Monday, June 11, 2012

The Pope's Enemies

As the leak scandal continues to roll on, one positive is that we're getting a better picture of who the Pope's enemies are and where their priorities lie. Consider this recent report from Rorate. The relevant portion shows the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, giving the Holy Father a letter from some Bushwood-types (the Brenninkmeijers) who wanted to complain about the new Archbishop of Utrecht. After all, everybody knows that the top criteria for selecting bishops is whether or not they appeal to Dutch millionaires.

The Brenninkmeijers do not accuse anyone by name, except in one case. After maintaining that in Europe there are growing numbers of informed believers who are separating themselves from the hierarchical Church without, according to them, abandoning their faith, and after lamenting the lack of "non-fundamentalist" pastors able to guide the flock according to modern criteria, the two spouses manifest to the pope not only their own discouragement, but that of many laypeople, priests, religious, and bishops over the appointment of the new archbishop of Utrecht, Jacobus Eijk. ...

To the Church's good fortune, the Holy Father has a different idea this sort of stuff. The letter doesn't seem to have done any good. Of course, the fact that Superior General Nicolas is involved in this does raise some concerns. I guess we can be all in favor of preferential options for the poor just so long as there is a preferential option for the rich in intervening with the Pope's selections to the episcopacy.

Wait, what am I saying? We all know that there is nothing wrong with the Society, especially with Fr. Nicolas.

Granted, this is a minor issue (pardon the pun), when compared with the very public letter sent by the provincials of the Franciscans in the United States in support of the LCWR. There is apparently no concern for the problematic positions taken by these sisters over the years and a complete freak-out over the very idea that anyone would dare to question them. I'm not going to reproduce  it here, since there really is no point. In a nutshell, the word "dialogue" is used about four times. The word "Truth" isn't mentioned at all. The general tone is that things are just too by-golly complicated for Church teaching to be understood or presented in the simple terms of acceptance or rejection. Instead of the sort of instruction that a teacher gives a pupil, what's needed is a dialogue, which implies equality of position.

Just file this with all the other AmChurch items.

Both of these instances are pretty crazy, but each revealing in their own way. My recommendation to both the Brenninkmeijers and the provincials above is that Utrecht might indeed contain the answers to their problems. I'm sure Dollinger's schismatics would welcome them with open arms.

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