Wednesday, October 01, 2014


I have nothing to say about events in my own diocese at the moment, what is interesting in the Church is what John Allen calls a zero tolerance of child abuse in the Church. The problem that Pope Francis seems to be launching investigations into bishops who tend to go against the "spirit of collegiality" using covering up abuse as of minors as an excuse. In the US Bishop Finn is in the firing line but as Nueva Primavera points out there are even better candidates in the US, and he hasn't even touched on Ireland or Belgium or the UK.
It seems as if these inquisitions are being used to strengthen, rather than diminish the various 'magic circles' and careerism in the Episcopate, and unless Pope Francis has a hit list, which I doubt, this is being used by various senior clergy to settle old scores.

Very dangerous and damaging!


GOR said...

I had not wanted to believe that Pope Francis was targeting orthodox/traditional bishops and communities. But it is hard not to conclude that, given recent events. The treatment of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and the Sisters is still incomprehensible to me.

How the LCWR and bishops like those mentioned in the article (which really only scratches the surface of episcopal malfeasance…) can remain untouched is also unfathomable.

It is really a time of persecution – a white martyrdom - but one coming from within the Church. It’s hard to see at present, but it will surely result in a stronger Church – though some of us may not be here to witness it.

EuropeanCatholic said...

My own impression of Francis is that he appears to have an iron will. Despite all the talk of collegiality, it is just that. He may never call himself Pope, but he uses his prerogative as the Supreme Pontiff to carry out acts on his own initiative.

Unknown said...

The Cult of Man is rising ever higher.

Francis said...

Apparently the episcopal visitor sent by the Vatican to investigate Bishop Finn's leadership of his diocese is Archbishop Prendergast of Ottawa.

Terrence Prendergast is a deeply conservative bishop and a great fan of the TLM (just google him for proof). If your fears were well-founded, ++Prendergast would be in line for targeting himself!

Liam Ronan said...

Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger once wrote in commenting on the second temptation of Jesus in his 2004 book ‘On the Road toward Christ Jesus’ (referring to Vladimir Soloviev’s ‘A Short Tale of the Antichrist’),:

“And a phrase of Soloviev’s is illuminating: The Antichrist believes in God, but in the depths of his heart he prefers himself.”

Deacon Augustine said...

Interesting that both the bishop in Paraguay and Bishop Finn are Opus Dei men. I'm sure the long-running rumours of a vendetta between the Jesuits and Opus Dei have nothing to do with these visitations, however.

Anonymous said...

To Francis,

I think the mere fact that the Vatican is using a ''conservative'' Archbishop is no guarantee of soundness concerning visitations. Why not use conservatives against one another, proving their loyalty, breaking their ''ranks''?

By the way, Archbishop Prendergast has been somewhat sluggish in his dealings with heretical parishes in his Archdiocese (most notably the abuses at the OMI parishes in downtown Ottawa). Celebrating the TLM for confirmations is no guarantee of being ''deeply conservative'' (all our mid-20th century liberals celebrated the TLM).

Annie said...

If you notice, the only time that guilty prelates are held accountable is when the victims go public with the abuse. My impression as an outsider is that British people scorn the idea of suing people - calling it an American disease - but it may be a disease you're going to have to catch if the shepherds protect each other instead of the sheep.

Anil Wang said...

My own sense about Pope Francis is that he has no agenda against with Traditionalists, but he does want "progressives" to be welcomed since he thinks that they are more active in caring for the poor and helpless.

He also completely trusts his closest advisor, who unfortunately want to expunge any memory of the Church before the Vatican II modernists exerted their influence and believe that all truth depends on the culture you're in so the Church is continually in flux.

Look behind each of the Traditionalist persecutions and you will clearly see five Cardinals who are close to the Pope.

The Pope also has a strong will and has no issue with saying one thing (e.g. collegiality), but doing another (overriding the will of the bishops) or setting up publicity stunts to portray the image he wants at his whim dependent on his advisor. This makes him a very hard Pope to read or predict.

One example of this is Cardinal Burke's supposed exile to Malta. Pope Francis has no problem with spontaneous firings without any notice. Yes with Cardinal Burke, there appears to be some hesitation and indefinite delay. If the rumour is true (which reliable sources seem to indicate), to me this indicates that his exile is not a fait accompli. Pope Francis might be delaying the move either because he needs time to reflect on the decision, or because he's hoping Cardinal Burke will prove his advisers wrong, or he has another position in mind for Cardinal Burke.

NBW said...

I am trying to give the Pope the benefit of the doubt; but it is becoming increasingly more difficult.
Traditional priests and bishops are being targeted yet scandalous priests and cardinals are left alone.
God is in control and he knows what He is doing; we shouldn't despair. We should be praying fervently.

