Monday, April 12, 2010

Still at it

Still reading calls in the media for the resignation of the Pope over his alleged negligence in handling abuse cases while he was a Cardinal. The anger behind these calls is understandable enough in the case of the victims and their immediate families (in whom that anger is understandable as a human, emotional response to pain), but sometimes it seems to just express what one of my teachers defined as the sin of wrath: "The desire to remove obstacles not legitimately removable." Today's Responsorial Psalm (echoed also in the first reading) is eerily prescient: "Why did the nations rage and the peoples utter folly? They arise, the rulers of the earth...against the Lord and his anointed."
When journalists and lawyers (don't forget the lawyers) present and interpret documents from the Vatican, they are counting on the general readership not to have any direct experience of Vatican correspondence, much less any experience of dealing with Vatican personnel. How inconvenient when someone shows up who actually does have first-hand experience. Someone like, say, Timothy Radcliffe, OP, former Master General of the Dominicans: "Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger lamented to me that the staff was simply too small for the job." How big was the staff? 45 people. Including the Cardinal. Radcliffe testifies: " I am morally certain that he bears no blame here." 
People expounding upon the Pope's responsibility, especially if they are not themselves directly touched by abuse, should probably keep silence for a few minutes and ask themselves just how "righteous" their indignation against him is. Where is it really coming from? Is it a sign of misplaced anger (with the Pope in Rome being a safer target than the real object of anger, who may be uncomfortably close), or, just maybe,  a sign of ignorance? 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fr Barron (in Rome) writes along the same lines and also offers some links: