Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Thursday, August 12, 2010


- Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin

Saw this in the news - Pope rejects bishops' resignations.

There's a post about this at America magazine's blog - Pope 'unresigns' Irish bishops, and David Gibson writes at Politics Daily ....

If Pope Benedict XVI is trying to dig the Catholic Church out of the sex abuse scandal, he only seems to be making the hole deeper.

That's the apparent consensus after it was reported that the pope has rejected the resignations of two bishops in Ireland who asked to quit last December after they were named in an independent report for their lack of diligence and action in the country's awful history of the sexual and physical abuse of children by priests.

The bishops, Eamonn Walsh and Raymond Field, are auxiliary, or assistant bishops, to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, who was sent to Dublin to clean up the abuse mess. Martin, who was profiled by PoliticsDaily earlier this year, had pushed Walsh and Field to resign, which they did in Christmas Eve letters to the pope .....

"The Vatican [was] not impressed with the way Diarmuid Martin went on PrimeTime [an Irish television news program] and called on other bishops to be accountable," Garry O'Sullivan, editor of the Irish Catholic newspaper in Dublin, told The Associated Press. "It's not the way business is done in Rome." .....

Other analysts suggested that behind the Vatican's rejection was the fear of a "domino effect" in which any bishop or cardinal implicated in the abuse crisis could be pushed to resign, which is a nightmare scenario to a tradition-minded pope like Benedict XVI.

"In other words, there may still be many Irish bishops with 'mishandling/bureaucratic,' sex abuse skeletons still in the cupboard who would also have to resign," Paddy Agnew wrote in The Irish Times ....

Last week there were posts all over Catholic blogdom about what a dope Anne Rice was for leaving the Catholic Church, how jejunely questionable were her reasons for doing so. Some asked with what seemed like sincere bewilderment how she could see a discrepancy between what Jesus preached and what the hierarchy of the church practices. Others opined that being a Catholic isn't really about what Jesus preached. What exactly is it all about? :(


Anonymous Victor said...

I've read most of this and I guess people will pick what they want from "IT" and go their way with their spreading of whatever propaganda seems acceptable for our time.

For example,
<<Although no reasons were given, it could be assumed the Pope refused to accept the resignations because neither Dr Walsh nor Bishop Field were heavily critizised in the Murphy Report.<<

There could be other reasons why His Holiness made the decisions that he made but like the days of old sinner vic tells me that, the only good christians is a christian without sin.

Then again,
<<The two bishops said, when announcing their resignation, that they hoped 'to bring peace and reconciliation' to the victims.<<

Who knows in their heart why they made their decisions? Maybe they see our world going to hell and they simply want to become Martyrs for the cause and His Holiness can see trough their sins?

But then again,
Could the Curia truly be so oblivious to the anger and frustration of average Catholics worldwide trying to make sense of the church's response to years of sexual abuse by clergy on Catholic children? It doesn't seem possible.

How there we be called average catholics!

Another honest Quotes,
"So much was expected of the pontiff, and so little was delivered," said John Kelly, leader of Survivors of Child Abuse, an Irish advocacy group. "The pope said that priests and bishops needed to surrender themselves to the demands of justice. Here were two of many who did surrender themselves -- and they've been refused," Kelly said. "That sends out a signal that there is to be no change, no closure for victims and no accountability."

I wonder if we really are in the last days of Armageddon and sinner vic knows of "IT"? But whatever you do please don't get him started cause personally I think he's crossed the insanity line and he just won't admit "IT".Go Figure? Unward Christian Soldiers!:)

I'll close by asking what would Christ say in this situation and the only thing that comes to mind at this time is, Let The ONEs without sin cast the first stone.


God Bless

3:41 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Victor,

Yes, I guess people will see in this conformation of what they already believe. It might help if the Pope said why he made that choice, but I suspect (and here i go with my assumptions :) he doesn't feel that he needs to explain himself to anyone.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Victor said...

Hey your assumptions are always welcome crystal, especially on your blog but I've figured out that we're not always right. :)

I must say that you're number one with putting up with me but some writers of First Things blog do also get a Gold Star.

Thanks again for your patience with me. That's got to count for something in God's Book of Life.


God Bless

7:28 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Victor, You don't owe me any thanks - I'm not putting up with you - you're always nice to me so I am to you too :)

8:23 PM  
Blogger Deacon Denny said...

I was out of town when I saw a notice in the paper about the Vatican's (lack of) action regarding these resignations. I was stunned and angry -- and even surprised.

I wanted to see John Allen's take on this -- he's the NCR's Vatican correspondent. Allen cites four likely reasons for the pope's refusal to accept the resignations. I found the fourth the most interesting:

"Fourth, and perhaps most fundamentally, the Vatican does not like the idea of a bishop resigning for poor performance because, in their view, it's bad theology. As they see it, a bishop isn't a corporate CEO or a football coach, who should be sacked when profits sag or the team goes on a losing streak. The episcopacy isn't a job but a sacramental bond akin to marriage, with the bishop as the father of the diocesan family. In the early centuries of the church, it was considered almost heretical for a bishop to move from one diocese to another on precisely this basis.

"That's the core ecclesiological reason Rome favors a bishop staying put in times of crisis: Like a father, or so the traditional reasoning goes, a bishop shouldn't abandon his family if he's let them down and they're feeling angry and betrayed. Instead, he should 'man up' and make things right."

You can find his whole article here:

Of course, Benedict could have SAID PUBLICLY that he wanted them to devote themselves to "making things right." Just like he could have said publicly that he wanted any bishop guilty of hiding the problem to confess their shame publicly. Oh, wait, then he would have had to do that for his actions as Archbishop....

11:32 AM  
Blogger crystal said...


That's an interesting idea, the bishop as a father. If that is what the Vatican was thinking, then I think they're still wrong. The idea that a family must stay together no matter what is not very halthy. There are fathers who don't deserve a family and families who are better off without them. I guess this was the idea too of why the bishops wouldn't turn in the priests who were abusers, and why the Vatican couldn't be held liable as the "employers" of the bishops and priests - it was all in the family.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Deacon Denny said...

I agree that the analogy doesn't hold in all instances... Allen does too. There are times -- and abuse is certainly one of them -- when fathers need to be separated from their families. That would certainly fit for the perpetrator priests.
As for the bishops... I'm not necessarily so adamant about that. HOWEVER... it seems that a minimum expectation would be that the bishop now be very transparant about what happened, how/why he failed to protect the innocent, and what he'll do about it from here forward.
Of course, depending on that bishop and his history in the diocese, it could well be impossible to re-establish trust "within the family." But imagine the great gain to everyone if he could... if the bishop really could admit his failures and demonstrate his humility and love for the family.
Maybe I'm a dreamer.

10:43 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

No, you're right - it would be good if everything could be healed and the bishops could re-establish trust. To do that, I'd think that first they'd have to really believe themselves that what they did was wrong, decide that they'd never do it again. But I think it should be the people who got hurt who should decide if the bishops deserve a second chance, not have that imposed from above. Imagine a family court deciding that a father who protected an abuser instead of the abused in his family should get to stay.

But anyway, I see your point :)

12:48 PM  

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