Православный физик said...

Well, I happen to believe there IS an agenda against orthodoxy, and I believe Pope Francis to be an indirect participant...I believe G8 or every liberal cardinal (Save Pell) that he could find has more to do with the persecutions than Pope Francis, but I believe he allows it to happen...

It's a dangerous road to do this sacking without due process of Church Law. It's going to be very bumpy for quite a while.

Kyrie eleison

Gungarius said...

A commenter on Fr Z has linked to this Jan 2012 article written in Portugese about friction between the now deposed bishop and then Cardinal Bergoglio.

Its difficult to make out exactly what is being said from a google translation, however it seems to be written with sympathy for the now deposed Bishop.

Reading between the lines I get the impression that a significant number of his 200 seminarians were from Argentina and Cardinal Bergoglio was very cross about it.

I speculate <-- note the word speculate) that some of the seminarians may have been rejected in Argentina for good reasons.

It also worries me that the seminary training was cut to 4 years at a time like this (with the abuse scandal this is surely not the time for fast track priests).

It appears though that the Pope has extensive personal knowledge of this issue.


With regard to Bishop Finn it appears the investigator is Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottowa who celebrates the old rite Mass and recently banned eulogies at funerals because the purpose of funerals is to pray for the desceased not praise them.

Gungarius said...

PS - I also wonder whether, in the same way that some Catholic Traditionalism in France apparently is mixed up with deeply conservative tendencies, is Traditionalism in Argentina mixed up with supporters of the ancien regime (ie the right wing Junta of Galterie et al). As some traditionalists are very secularly conservative as well as religiously conservative, this would not surprise me.

Hence, the Pope may have a somewhat jaundiced view of the old rite which may have allowed those around him with an agenda to take advantage.

The recent goings on in this south coast manor may remove a few of those scales from his eyes.

Liam Ronan said...

@Anil Wang,

You said: "Look behind each of the Traditionalist persecutions and you will clearly see five Cardinals who are close to the Pope."

May I clarify for the record that the 'five cardinals who are close to the pope' are 'close' because Francis, the Bishop of Rome, hand-picked these cardinals precisely that they might provide him with immediate and unfettered advice.

I think it is at best wildly counter-intuitive to delude oneself into believing that these cardinals who initiate and further 'traditionalist persecutions' have anything other than the full support, if not active connivance of Francis.

George said...

I know Bp Finn is "one of the good ones".

But some things about him always bothered me.

He stated first off in one of his first media interviews as bishop, that although he would permit the Latin Mass, the "old Mass did not fit his personal spirituality" or something like that. What kind of spirituality is this then?? I'm sorry, I know there is a mile wide distance between Bp Finn and say a Cardinal Mahoney, but there is a light-year distance between Bp Finn and St. Anthony Mary Claret. And that is where the problem is. So, although he did many good things, his problems extend from this deformed "spirituality". He did not rule his diocese like a father ruling his family. That style can only come from a traditional Catholic spirituality.

So unfortunately for him, although he was no traditionalist, he was not liberal enough for the Catholic Left.

Damask Rose said...

Dear Anil Wang

I don't mean to be facetious, but with regards to the five cardinals you mention, might I include homosexualist-approving Rabbi Skorka in the medley.

I become more incredulous at this papacy as each day passes and am amazed that our reigning pontiff and prelates cannot see what we can and are endlessly discussing on the blogosphere. Truly a diabolical disorientation. What else? Well, actually, I think it's arrogance and hubris on their part. How terrifying to be abandoned by God.

Since the election of this pope, a kind of smuttiness seems to have entered St Peter's. Putting aside the clandestine clerical sex abuse crisis to one side for a moment, it seems to me that the Vatican powers that be are just now simply lying to our faces. They're doing all this in broad daylight. As with 'The Twelve Caesars', we need a modern-day Suetonius to chronicle the machinations of this practically Borgian papacy. I'm sorry, but His Holiness seems to be running his papacy like a Machiavellian Renaissance prince after all and instead of a leprous curia, he does seem to be surrounding himself with friends and flatterers. The whiff of Marxist Liberation Theology, endless mention of poverty and clericalism (so non-VII!) just emphasises the double-standard.

Once, clericalism seemed to mean priests looking down at people they considered to be sinning scum, now the clerics seem to be looking down on actual pious Catholics. Methinks, the clerics doth sin too much.

I beat my brain out trying to work out why, through the Holy Spirit, we have this pope. Perhaps he'll bring about a schism? Perhaps we're being purified? Wheat and chaff time?

And when he was elected, I thought he was going to reform the Jesuit order, silly me...

JARay said...

