Monthly Archives: February 2019

But you promised, Pope Francis . . .

. . . there would be something concrete!

On the first day of the summit Thursday, the pope fed hopes for concrete reforms when he gave bishops guidelines for discussion that suggested a code of conduct and the involvement of laity in their oversight.

There were speeches:

. . . three full days of televised speeches from bishops, laywomen, and a Nigerian nun who denounced the bishops for their “mediocrity, hypocrisy and complacency” in handling sex abuse.

Hopes sprang, as for . . . .

. . . a new Vatican office dedicated to policing misconduct by the hierarchy. Others wanted the pope to put “zero tolerance” into canon law and bring the world-wide church into line with the small number of national bishops’ conferences that require all clerical sex abusers who are convicted in church trials be removed permanently from ministry.

Alas, he couldn’t bring himself to do either . . .


Pope Francis laid an egg?

Vatican AP report finds silver lining, noting that the just ended synod about abuse

was never going to meet the expectations placed on it by victims groups, the media and ordinary Catholics outraged over a scandal that has harmed so many and compromised the church’s moral authority so much.

Oh? AP predicted that? I mean if AP knew that, it made a great headline at the time, right? Or did they bite their tongues and save it for later? Is this a habit with them? In which case subscribers should ask their money back.

Meanwhile, some others:

* Wash Times:

Pope Francis closed his unprecedented summit on preventing clergy sex abuse Sunday by vowing to confront abusers with “the wrath of God,” but he did not offer any concrete protocols, an absence that won’t be missed by critics and victims, alike.

* Market Watch:

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis closed out his extraordinary summit on preventing clergy sex abuse by vowing Sunday to confront abusers with “the wrath of God” felt by the faithful, end the cover-ups by their superiors and prioritize the victims of this “brazen, aggressive and destructive evil.”

But his failure to offer a concrete action plan to hold bishops accountable when they failed to protect their flocks from predators disappointed survivors, who had expected more from the first-ever global Catholic summit of its kind.

* Wall St. Journal:

ROME—Pope Francis on Sunday strongly condemned sexual abuse but offered no specific solutions, disappointing clergy and laypeople who had hoped for a breakthrough at an unprecedented global summit to address the crisis in the Catholic Church.

* On the other hand, via KCRA3, four days ago:

Pope Francis began an unprecedented summit in Rome to confront the Catholic Church’s clergy abuse scandal by saying that Catholics are not looking for simple condemnation, but concrete actions. [emphasis added throughout]

He just couldn’t pull it off. 

‘The pope ignored them’: Alleged abuse of deaf children on two continents points to Vatican failings

You don’t have to go to the blogs for this story.

LUJAN DE CUYO, Argentina — When investigators swept in and raided the religious Antonio Provolo Institute for the Deaf, they uncovered one of the worst cases yet among the global abuse scandals plaguing the Catholic Church: a place of silent torment where prosecutors say pedophiles preyed on the most isolated and submissive children.

The scope of the alleged abuse was vast. Charges are pending against 13 suspects; a 14th person pleaded guilty to sexual abuse, including rape, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The case of the accused ringleader — an octogenarian Italian priest named Nicola Corradi — is set to go before a judge next month.

Corradi was spiritual director of the school and had a decades-long career spanning two continents. And so his arrest in late 2016 raised an immediate question: Did the Catholic Church have any sense that he could be a danger to children?


The answer, according to a Washington Post investigation that included a review of court and church documents, private letters, and dozens of interviews in Argentina and Italy, is that church officials up to and including Pope Francis were warned repeatedly and directly about a group of alleged predators that included Corradi.

Yet they took no apparent action against him. [emphasis added]


“I want Pope Francis to come here, I want him to explain how this happened, how they knew this and did nothing,” a 24-year-old alumna of the Provolo Institute said, using sign language as her hands shook in rage. She and her 22-year-old brother, who requested anonymity to share their experiences as minors, are among at least 14 former students who say they were victims of abuse at the now-shuttered boarding school in the shadow of the Andes.

No “field hospital” attitudes here:

Vulnerable to the extreme, the deaf students tended to come from poor families that fervently believed in the sanctity of the church. Prosecutors say the children were fondled, raped, sometimes tied up and, in one instance, forced to wear a diaper to hide the bleeding. All the while, their limited ability to communicate complicated their ability to tell others what was happening to them. Students at the school were smacked if they used sign language. One of the few hand gestures used by the priests, victims say, was an index figure to lips — a demand for silence.

