New wine, old skins?

I am not amused.  I have read, in too many places to number, that the bishops are going to investigate themselves.  Ha.  I have more faith in the fox guarding the henhouse.

Apparently, it was debated in some circles that sex between two males was somehow ok, because it wasn’t sex between a male and a female.  Maybe as an exercise in a debate class, but as a path toward becoming a priest?  Say wha?

I guess, looking at the speculative numbers, it is a wonder I was never approached, let alone violated, while growing up.  Yes, I was an altar boy.  Yes, I was extremely active in the CYO in high school.  How did I miss all that sex stuff?  Perhaps, as a teenager, I was too interested in girls?  Dunno; but do know that no man has ever showed an interest in me.  Thank GOD.

I kinda sorta walked away from the Church in my young twenties.  Didn’t run.  Wasn’t drawn away by some irresistible force.  It just kinda happened.  Then, in the Spring of 2005, like a two-by-four between the eyes, I did an about face and ran back.  Fortunately, there was a priest who welcomed me home like the father of the prodigal son (actually, a stunningly accurate analogy).  When I told him I would have come back sooner, except for the priest sex scandal, all he could do was sigh.

Fast forward to this “summer of horrors” (thanks to George Weigel).  It is indeed that.  But, if the captain of the Titanic had asked what was on the menu for dinner with water lapping at his socks, the Church hierarchy can’t possibly be more clueless.  In fact, as little factoids are leaked to the secular press (for no official Church mouthpiece has the moral courage) it is becoming increasingly clear that the bishops are not unaware – they have either been primaries or accomplices.

What to do?  Extol the virtues of the lifeboats, or assure everyone that the Barque of Peter is unsinkable (water well past the ankles at this point)?  I know: business as usual – or, that is how I interpret Pope Francis’ “I will not say a single word.”

None of the above, apparently.  Instead the very group that should have ensured that the priest sex scandal should have been stillborn (pun intended), were in fact, condoning it, encouraging it, perpetuating it.  That very group, the USCCB, is going to “investigate.”  As the warden in Shawshank Redemption says: “It’s a miracle!”

I’d like to say, “I respectfully disagree.”  But wouldn’t I have to respect the bishops, first?  I suppose I could “politely” disagree, but that smacks of a nod and a wink.  Disagree, I certainly do; but only in the most vehement manner I can possibly muster.

I no longer contribute financially to the Church.  If it has millions, if not hundreds of millions, to throw at victims (can any amount of money ever heal those scars?), it doesn’t need my coin.

Is this a case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater?  I think not.  As I heard recently, there is not one single bishop who could be called a hero in all this.  There are some who are guilty – whose souls are as black as their cassocks.  There are some who kept their pants zipped, but also, unfortunately also kept their lips zipped.  There are some who might have been completely ignorant.  But, no bishop, evidently, ever said No!

Rather, moving forward, the Church will get smaller.  Schools, buildings, positions, gone.  If secular authorities move in the direction of RICO, I hate to think what will happen – tho I am not sure it shouldn’t.  The new Church – the new wine – will find itself again.  It has before.  It is divinely ordained for all eternity.  Maybe St Peter’s will become a museum?

Maybe we devout Catholics are in the eye of the storm?  If so, look to Jesus: He commands the wind and the waves.  In any event, the old skins are leaking and need to be thrown into the bonfire of the vanities.

I have twin three-year olds.  I will “move heaven and earth” to have them grow up and love the Church.  Even if that means never going to Mass (too late for that, they’ve been, and been appropriately “appreciated” by the stodgy).  I would love for them to attend a Catholic school – a real one, certainly not associated with the Jesuits.

Some days, my only solace is in: “Your Heavenly Father knows what you need.” (Matthew 6:32).  Ah, but wouldn’t it be grand if He would drop me a clue?

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