minimuim of obdedience and reverence that is due to him for the office he holds but he not have a son's love from me.

Papa Benedict in his mercy left Cardinal Law in peace, it appears that Pope Francis was ill the day that Sister Mary Joseph covered that topic in grade school

Ma Tucker said...

I heard Pope Benedict cleared out 2 Bishops a month during his pontificate. Is this not true?

justin said...

Rash. How could the HF have possibly known and fully read the report of Card. Law's actions in that department??

Contrary to many reports, if the Italian reports are to be believed, the HF seems to be a very stern and severe man, not at all like his very warm and gentle predecessor.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Mad Catholic,
A bishop can be quite arbitery in deciding which clergy may exercise ministry in his diocese, especially if he is not incardinated into that diocese, or has no office there.

One of the things lacking from the Code of Canon Law is a crime of bringing the Church into disrepute, perhaps that needs to be introduced.
The Church, and its leadership, needs to be more virtuous than Caesar's wife. If those who have failed seriously then let them show signs of regret and put on sack cloth and serve the lepers rather than wandering round the better reataurants and palaces of Rome.

lx54 said...

I understand that JPII's intention was that Cardinal Law "retire to monastic seclusion", but wish was somehow misinterpreted by the Curia as "appoint to sinecure, with a nice apartment in the best part of Rome".

So what we could be seeing, if the story is correct, is that the present pope is merely carrying out the wishes of one of his predecessors.

Funny, that.

Just another mad Catholic said...

Dear Father

It was my understanding that all Cardinals are Priests of the Diocese of Rome, even if they are not physically present there most of the time.

As for this particular case can you please tell me what good is served by evicting an 81 year old man from his home of over ten years, where by all accounts he has done his best to remain inconspicuous?

Now not knowing the details of His Eminence's finances I will be charitable and assume that on those occasions where he does dine out at Rome's better eateries he doing so at the charity and good will of another. As for your point about serving lepers and sackcloth, well from what I know His Eminence was running Santa Maria Maggiore along the lines of a Benedictine Monastery, prayer being the gretest service, and how do you know he doesn't wear a hair shirt?

You are however right about Church Leadership, I expect more mercy from the man who sits on Peter's throne.

Kristin LA said...

I agree with Father Blake.
Mad Catholic -- why do you characterize an order to join monastic life as vindictive? Sounds lime heaven to me.

Just another mad Catholic said...

Dear Kirstin

A) I doubt that His Emminence will actually be taking vows, more likely he'll be ordered to live there and take part in common prayer and work.

b) I call the Holy Father vindictive because he is crucifying Cardinal Law in full view of the public and denying him any shred of dignity in retirement (Personally I'm surprised he hasn't gone the whole hog; stripped him of the red had, forcefully laicized him and kicked him out on to the streets). As I said before His Eminence has been running Santa Maria along the lines of a Benedictine House for nearly a decade, in addition he has remained out of public view and done the very best not to draw attention to himself.

Fr Ray Blake said...

This is mad, the present Pope is indeed following a judgement made by his predecessor. Do you really think a Cardinal is unlikely to know the case of a fellow Cardinal?
I think anyone who is in the slightest familiar with clerical life in Rome is well aware that Card. Law is not living the lifestyle of someone whose actions have seriously damaged the Church, instead he has just retired from a sinecure secured by a particular faction that Benedict seemed to fear.
It is a sign from a Pope that he is going to take on this decadent faction that incidentally was involved securing favours for Maciel & co and supposedly opposing much of Benedict's work.

Joseph Shaw said...

Card Law sits on a lot of committees in Rome - he hasn't withdrawn from positions of trust and responsibility.

Just another mad Catholic said...

I wondered how long it would take for Fr Marcel's name to be dropped and for guilt by association to be applied.

In any case you will have to forgve me for not being famliliar with clerical life in Rome, it is too esorteic for those of us in the Southwest of England.

I can only form an opinion based on what I know, read and see from my little window and in what I have read about Cardinal Law since he left Boston has given me a favourable opinion of him.

In any case even if you are right it seems a tad OTT to ban him from ever visitng St Mary Major AND to make that fact public, Please forgive me for believing that we should generally let Prelates with little time left on this earth to keep whatever dignity they have left.

Thus ends my contribution to this post

lx54 said...

Sadly it seems that our joy is unfounded. The Vatican has now issued a categorical denial.

Perhaps we need to have a cardinalatial Groundhog Day. Can anyone camp out in St Maria Maggiore and let us know if Cardinal Law sticks his head out?

James said...

We should increase our prayers for the Holy Father. Today he failed to impart the Apostolic blessing at the end of his audience with the media, preferring to 'bless' those present "silently" with no sign of the cross given. It seems we are returning to the madness of the years of revolution.
May we be given the grace to persevere to the end.

Ma Tucker said...

I'm sorry to hear that. It is so sad. Praying for our new Pope.

Nicolas Bellord said...

It seems to me that we have all had a good gossip about something that never happened. I find all this rush to judgement of the new Pope rather sickening.