“They were the perfect victims,” said Gustavo Stroppiana, the chief prosecutor in the case.

“The Vatican declined to comment on a detailed list of questions.”   . . . .

Interior life, not to be abandoned in our search for community or commitment to a cause . . .

Dominus Vobiscum: Notes from a massgoer's underground

Instead, mes enfants . . .

“Abandon yourself entirely to the over-ruling of God, and by self-oblivion be eternally occupied in loving and serving Him without any of those fears, reflexions, examens, and anxieties which the affair of our salvation, and perfection sometimes occasion.”

Gold in them there hills . . .

Since God wishes to do all for us, let us place everything in His hands once and for all, leaving them to His infinite wisdom; and trouble no more about anything but what concerns Him. On then, my soul, on with head uplifted above earthly things, always satisfied with God, with everything He does, or makes you do.

Practically speaking . . .

Take good care not to imprudently entertain a crowd of anxious reflexions which, like so many trackless ways, carry our footsteps far and wide until we are hopelessly astray. Let us go through that…

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The villainous Bugnini, who made the Ordo Novus, as presented in newly translated book by highly regarded French historian Yves Chiron

Dominus Vobiscum: Notes from a massgoer's underground

Held in low esteem, if any esteem at all, by traditionalists and tradition-leaning Catholics from all over the world.

The general theme of the book [Annibale
Bugnini, Reformer of the Liturgy
, Angelico Press
] could be summed up as this: Bugnini was immensely hard-working and a skilled networker, and in large bureaucracies these are the people who leave their marks upon events.

For better or worse, of course.

Anyhow, the final decree passed in Vatican Council 2 with a mere four dissenters. However . . .

Sometimes people draw our attention to the fact that only four of the Fathers voted against the Conciliar decree Sacrosanctum Concilium. Which is indeed an objective historical fact. But the leap is sometimes made of implying that everything which has happened since was directly and formally mandated by the Council, so that anybody who expresses a criticism is ‘anti-Conciliar’. This is…

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Idea for introducing yourself to one sitting next you at church before Sunday mass . . .

Dominus Vobiscum: Notes from a massgoer's underground

. . . when the presiding priest or singing director urges you to do so.

Do not just say hi but hand out your card. Something they can take with themselves and maybe later call you and presto, some new business.

Or, and this is a big or, a number or address a person can call or write to later, trying to sell you something.

So forget it, not that it’s ever been tried.

Look. Just say hi and let go at that. With a smile, of course.

It’s what I do at the other greeting time, the handclasp of peace later in the mass, when I sometimes do not clasp a hand but wave, and then not to whole rest of church, of course . . . .

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Nicholas Stix, Uncensored: Saturday Funnies

Let us hear it for funny things.


Can’t be too careful.

On Utopian Foreign Policy | Intercollegiate Studies Institute: Educating for Liberty

Here’s some heresy for Catholic and other religious authority/spokespeople:

The most distinctive fact about our politics is the theoretical abolition of war.

This is the surest sign of modernity: the belief that existential wars are impossible.

Neither the American people nor the press and politicians fear a coming war, so we do not conduct our politics in expectation of and preparation for it.

War was previously assumed to be inevitable, a question of when, not if, and therefore a very important political concern, but we now believe only in very attenuated wars—and assume we ourselves would never be in danger.

This is true not just in America but nearly everywhere in the liberal West.

It’s the sort of thing that makes prayers for peace cry for emendation. Praying for more peace than we have now is more like it. Or reduction of violence, rather than its end.

This from one who takes prayer seriously and would like to be encouraged in that sensibility by what he hears in church.

Cardinal Cupich Cites ‘Dramatic Drop’ in U.S. Clergy Abuse Cases as Vatican Summit Begins – The Tablet

Well if that is so, and I believe it is so, then why have the big summit about children with Americans in attendance, who were not allowed in November to work out their own solution to the main current problem, abuse by bishops et al. of non-children?

Or have the Americans hold a seminar for the rest of the world.

In any case, why is Cupich bragging on this dramatic drop when he’s one of two American bishops on the Vatican cabinet post who arranged the last-minute kibosh, blindsiding, of the November meeting?

Intriguing, this Vatican intrigue, especially with a one-time Peronista in charge.

Andersonville Cafe Wins $10K Brand Makeover In National Competition – Edgeville Buzz

Couldn’t happen to better people, in my happy experience at this place.

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