Saturday, February 2, 2013

Archbishop Demeritus

Wonders never cease.  

Just after the yesterday's stunning headline "Mahoney relieved of duties" comes news that is even more shocking: Mahoney punching back at Archbishop Jose Gomez with a public letter on his blog.

And this is a guy who cares about embarrassing the Church?  A food fight between archbishops is a spectacle we haven't seen before.,0,5622288.story

I guess you can take the archbishop out of his esteemed status, but you can't take that sense of pride out of the archbishop.

He still has no clue that maybe he needs to wear sackcloth and ashes.  Maybe he needs to vanish or at least lower his public profile a little.

Pride--the sin of Lucifer.  The first of the seven deadly and cardinal sins (yes, pun intended).

He handed over to Gomez an archdiocese that was "second to none in protecting children and youth," he says in that letter sent to Gomez and published on his blog.  It was also second to none in continuing to hide the truth about how they covered up abuse.

"In a sense what this is is a public shaming," notes Fr. Thomas Reese, a Jesuit professor at Georgetown University quoted in the Times article.

There's danger in public shaming.  "Let him who is without sin throw the first stone," Jesus said in saving the life of a woman who had done nothing more than a consensual sexual act outside of marriage.

I should hesitate to judge, because I too am a sinner.  I should not enjoy this spectacle so much.

Yet I can't help but wonder what Jesus would do to a man who raped children while wearing titles and robes of the church bearing his name.  What he would say to a man who shielded those rapists?

Jesus saved his angriest words for the public hypocrites of his day:"Woe unto you... ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness" (Matthew 23:27 KJV).

Thus it is really scary to watch a prince of the church draw on public media and his remaining power as a Cardinal to lash out against rebuke.

It's like watching the opera about Doctor Faustus, who sold his soul to the devil, and sitting on the edge of your chair just before Mephistopheles comes in and drags Faustus off to hell.

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