Monday, March 29, 2010

Et Tu, Shawn Tribe?

Does the rank-closing and defensiveness of conservative Catholics know no bounds of decency?

I had been very impressed by New Liturgical Movement's restraint over the whole crisis; for some time they didn't mention it. They are, after all, a liturgical blog, not generic Catholic commentary. Shawn Tribe even alludes to that when he says:

In the end, I determined that likely more than enough commentary could be found on any number of sites and perhaps there was something to be said for some calm and "business as usual" as a form of respite.
But then he publishes this reflection (at least he promises it will be the only one) called, rather blasphemously I think, "the Passion of Pope Benedict XVI," as if the Pope's "sufferings" at the hands of his "detractors" are to be spun as the unjust sufferings of a Christ figure! And Archbishop Dolan has recently been throwing around "crucifixion" language too in regard to this crisis! And apparently received a standing ovation!

Are these people all that delusional? Is their loyalty-instinct to portray the institution in the best light possible really that exaggerated?!?


However much or little personal culpability can be attributed to his negligence, the fact is he oversees an organization, and when something like this happens in any other organization, leaders take the fall. When you're the head of an organization, you represent and are responsible for those below you, regardless of personal innocence.

I'm not saying I want the Pope to resign. But the fact that the possibility is being totally dismissed as if it is out of the question, the way this is all being spun as "anti-Catholic" persecution, the way the Pope defiantly speaks of "not being intimidated" rather than expressing constant public contrition and penance...shows just how arrogant and out of touch these people are.

It should be recognized that, even if the Pope doesn't resign (and I don't expect nor want him to), this is definitely the magnitude of situation where that would be one appropriate response. There are others, and I hope he rather stays on and chooses one of those (for he remains an ideological ally, for better or worse). But if this isn't the kind of situation that calls for at least seriously considering papal resignation as one option...then nothing is. Then the inclusion of the possibility in canon law is just a joke. The way it is being dismissed off-hand as "ridiculous" shows that they still don't get it.

Personally innocent or not, the Vatican's insolent attempts at spin and the stone-faced way the Pope is going about business as usual...are just audacious. Staying the course like that is ruining the Church's credibility. So much for avoiding "scandal" for the sake of the Church, now it's all denial and defensiveness and face-saving.

Children were sexually molested by the glorified on-a-pedestal holier-than-thou bureaucrats put in charge of their souls by an organization that exists only for the purpose of salvation!! And the managers in charge of disciplining those perverts chose instead to cover it up!! And people have the gall to concentrate on the sufferings, not of the children, not of the tens of thousands of innocence-shattered permanently scarred lives, but rather of the negligent weaselly executives of that organization, and then compare that "suffering" to Christ's?!? I think I'm going to go vomit.

If people want to make that comparison to Christ, and if the Pope wants to show his contrition and keep his job, then maybe he should do what King Henry II did after the whole Becket affair and submit to being publicly whipped! If people want to claim that he's being "attacked" and "suffering," then I want to see some blood and real tears! They're making a martyr of him because some people have said some mean things, because he's losing some popularity or because his feelings might be hurt!? Oh, poor baby. It is just laughable compared to the psychological trauma and sufferings of the victims of sexual abuse.

10 comments:

tony said...

What do you think of this reflection?

http://riccioli.wordpress.com/2010/03/28/worried-weary/

A Sinner said...

I tend to agree with it. Though I wouldn't dismiss all calls for reform as "using" the scandal to push "agendas". The scandal is a direct evidence that reform is needed, and you can't blame people for promoting what they think is necessary (whether they're right or wrong)...

Tony said...

Hmm.

I wonder though, if Vatican II encouraged the crisis at all. Clearly there was abuse before. But did Vatican II, or rather, its elusive "spirit" foster a climate for such scandal on some level?

A Sinner said...

No, because Vatican II didn't change any of the things that led to it. Vatican II changed all the things it shouldn't have: the liturgy, the attitude towards other religions, the attitude toward The World...but then didn't change what it should have, namely: the closed, feudal world of the celibate bureaucratic clergy. That kept chugging right along.

If anything, this stems from the rigidity of the 50's and earlier combined with the utter lack of any institutional purpose other than self-preservation after Vatican II (when it seems most clerics either stopped taking the religion seriously, or became simplistic fundamentalists about it). It was a perfect storm with ingredients that spanned both sides of the Council.

arturovasquez said...

