Friday, December 22, 2017

Maradiaga: some questions

So Cardinal Maradiaga the Pope's friend and advisor has been accused of financial corruption in a report sent to the Pontiff six months ago.

There are lots of questions raised by these allegations, apart from what happened to the money:

  1. Who leaked the report?
  2. Why leak the report?
  3. Why now?
  4. Who would gain from its leaking?
  5. What influence did Maradiaga have on the Pope?
  6. Was his corruption limited to Honduras, or did it touch on his Presidency of Caritas Internationalis?
  7. Did he as Co-ordinator of C9 influence the failure of Vatican financial reforms?
  8. Did the Cardinal act alone or were other Curial officials and bishops involved?
  9. Are other friends and advisors of the Pope equally corrupt?
  10. What does this say about the Pope's judgement of friends and advisors?
  11. Have we moved into the lame-duck period of this Papacy which will end in further damaging leaks?
  12. Will the Pope gradually become more isolated as others are exposed?
  13. Will journalist decide to turn against Francis?
  14. What will be the next scandal in the Papal court?
  15. What will or what can the Pope do?
  16. Is it possible for the Pope to remain untouched by this scandal?
It is too simple to think some lowly official decided that yesterday, on Pope's day to address the Vatican staff on what has become 'bash the Curia day' would be a good day to embarass the Pope. One would like to think that this together with the publication of The Dictator Pope is an attempt to ensure that cirruption is brought to account. That too would be simplistic. Nothing is as it appears in Rome. The sad thing is that one's confidence in Rome and in those who surround the Pope is further eroded and it becomes easier to dismiss both the Church and her Lord


Paul Hellyer said...

I stopped listening to the Pope the day he said "God is not a Catholic"
Well who is sitting at the right hand of God the Father then?

Physiocrat said...

"The sad thing is that one's confidence in Rome and in those who surround the Pope is further eroded"

Yes but the past 200 years of good to excellent Popes have been exceptional over the past 1000 years. In the long view, we had disputes over who was the real pope, and for several centuries the office was a trophy circulated between members of the Roman aristocracy ie families with valuable landholdings.

"and it becomes easier to dismiss both the Church and her Lord"

That is not a rational or reasonable response. We need to take a step back and notice that there is more to the Catholic Church than the part of it that acknowledges the Bishop of Rome as its head. Which is the branch and which is the main stem? I would suggest that one good test is whether the liturgy is consistently celebrated in a worthy manner.

Having worked out the answer, a sense of peace will descend.

gemoftheocean said...

Your last sentence says it all. In the minds of those lukewarm the corruption will be seen as the whole barrel being rotten, and more will turn away from the sacraments, and the Lord.

Nicolas Bellord said...

The Vatican is hopelessly corrupt. I wonder how this compares with what it was like at the time of Luther. Perhaps not as bad; at that time only one of our Bishops was prepared to lay down his life for the Faith. I reckon there might be two or three or perhaps more of our Bishops who would be prepared to stand up for the Faith?

Recusant said...

The greater charge against Maradiaga is that, in the time he has been a bishop in Honduras, the percentage of that country's population declaring itself Catholic has fallen from over 90% to 48% in 2016 and falling faster now. That is the scandal.

Pelerin said...

In reply to question number 10 - 'Not a lot.'

Fr Ray Blake said...

Christ is the vine, we do not believe we as the Church are a branch, we do believe Peter and his successors are the Rock on which he built his Church, Irenaeus and Ignatius of Antioch i9n the pre-Concillior period. testify to Roman Primacy
The problem is Church leaders rarely are what the should be, you only have to read about the Patriarch of Constantinople under both Emperors and Sultans, or the Metropolitan/Patriarch of Moscow under Tsars and Communists, few have been the guarantors of fidelity either in morals or doctrine

GOR said...

Yes, Maradiaga appears to be following a long line of questionable financial dealings by those in high office, going back through Cardinals Bertone and Sodano to Archbishop Marcinkus.

