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11 February 2013


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You are correct, the cleansing has not been accomplished..just look at the situation in Los Angeles where the Archbishop suspended retired Cardinal Mahoney of all duties for his part in a decades-long coverup of sexual abuse crimes by priests. And it just was revealed that he depleted the $115 M cemetery fund to pay victims.


Well said. The laity are stilled viewed as unwashed peasants and the clergy are smiling indulgently. (pun intended) The College of Cardinals has been salted with a like minded fraternity. However, I still hope for a new pope who can stand the heat of modern times.



We'll have to agree to disagree here. I'd prefer a Pope more in line with the SPPX.

The Twisted Genius

That's quite the bit of news to wake up to. I agree with your prescription, especially in relation to priestly misbehavior. A real "Act of Contrition" is long overdue.

"I firmly intend, with Your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin."

(from the modern version of the "Act of Contrition" )


According to St. Malachy, the next pope will be the last one, so I hope they pick a good one. I do have some doubts that much will change. That organization has a lot of built in features to make sure it doesn't.

Edward Amame

My hopes too, but I expect we'll see more of the same. Pope John XXIII was an aberration (a good aberration IMO).


I can't help but wonder whether the Pope's retirement is not due, in part, to the Cardinal Mahoney issue in the Los Angeles diocese.

I seem to recall that there was communications between Cardinals Mahoney and Ratzinger, when he was the Cardinal-Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, regarding the pedophile priests issue.

Is it possible that Pope Benedict is falling on his sword to avoid future embarrassment?

Medicine Man

This is quite an extraordinary turn of events. If I'm reading my history books right, the last time this happened was during the western schism.




Need I say more? pl


May the Catholic church and all its works rot in hell. After a courageaous police officer blew the whistle, we are now in the process of beginning a Royal Commission into Institutional child abuse. We are talking Tens of Thousands of victims and hundreds of suicides of victims. Male and Female.

The crimes have been both sexually perverted as well as sadistic and the Catholic Church has, for at least the last Sixty years, bought off the victims if possible, suppressed the truth and worst of all, shuttled the perpetrators around internationaly to put them beyond the reach of the law, even while they continue to offend.

When caught, the Church does everything possible via legal threats, sophistry and intimidation to deflect any blame and does so to this day in the person of one Cardinal George Pell. Furthermore, abuses of this nature have been detected on each continent so we are seeing an endemic phenomenon.

And to those who say "Yes but" I say that any good the Church does is only incidental to its lust for power. It is utterly sexually and sadistically corrupt and I fail to understand how anyone with moral fibre could associate themselves with its administration.



Wow, you are way over the top. How many children has the Catholic Church killed in the last few centuries?

Answer: Many fewer than Presdient Obama has killed with his drone strikes.

And certainly fewer than the number of Aborigines killed by the good people of Australia. So when you say, "I fail to understand how anyone with moral fibre could associate themselves with its administration," I presume the "its" refers to the government of Australia.


The Church - all churches? - should have its tax-exempt status revoked. Then, RICO prosecution for the decades-long sexual abuse.


While the abuse scandel is something the church has handled very badly and I will not defend the wrong doing or the mishandlings. But you cannot blame the entire universal church. On top of that lets stay to facts and not go off the deep end.


Rome has to get with the program no doubt. I wish we would place as much focus on evangelization as we do abortion. Clergy (some) talk a good bame but do not put into practice what they preach. Many who are in positions of authority forget who they are suppose to be and get caught up in the world. Especially those charged with assisting the poor and I will point to Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services as examples.
Its my hope the next Pope comes from the third world.... Forget the United States and Europe.
But change? Western rite should be allowed to marry as does the Eastern rite. Women as clergy? I am split and swinging against. Though as Deacons I see no issue. As far as abortion and birth control? I support life as well as contraseptives.
We can only pray for both Popes....


Abandon hope all ye...

Not in many, many lifetimes have we had an incumbant who will undoubtedly politic among the College of Cardinals to ensure that whomever is chosen will not undue Benedict's legacy, or status quo. How many of these guys did were elevated to cardinal under his time?

Benedict XVI was far from being a "progressive", and there is a dim (OK, IMO no) chance that the inner politics of the Vatican will allow one to emerge...

Laura Wilson

It would be enough if there could be a Pontiff who would ENGAGE with modern times and who believed in the dignity of every human being...enough to stand up for them even to his own priests and bureaucrats. A man of courage to defend the children--those that are actually already born. That would be good.



I volunteer. pl


Why wouldn't the number of priests decline in the US? There's far more opportunity there for fulfilling a pedophile's dream under the cover of the now cherished gay lifestiles than as a priest. I would bet there are more active pedophiles in Coliformia alone than in all parishes of the world put together.

And how about the amount of pain, suffering and death caused by neglected diseases while ample resources are poured into sustaining the viability of such lifestiles by making HIV/AIDS more manageable. Why be a priest when you can be gay and have your well being turned into capital policy of public health?

