Saturday, July 09, 2011

Cardinal Mahoney got Murdoch a Knighthood

Rupert Murdoch, left, and Cardinal Edward Egan

Rupert Murdoch was made a Knight Commander of St Gregory in 1989. He had apparently been recommended for the honour by Cardinal Roger Mahony, after giving money to a Church education fund. A year later he donated $10 million to help build Los Angeles Catholic cathedral, so says the Catholic Herald.

There is a certain irony that Murdoch is tied in with Cardinal Mahoney. One suspects that the "Church education" is that extraordinary annual fest of liberal Catholicism, the Religious Education Congress, complete with dissident theologians, incense dancing nymphs and everything I find cringe making, very much reducing the Catholic Faith to the level of the Sun, or the News of the World. Under the Cardinal's tenure the diocese of Los Angeles paid out $660 million to the victims of abuse, there are many more in the pipeline. Mahoney has been described as "the master of cover-up". Many ask why Cardinal Law went and Mahony managed to cling to power: could the answer be Murdoch.

The Herald asks if the Pope should remove Murdoch's knighthood of St Gregory. The same question could be addressed to the Queen, he is also a knight of the Order of Australia. However there is something distasteful about the Church bestowing honours on rather distasteful people. St Paul tells us there some things that should not even be talked about amongst you, Murdoch brings those things directly to the breakfast table, revelling in other people's heartbreak and pushing the exploitation of women with "page three" sexual titillation, let alone being behind News International, the multinational that seems responsible for quite serious crimes in this country.

I must admit here I dislike Papal honours, especially when they are tied to the wealthy, I also hate the faux monsignori who pop up at traditional functions wearing decoration from obscure military orders just because they go to the right cocktail parties, it smacks of simony. However, if someone was to offer me one, I might reconsider but I suppose that is the problem.


nickbris said...

No good flogging a megalomaniac an Indulgence he wants power with bells on.

He could kid a monkey out of a tree so conning a Cardinal would be a doddle.

Fr Seán Coyle said...

Father Ray, I thoroughly agree with you about papal honours. Our rector in the seminary back in the 1960s put it rather ineloquently when he said 'If I were pope for half an hour I'd get rid of all those red belly-bands'.

On the other hand, sometimes the right people are honoured. I was at the 80th birthday last night of a Knight of St Sylvester, a lawyer who has served the poor all his professional life and who was illegally punished by the Supreme Court of the Philippines for speaking the truth.

But the Murdochs of the world?

shane said...

As a Church we are very much in danger of becoming a middle-class oriented institution. This is always a sign of a religion in decline --- just look at the extremely wealthy (but dying) Anglican Episcopal Church in the United States.

parepidemos said...

Dear Father Blake,

With the deepest respect, the insinuations you make are more appropriate to the likes of the News of the World and the Sun newspapers. I fear that your dislike of Cardinal Mahoney is clouding your reason. According to Roman Catholic practice, it is for the pope to decide who remains in episcopal office; besides, he holds significantly more information than of us regarding the scandals.

As for papal honours, the sad reality is that money and power hold significant influence. I am sure that many a parish priest has had his ear bent by a generous donor who then seeks to push an agenda. Having said this, I agree with Fr. Coyle that sometimes the right folk are honoured.

santoeusebio said...

I read to-day that St Maria Goretti's attacker in 1902 later said that "he attributed his youthful crime in part to the evil influence of the Press, which had offered titillation in place of true morality".

In listening and watching the present outpourings of moral indignation one wonders whether anyone has heard of the sin of detraction. Certainly not the journalists on the News of the World whose demise I welcome.

It is certainly a great shame that Papal Knighthoods are now sold.

Nicolas Bellord

Adulio said...

I also hate the faux monsignori who pop up at traditional functions wearing decoration from obscure military orders just because they go to the right cocktail parties, it smacks of simony.

You're not thinking of any military order in particular are you?

Surely for a papal honour to bestowed - it has to be approved by the pope? Murdoch looks to have received his papal honour during the reign of the last pope. Perhaps John Paul II was also not so good at bestowing these honours, as he was in appointing bishops?

Sam Copper said...

Faux monsignori - a great description. I knew one in a Northern diocese who even uses a replica of Pope John Paul II pastoral staff for high days and holy days. He is a regular attendee at cocktail parties, to the extent that he was arrested for drink driving after crashing into a wall after attending one! Despite that he was honoured by several sovereign military orders, and even got himself made an honoury canon of an overseas chapter. Upon his appointment to the later he rushed to Rome to purchase as he puts it "the same cassock as a cardinal" from the papal tailors.
Yes, it is all nonsense and the antithesis of our Lord's counsel to build up treasures for ones self in heaven.

Rufus said...

Parepidemos, Are you familiar with the Cardinal Mahony's diocese recod on dealing with sexual abuse?

It should be of concern to every Catholic in the USA.

Catholic Voice said...

One of the two days I felt ashamed to be a Catholic was when I learned all those years ago that Rupert Murdoch had been given a Papal Knighthood.

Father Blake, the Order of Australia dignities do not include Knighthoods.

Michael Petek said...

Sam Copper, there are not "several" sovereign military orders.

Besides the tiresome fake orders, there is only the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta.

Historically you have had to be fairly high-born to get into the higher grades, but that is only because its Founder sought a reversal of the social order, so that the rich and the powerful could answer a vocation to serve "our lords the poor" and "our lords the sick".

Sam Copper said...

We shouldn't forget the evil that the News of the World spread. It has the blood on its hands of a monk of Ampleforth who committed suicide while being investigated by the newspaper.

Dom Benjamin O'Sullivan, 34, was found in the abbey grounds on 2 March 1996. There was a plastic bag over his head and a note in his habit in which he had written: 'I never did anything wrong as they accused me. May God forgive them and have mercy on my soul.' The message was written early the previous evening, soon after Father O'Sullivan had been confronted by a News of the World reporter over the claims of a twenty-two-year-old man referred to at the meeting as 'Ashley'.

At the inquest the coroner, Michael Oakley, described the News of the World's behaviour as 'underhand and despicable'. Thank goodness that tabloid which dripped poison has gone.

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