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What Went Wrong?
Confraternity of Catholic Clergy | July 15, 2003 | Father Paul Mankowski, S.J.

Posted on 03/29/2004 1:07:32 PM PST by CatherineSiena

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1 posted on 03/29/2004 1:07:32 PM PST by CatherineSiena
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To: CAtholic Family Association; Pyro7480; Canticle_of_Deborah; Maximilian; NYer; Unam Sanctam; ...

I don't know if this has already been posted and commented upon, but this piece is well worth the time taken to read.

2 posted on 03/29/2004 1:08:33 PM PST by CatherineSiena
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To: CatherineSiena
Good article that I have never seen before. Throw me on your ping list if you can. Thanks.
3 posted on 03/29/2004 1:29:50 PM PST by BobCNY
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: CatherineSiena
Excellent. I especially liked this part:

that one's duty was to keep silence and trust that those officially charged with the pertinent responsibilities would execute them in their own time; that delayed correction of problems was sometimes necessary for the universal good of the Church.

He better be careful or he may be called schismatic.

5 posted on 03/29/2004 1:53:44 PM PST by johnb2004
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To: CatherineSiena
Rev Professor Paul Mankowski SJ
Fr Paul is Visiting Professor of Biblical Theology at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Melbourne. He holds a BA in Classics and Philosophy from the University of Chicago, a MA in Classics and Philosophy from Oxford, a Licentiate in the Old Testament from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology and a PhD in Semitic Philology from Harvard University. He is currently Lector in Biblical Hebrew at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome having been Language Instructor at Weston Jesuit School of Theology, in Massachusetts and Assistant Professor of Classics and Philosophy at Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the author of numerous articles and reviews and has a book "Akkadian Loanwords in Biblical Hebrew."
6 posted on 03/29/2004 2:03:46 PM PST by CatherineSiena
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To: CatherineSiena
The Holy See now appears to treat national episcopal conferences, and the numerous religious orders, almost as foreign powers. Scrupulous correctness is observed at all times, formal verbiage masks barely hidden disagreements, and above all potential "incidents" are avoided. ... This endemic practice of diplomacy within the Church has yielded small results. Abuses have been tolerated not for the sake of unity but merely for the "appearance" of unity, which itself soon becomes an over-riding concern.

Because what matters most in this mindset is perception, the appearance of unity, it has become virtually impossible to remove a bad bishop without prior public scandal -- "public" here meaning notorious in the secular sphere, through the mass media.

When the scandal is sexual or financial, it seems the Holy See can move quickly to remove the offender. When the scandal is in the arena of heresy or administrative irregularity or liturgical abuse, there is almost never enough secular interest generated to force the Holy See's hand. Bishops Milingo and Ziemann and Roddy Wright have many brethren; Bishop Gaillot has few.

Intermediate reform measures like seminary visitations are doomed to failure for the same reason; there simply is no possibility in the present disposition for a hostile inspection, where the visitators try to "get behind" the administration and find the facts for themselves. To do such a thing would be to imply lack of trust in the administration and hence in the bishop responsible for it, and such an imputation is utterly impossible.

The same is true in bishops' dealing with universities, learned societies and religious congregations. The only permissible inspections are friendly inspections, where the visitators ask the institution under scrutiny for a self-evaluation, which, of course, will be overwhelmingly positive and which will render the chances of reform almost nil.

A priest official in a Vatican dicastery whom I trust told me that the needed reforms will never take place unless the Church undoes Pope Paul VI's restructuring of the Vatican curia, whereby the Secretariate of State has become a kind of super-bureaucracy -- no longer charged simply with the Holy See's relations to other nations but with de facto control over the relations of the Vatican dicasteries to one another of the Holy See to its own bishops.

In practice the Secretariate of State not only sets the tone for the Holy See's dealings but often sets the agenda as well, ensuring that the diplomatic concern for appearances will prevail over the need for reforms involving unpleasantness, and exercising indirect influence over the selection of bishops, characteristically men of diplomatic demeanor if not experience.

This profile goes far to explain why telling the truth is a problem for a large number of bishops, many of whom seem baffled and hurt when their falsehoods are not taken at face value.

All embassies, moreover, have a high number of homosexuals in their staffs, and the Vatican diplomatic corps in no exception. The combination of the physical comforts attendant on diplomatic service, the skill at bureaucratic manipulation and oblique methods of pressure, the undercurrent of homosexual decadence, and the alacrity with which truth is sacrificed to expediency do not make an environment conducive to reform.

The dominion exercised by the Secretariate of State means that many good-willed attempts to clean house go nowhere, and will continue to go nowhere in the future, being lost in its corridors or disfigured beyond recognition.

7 posted on 03/29/2004 2:06:16 PM PST by johnb2004
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To: CatherineSiena
Absolutely on target. My own experience in the seminary in the mid 80s confirms what this author says. It was far from what I had expected. Prayer life was minimal. Seminarians were deeply involved in decorating their rooms attractively, with all the modern conveniences. More attention was paid by the administration to making sure everybody had a phone line than to making sure everybody had a good spiritual director. My director was so bad I had to engage another, a Dominican I had heard about who lived outside my area. Our sessions dealt with my anger and disappointment for the most part--that the place was so unspiritual and uninspiring. Administrators themselves lived posh lives. One of them showed me his private suite of rooms--Martha Stewart would have been proud. It was like walking into the presidential suite of a four-star hotel. The Blessed Sacrament, on the other hand, was housed in a small storage room in the basement. And this was one of the major seminaries in America.
8 posted on 03/29/2004 2:17:48 PM PST by ultima ratio
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To: CatherineSiena
Great article. Halfway through I found myself asking "What kind of prayer life do these men have?" The author was absolutely on target.