Speculation is just THAT, speculation! Normally, one can only guess at what is going on in the mind of someone else. What one can say however, is, that one personally prefers those actions which one has perceived as emanating from this one or that one. There now!
Speculate on that!

gemoftheocean said...

I've despaired with Rorarte Caeli's latest on the Franciscan situation with Volpe and "that man" in the Vatican not giving a fig re: Canon law, and their ongoing persecution. I DO think there is a concerted hit list where traddies are concerned. IT's vindictive and depressing.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Liam, I've never known such large-scale denial and delusion by Catholics regarding the objectively evil acts of the leader of the Church as today. What was rightly condemned before is now ignored or excuses made for it. The Deposit of Faith and Divine Law does not change. Diabolical disorientation.

pie said...

All I know is if either JPII or BXVI would have done any one of these things to a poor old liberal prelate or order, everyone (in the media) would be talking about a crackdown and calling them nazis or something like that.

On the other hand, if we ever get a orthodox Pope again, he will be able use Pope Francis example to rid the Church of all the heretics.

Dymphna said...

Bottom line this for me. Did Bishop Finn let a child molester get away with it or not? Both his defenders and antagonists have spewed forth so many flowery words that the facts have been obscured. If he did protect him, then he ought to go.

Gungarius said...

Given that he apparently had a criminal conviction for failure to report possible sexual abuse conducted by a priest in his diocese, I think he should have resigned.

Whether the criminal conviction was reasonable or fair I don't know, but my feeling is he ought to have resigned then as a matter of principle, just as I would expect a government minister convicted of such an offence to.

Fr Ray Blake said...

My concern is why Finn, and not Daneels, Brady, Mahoney or even Pell. It is the use of 'investigation' as an intimidatory tool.

Damask Rose said...

Yes, indeed, Fr Ray. It's all becoming Witchfinder General.

At least Bishop Livieres of recent rather bad-mannered persecution has chosen to speak up for himself here:

Article by Sandro Magister, Chiesa, h/tip The Eye-Witness blog.

Restore-DC-Catholicism said...

Father Blake, you might also add to that list Bishop Robert Lynch of St Petersburg Florida. In addition to shelling out thousands of dollars to his previous victims, he gave the "thumbs-up" to the murderous Michael Schiavo as he arranged to have his wife Terri murdered in Lynch's diocese. He still reigns.
Dymphna, do you see the flagrant double-standard here?

Православный физик said...

George, Bp Finn has celebrated the TLM several times.

Gungarius said...

Its a view that I'm sympathetic with but wary of jumping to conclusions. Unlike +Finn, none of the others you mention have had a criminal conviction over the matter, which is important.

That said, it is not at all unthinkable that liberals are taking advantage of a pope with little knowledge of the English speaking world to further their agenda and settle scores.

Certainly Rorates' latest blog on the FFI raised disturbing questions on whether due process is being followed.

Gungarius said...

Perhaps i should have said "the west" rather than "the English speaking world"

John Fisher said...

On this point I would like to say Cardinal McCarrick had an influence in the election of Francis as did Mahoney. They are part of the removal of Cardinal Burke and appointment of the Modernist Cupich to Chicago. McCarrick is part of a little magic circle of Modernists. A Google search reveals his proclivities yet Francis listens to these men. He does not remove or arrest them. What is going on!

John Fisher said...
This article ties together many threads. Bishops whose private lives are at variance with the Truth usually remove the "dissonance" by tailoring the truth to their vices.
Pope Francis is being mislead or manipulated by them. The stating point is a personal manipulation of the truth that flows over to a public and even not so public use of influence to remove dissonance on a public level. The Church is being distorted as part of this strategy of deception

Robert Zacher said...

I can only chuckle at all the supposed Pope Francis plots and imaginings that show up in comments here. There are so many "what if's ..?" and "could be's ..!" bouncing around here with very few facts.

Of all of this, it is recorded fact that Bishop Robert W. Finn was himself tried and found guilty in September, 2012, of a criminal offense for which he is still serving probation. Unfortunately charge against Finn involved his protection of a priest who sexualy exploited minors - a LOT of minors.

Bishop Finn is the only serving U.S. catholic bishop ever to have received a criminal conviction. Pope Benedict XVI left Finn in office and did nothing about the situation, so I'm very pleased that Pope Francis has commissioned an investigator, Archbishop Pendergast.

It's also quite unfortunate that so many of these comments hope to reach the wisdom of interpretation of a story by sleuthing for the discovery of liberals or conservatives involved in every element of it. Most usually that kind of digging around for what is mostly public assumption or reputation leads nowhere.

Liam Ronan said...

@Robert Zacher,

Have yourself a right old chuckle there, Robert. It's good for your health, I'm sure.

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