Not at all surprising, considering the aura surrounding the Papacy since the French Revolution. Really, the whole "prisoner of the Vatican" rhetoric is directly reflective of the "prisoner of the Tabernacle" pious imagery of yesteryear. "Rerum Pius tenax vigor" and all that. It is best not to get so indignant about it. Best to get indignant over things we are more likely to change, like the weather or wiping the stripes off a zebra.

It is no wonder that most Latin men throughout the centuries were anti-clerical. What we really need is a really good bad Pope, one who is an incredible bad ass who has a harem and rides into battle, so we could get off of all this pious cultic nonsense and stop sniveling about how bad the Church is.

sortacatholic said...

Let Shawn mourn the end of the liturgical restoration.

I am in mourning as well.

The foremost and necessary moral reconciliation of the Church should and probably will override any liturgical concerns. The next Pope will not be a liturgical Pope by the necessity of emergency.

I doubt that Summorum Pontificum will be danger of repeal. Even if we are suppressed again, we will always have the Blessed Sacrament in one way or another. Even the most banal Mass is an opportunity to kneel before the true Calvary.

The anti-clericalism and episcopal malfeasance of this age will raise up saints. Remember that St. John Vianney preached soon after the rationalism/deism of the Revolution and the tumult of the Napoleonic age. He won many souls for Christ in a very difficult time for the Church in France. The Holy Spirit will renew his Church and send us holy men and women to guide us along the way. καὶ πύλαι ᾅδου οὐ κατισχύσουσιν.

A Sinner said...

Now is not the time for mourning or apathy or quietism cloaked as noble resignation.

Now is the time for action. If the flames are fanned a little bit, we may find the liturgy truly restored along with the whole Church.

Some sort of action that will gain public sympathy while also pressuring the hierarchy. But have all modes of protest been neutered? Hunger strikes, picketing, mass prayer vigils outside cathedrals?

Somehow liberal organizers threw together that protest for the Pope to resign in London.

Why aren't conservative Catholics, or Trads, or Renegade Trads...marching on Baltimore, or DC, or Chicago, or something, and doing a sit-in at the Cathedral until SOMETHING happens. What specific demand would be the "keystone" of all others, I don't know...

Sigh. I think it's because so many people are comfortable just sitting back with their popcorn at their computers watching it all unfold, maybe griping or opining, but not doing anything.

If anyone has any ideas, I would try to get something DONE, would take the responsibility of organizing it, etc.

Oh well...

arturovasquez said...

Youth is often full of piss and vinegar. You'll understand when you get older. You can't change the world, you can only change yourself. You certainly can't change it in a cyber combox.

A Sinner said...

I know. As I said: "oh well..."

I doubt anything will happen. People are too busy with their lives to interrupt them to do anything, and there are all sorts of collective action problems.

Certainly your point is one I've been reminded of before, and there is a lot of wisdom in it.

At the same time, I worry it is often also associated with a sort of fatalistic defeatism.

Obviously, things HAVE changed in the world, and people (we call them leaders) have been instrumental in accomplishing it. Not everyone is meant to be a leader, but that doesn't mean no one is.

Sure, we can say "the more things change the more they stay the same," and obviously no one has re-engineered human nature. But there is still a place for activism.

Perhaps someday I'll be as jaded as you, but for now I still firmly believe what Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

It's just sad that good Catholics seem to care less about the quality of our Church and the untapped potential it does have to agitate for a more just and beautiful world...than people did about civil rights, the war in Vietnam, women's suffrage, etc.

You can work on the personal level just in your own life and among those you know, and that's very good. For most people, that's what they're meant to do, that's all they ever will do. Very possibly me too someday, but for now I'm not giving up on the idea of initiating structural reform just yet. You can't win if you don't compete, and if I don't, at least I tried.

Jonathan said...

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

"...I'm not giving up on the idea of initiating structural reform just yet. You can't win if you don't compete, and if I don't, at least I tried."

"Now is not the time for mourning or apathy or quietism cloaked as noble resignation."

"Why aren't conservative Catholics, or Trads, or Renegade Trads...marching on Baltimore, or DC, or Chicago, or something, and doing a sit-in at the Cathedral until SOMETHING happens. What specific demand would be the "keystone" of all others, I don't know...

Sigh. I think it's because so many people are comfortable just sitting back with their popcorn at their computers watching it all unfold, maybe griping or opining, but not doing anything."

Well said, this is the blog I remember looking forward to reading each day. A critique of the problems found within Traditionalist circles and what we're NOT doing to stop them.