Wednesday, November 16, 2022

In the Midst of Global Catholic Crisis, Look at Whom U.S. Catholic Bishops Choose as Their Leaders

James Tissot's "Jésus Pleura," Brooklyn Museum, New York, Wikimedia Commons

The Catholic church globally is facing the biggest crisis it has faced since the Reformation. This is a deep crisis of credibility, in which increasing numbers of the faithful find it impossible to trust, admire, or follow the pastoral leaders of the Catholic church, and, in growing numbers, even to retain any living connection to the Catholic institution. In the midst of this historic crisis, whom do the chief shepherds of the Catholic church in the U.S., its bishops, choose to be leader of their bishops' conference? Here's an exerpt from a report of Brian Fraga at National Catholic Reporter:

In the 1990s, [Timothy] Broglio served as private secretary for the late Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican secretary of state under Pope John Paul II who was a staunch promoter and defender of then-Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the serial sexual abuser and founder of the once-powerful Legionaries of Christ religious order.

In 2018, Broglio supported a U.S. Air Force chaplain who in a homily blamed 'effeminate' gay priests for clergy sex abuse. In an emailed response to a woman who complained about the priest's homily, Broglio said there was "no question that the crisis of sexual abuse by priests in the USA is directly related to homosexuality."

A 2011 John Jay College of Criminal Justice report on the causes and contexts of clergy sex abuse found no statistical evidence to back that claim, which is popular among conservative Catholics.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Broglio supported vaccine exemptions for military members on religious objection grounds, writing in October 2021 that "no one should be forced to receive a COVID-19 vaccine if it would violate the sanctity of his or her conscience."

And here's Brian Fraga on the person the U.S. bishops chose as secretary of their conference and chairman of the organization's Committee on Priorities and Plans, the number 3 man in their conference's leadership structure:

In his current role in Oklahoma since 2011, [Paul] Coakley was one of several U.S. bishops who issued statements of support in 2018 for former Vatican ambassador Archbishop Carlo Viganò after the diplomat published a scathing manifesto and called on Pope Francis to resign.

At the time, Coakley said he had the "deepest respect for Archbishop Viganò and his personal integrity."

Viganò is a conspiracy theorist in league with the odious Steve Bannon, who helped drum up support for the January 6 insurrection attempt, who has spread toxic conspiracy-laden theories about the Covid pandemic. He's an ugly homophobe who has done all he can to blame gay priests for the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic church. He has colluded with super-rich right-wing lay Catholics in the U.S. to try to bring Pope Francis down. He is in no shape, form, or fashion a respectable or admirable man.

The Catholic church is undergoing deep global crisis because of the abdication of pastoral and moral responsibility by shocking numbers of its top leaders, and in this crisis, what kind of leaders do the U.S. Catholic bishops choose to put forward?: they choose leaders who to all intents and purposes want to tell the world that the Catholic church is an arm of the Republican party; they choose leaders who give credence to those who peddle filthy conspiracy theories; they choose leaders who attack the current pope and his attempts to reform the institution; they choose leaders closely connected to those in the Vatican who long protected the notorious serial abuser of seminarians, drug addict, and father of children by several women, Father Marcial Maciel; and they choose leaders who embody the very worst of militaristic machismo and channel homophobic hostility to gay priests and LGBTQ people in general.

What a slap in the face not only to the LGBTQ community but to many faithful Catholics still trying to hang on by the skin of their teeth.

Jesus weeps.

No comments: