I used to know lots of priests in the Roman dicasteries but they have been queuing up at Rome's airports and leaving for their home dioceses with the intention of never returning. The problem is the Pope bullies their bosses and their bosses bully them, so they go. Even the most thick skinned and dedicated can only put up with a certain degree of insults and contempt. That, and an increasing degree of "South Americanisation" makes the Holy See more and more difficult a working environment. For the thin skinned and sensitive, as the Pope's world inevitably narrows, every morning in Sta Martha brings more insults.
The Roman exuent is based on a simple choice, 'Do I stay or do I go?' Going is easier than staying.
Last night I discovered a priest with whom I overlapped with at the seminary, who I heard had left, is actually an Anglican clergyman and is also now the head of that strange virulently anti-Catholic group, the Protestant Truth Society.
In the last week or so on Catholic social media the story of a priest who has resigned and apparently embraced a gay lifestyle or simply has come out as a homosexual, seems to have captured people's prurience and some pretty unpleasant speculation. And yes, in my diocese my bishop was forced to resign.
Whenever a priest or a bishop leaves the ministry it is very easy simply to blame them and fail to question what lies behind their leaving. Priests are unhappy with bullying and are leaving Rome. It is the unhappiness and bullying that has forced them out. A good employer might ask if something can be done to end that situation, like telling the Pope to lay off, or simply making him aware of the unhappiness his actions are causing.
When a priest or bishop leaves it is easy for members of the Church to simply be angry rather than examining their conscience. If a priest chooses a libidinous lifestyle surely we should be asking why a community which professes brotherly love, compassion, mercy is so bad at offering to its ministers. Why is it that a priest should feel he is more likely to find the help and support he feels he needs outside the Church rather than within it. Why does he become disillusioned with the Gospel and, err..., illusioned by a gay life style? Why is the love of his people, but more importantly, the pastoral care of his brother priests and his bishop, his Father-in-God so lacking? 'The Church is a field hospital', if that is so then why are so many people dying in it rather that being restored to health?