Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I Never Heard This One...

From an interesting article on the problem of clericalism, recommended to me by a reader. [FYI: I had to correct a confusing redoubling of a sentence that I assume was a typo in the original article].

I never heard this story before, but isn't it just a deliciously prototypical example of the mindset of the bishops who let heretics get away with everything but then won't stand anyone questioning them personally?:

One thinks, for instance, of the sensitive pastoral approach of the quite orthodox Archbishop Elden Curtiss to laypeople like Frank Ayers and Jeanne Bast, an 80-year-old mother of eleven and retired Catholic grade-school teacher from west Omaha, who wrote letters to the Omaha World-Herald [publicly criticizing] Curtiss’s decision to assign a priest who had viewed Internet child pornography to St. Gerald parish in Ralston [...] “You should be ashamed of yourself!” the archbishop wrote to Bast. Likewise, Ayers was informed by Curtiss that he was “a disgrace to the church.” For maximum humiliation, the letters were carbon copied to the writers’ pastors and both writers were commanded to say one “Hail Mary” prayer for him as penance. Unfortunately, for Archbishop Curtiss, he picked the moment when the priest abuse scandal was breaking all over the United States in the spring of 2002 to pursue this singularly ill-advised effort at shutting down perfectly legitimate lay input on the clergy’s catastrophic failure.

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