And why be a priest and be involved in limmited and ineffective forms of evildoing when you can be an abortionist liberal and help in the soilent greening of millions of little-ones?

Why be a priest and earn such little cubic-feet of fire in hell when you can turn the whole world into it and be a real estate mogul?

Why? Perhaps because, you know, fame is everything, and being a priest your sins, no matter how insignificant, would stand a greater chance of being turned into a mass media event rather than, say, if you were a black liberal cop and decided to exact revenge on the families, dogs and cats of the black, white, yellow, pink people who had shown you that the America as a multicultural-multisexual paradise possibility that you had been fooled into believing could possibly exist was, well, a joke that you failed to get.


Gomez v. Mahony seems to be mainly a spitting contest between an Opus Dei guy and a famous liberal prelate and it is unlikely to have influenced Benedict’s decision. Mahony deserves far worse than public embarrassment (which is mostly what it is since Gomez can’t really do much to a cardinal, certainly not “suspend him from duties") but he was defenestrated by his successor primarily for public relations reasons, not moral ones. (Gomez’s whole “I’m shocked, shocked” act is rather funny.)

Benedict has said in the past that when he felt he was too enfeebled to do his job properly he would go, and obviously he meant it. He was part of the inner circle when his predecessor was failing and watched as a lot of messes piled up because JPII was no longer able to function. My guess is that is part of his motivation for leaving now.


Amen, Colonel.

Whenever mom hears me refer to myself as a "cultural Catholic," she always reminds me I was baptized Catholic. It'd sure be great not having to complain so much.

By the way, we here in San Francisco have a plain lousy Archbishop that was recently arrested for drunk driving. Didn't prevent him from being installed at his post. Just one glaring problem among others that requires fixing by far more energetic leadership, starting at the top.


The difference, Matthew, is that we apologized, learned the error of our ways, pay reparations to this day and do everything we can to atone.

The Catholic Church? not so much.


My mother had some interaction with our local cardinal, as a result of her having played a role in the local catholic women's organisation. In summary, she said that the attitude displayed towards women laity was one of benevolently ignoring them and the contributions they made (starting with simply not reading texts they wrote for meditations to reform proposals).

She reports that he fills new spots in the diocese with smart young men of the arch conservative kind. With him or with them, she said she and her peers have always been treated kindly, but not been taken seriously. A stupid thing to do IMO. It is in my experience usually the women who shoulder the greatest deal of the work around daily life in the parish.

And how will such a story ring with them?

A recent case: In my town, a women who had been raped, went to two of our catholic hospitals to have a rape kit made and to have the pregnancy terminated (morning after pill). Treatment was refused outright by clinic staff because of the morning after pill and a notion that clinic rules forbade all involvement. They didn't offer giving the woman all necessary treatment and counselling except for the morning after pill.

Speaking about losing sight of what taking care of those most in need is about.

Our cardinal uttered a public apology for that. Clinic says that this 'misunderstanding of rules has been clarified'. I am not convinced that this displays a change of heart but merely a reaction to the bad press.



Regarding "cleansing" and the abuse scandal, point taken.

On the other matters I am less convinced. While I am sympathetic with some of the concerns mentioned I am doubtful that any of your prescriptions would help regarding "evangelization." The Episcopal church and other mainstream Protestant churches have already embraced modern liberal values to the core and the result? They are in a death spiral. Finke and Starke do a very good job of analyzing this in a book titled "The Churching of America". While their sociological analysis is unacceptable for believers, they provide convincing evidence, from colonial times to the 1970s, that whenever churches that are in tension with dominant social mores adapt to the current social climate the predictable result is decline.

Also, forgive me, but using the term "medieval" to designate aspects of the Church that depart from dominant contemporary attitudes in the industrialized West is really not fair. This represents a modern caricature of the medieval Church. So much of what liberals or moderates criticize is a product of Trent, Vatican I, even as late as the 1970s! There was far more room for discussion of some of the issues you raise before these modern expositions on the faith, especially in the early medieval period (for instance, focus on clerical celibacy did not come in definitively until the Gregorian reforms of the eleventh century). Ironically, modern (not medieval!) ecclesiastical explanation and affirmation of these doctrines has made movement much more difficult for any pope.


There was a time in my life when I had a great deal of interaction with the RC clergy, religious and hierarchs. I found that there is a minority of such folk who are dedicated servants of the People of God but the majority are careerist managers of one of the biggest NGOs in the world. These people do not resemble the Catholic army chaplains I knew all my life. Those were by an large dedicated men who took pride in their service but little else. Catholic lay people are judged by the careerist majority as being sheep to be fleeced. Papal honors, knighthoods, etc., are showered on those who give a LOT of money just as colleges and universities bestow honors on tiop donors. For decades the clergy in the US hid behind the distinction in meaning between "celibacy" and "chastity." As "H Rap" woulda said, "the chickens have come home to roost." pl

Charles I

Why be a human being when you can be a Catholic?

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