It is certainly a difficult time for the Church and all its members. But perhaps this is God’s way of making us sit up and take notice. Maybe we have been putting too much faith in persons - Popes even – when our focus should be on Him.

“Be not a respecter of persons”.

Liam Ronan said...

Indubitably, a very penetrating list of interrogatories, Father.

May I add another?

17. Who Threw the Overalls in Mrs. Murphy's Chowder? (Bing Crosby, 1945) ...and as the lyrics to the song report it were a terrible misunderstanding:

"...when Mrs. Murphy she "came to" she began to cry and pout
she had them in the wash that day and forgot to take them out..."

I'm sure, as with Mrs. Murphy's overalls, this is all one grand misunderstanding. Certain of it I am.

M. Prodigal said...

So the pope knew about this months ago but NOW it is very public knowledge. Lets see if anything happens. Lots of corrupt ones just get promoted these days.

Simple Simon said...

Fr. Ray, I pray our Lord will immerse you in His joy and peace this Christmas. Thank you for your courageous and insightful blogging, especially through the time of your serious illness. I raise my glass to you on Christmas day.

kiwiinamerica said...

17. Where did the money go? On whom or what was it spent?

Follow the money trail, Father. It always tells you the story.

F Marsden said...

More serious than Maradiaga's alleged dodgy dealing is the stalling of the Vatican's financial clean-up, the sacking of The Chief Auditor, and other forced retirements for those who were getting too close to the truth. If Il Papa Dittatore is substantially correct.

For the 20th century we had outstandingly good and holy popes, but we have to learn that such cannot be taken for granted.

Pace Nicholas Bellord, while the English bishops, except St John Fisher, caved in under Henry VIII, in 1559 under Elizabeth, they showed far more guts. All except Kitchen of Llandaff refused to give in to the queen. All were deprived of their sees, were arrested or fled abroad. Some endured twenty years or more of prison and house arrest.

William Tighe said...

"All except Kitchen of Llandaff refused to give in to the queen."

And, probably, Thomas Stanley (d. 1569), Bishop of Sodor & Man from ca. 1536 to 1546 and again from 1556 to his death, as well as four, maybe five, of those obscure "suffragan bishops" appointed in the late 1530s under Henry VIII.

Gerard Larkin Haverstock said...

It just one drip after an other drip, When will it come to an end, Is this Pontiff unable or unwilling to put as stop to the never ending scandal come out of the Vatican in the last year or more, When will it end? And when will he show mercy to the many priests and lay persons He his had removed from there positions in the Vatican? once never see or read about the never ending scandal on the national news or in the newspaper? is the reason they all can see the trees for the forest?.

Lepanto said...

The report about Cardinal Maradiaga, which is so potentially embarrassing for the Pope, would hardly have been very widely circulated (numbered copies etc.), so the 'whistleblower' is taking a considerable risk and will be acutely aware of it (bless him/her). It is perhaps a hopeful sign that there are people who, while being aware that the Pope is hardly going to treat a whistleblower in a kindly fashion, still have the courage to do such a thing. One wonders why Maradiaga is still in place 7 months after the Pope became aware of the allegations (as presumably is the whistleblower), it could be misplaced loyalty but then again, there could be a completely different reason.

Gerard Larkin Haverstock Esq said...

Marcy came in to play that’s if you have a friend at the top,But if you don’t have the same friend you be out on your ear.
For I am the Pontiff.

Lepanto said...

Cardinal Maradiaga was 75 on the 29th of December and so will be submitting his resignation for the Pope's consideration. It will be fascinating to see if he is left in post when so many good men's resignations have been accepted so quickly on reaching the same age. It would not surprise me if he is left in post because, according to the Vatican website, the Pope recently contacted the Cardinal to sympathise with him about the 'things being said about him'!

F Marsden said...

A second rate boss will often gather third rate underlings around him. He can play on their weaknesses, and they will never challenge him or outshine him.