I might add, as expected, the highest form of prayer is the Traditional Mass itself. It showers graces on those who offer and attend, and those graces are what transform us. When we honor Him more than we honor ourselves He does. No amount of psychobabble, navel gazing or self-worship will do it. We must step up, offer ourselves to God and let Him do the rest. A solid, consistent, daily regimen of prayer is essential.

This is a significant part of why Catholicism is in auto destruct.
9 posted on 03/29/2004 2:33:08 PM PST by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: CatherineSiena
Mrs dono is knows of this priest, but has never seen this. She is eagerly awaiting my getting off the puter, so she can read it.
10 posted on 03/29/2004 3:11:20 PM PST by don-o
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To: CatherineSiena
Unless he makes unusual efforts to the contrary, a priest today finds himself part of a culture of pleasure-seeking bachelordom, and the way he recreates and entertains himself overlaps to a great extent that of the young professional bronco.

When I was in seminary back in the early 70s, I was flabbergasted at the lifestyles of most pastors of major parishes, especially those in Dallas.

They attended the Opera, ate out twice a week at the swank restaurants, drove brand new cars, mostly Lincolns, courtesy of Ed Maher (a local Catholic dealer), went to Las Vegas as a group at least twice a year, and jetted off to the Kentucky Derby, to the Masters Golf Tournament. Liquor cabinets were full, but not for long.

I once asked a younger priest how these guys could afford this lifestyle. I was frankly shocked at the lavish expenditures, since my family never took a vacation further away than Houston, and my dad never made more than $20,000 in his entire life, to support a family of five.

He said "Well, they see giving up a wife and family on one side of the ledger, so they figure they can indulge themselves in all this other stuff as a compensation. After all, look what they gave up!"

Every single one of these men, outwardly admired by their parishioners, had been ordained in the 40s and 50s.

11 posted on 03/29/2004 3:12:51 PM PST by sinkspur (Adopt a dog or a cat from an animal shelter! It will save one life, and may save two.)
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah
Your #9 nails it so perfectly Deb, 100%.

Thank you for giving me a needed bit of inspiration.

12 posted on 03/29/2004 3:54:44 PM PST by AAABEST (<a href="">Traditional Catholicism is Back and Growing</a>)
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To: CatherineSiena
Excellent, thank you for posting.
I first saw Fr Mankowski's byline with First Things years ago. He wrote some hilarious parodies of NewChurch.
13 posted on 03/29/2004 3:56:41 PM PST by Piers-the-Ploughman
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You're quite welcome but it's not coming from me. I searched for so long to find that magic formula for spiritual fulfillment. Growing up in the new Church I thought the Church was so limiting and barren in terms of deeper growth. I remember many times in my twenties sitting in the N.O. thinking "This is it? This is what it's all about?" Of course, it's not.

The truth is the Truth has been suppressed. Anyone considering leaving Catholicism had better take a long look at it before deciding it has nothing to offer. There are PLENTY of teachings on sound prayer life, mystical union with God, etc.. etc.. The wreckovators and malign influences don't want you to know about it. But it's there for the taking; a person just has to know where to look.
14 posted on 03/29/2004 4:28:54 PM PST by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: CatherineSiena
CS, Thanks for posting the article. It's important commentary.
15 posted on 03/29/2004 4:54:23 PM PST by cielo
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To: Diago; narses; Loyalist; BlackElk; american colleen; saradippity; Polycarp; Dajjal; ...
This is a really outstanding analysis! This priest obviously knows the inner workings of chanceries, seminaries, etc. I remember his brilliant piece from a couple of years back in which he analyzed the "lames" who currently run the Church. I thought he hit the nail on the head precisely.

Recently I've been thinking about the current use of the word "gay" by today's teenagers to mean "lame," "pathetic," "weak." It seems that the current crisis in the Church is a "gay" crisis in more ways than one, both literally and figuratively.
16 posted on 03/29/2004 5:12:52 PM PST by Maximilian
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To: dubyaismypresident; hobbes1
17 posted on 03/29/2004 5:18:03 PM PST by xsmommy
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To: Maximilian
I posted these observation of mine on another thread. I think they're pertinent.

Johnston argues why Vatican II was necessary--but he does not argue that it was successful. Nor can he. In almost every instance in which he cites the need for change, the change was delivered into the hands of modernists who made bad situations far worse.

1. There was a need for the Church to encounter modernity in order to redeem the modern world. But the end result has been that modernity itself has swept away the very defense mechanisms that the Church had constructed to protect itself from the world's corruption. Its monastic isolation destroyed, the Church is now far more worldly and humanistic. But this has not spiritualized the world a bit. It has instead grown bolder in its attacks on the Church. The more the Church has humbled itself and sought to accommodate to the world, the more the world heaps scorn on the Church. The Church has, in fact, lost the high ground in its fight against the encroachments of the world. What's happening now is far worse that what was happening before the Council.

2. Johnston argues the Church had a need to present its case more convincingly to the intellectual community, to utilize a less ossified philosophic system. But the result has been to incorporate existential and phenomenological rationales which have relativized the Church's own belief in the immutability of its truths. The rock on which the Church has been built has been fast turning into quicksand as a result. Not even the most established truths are immune from an ever more skeptical scrutiny.

3. It is true the Church had been identified with the Curia bureaucracy before Vatican II. But at least that identification was justified, since the Catholic Church and the Curia reflected the same faith. Vatican II has changed all this. It now speaks in separate voices. It is difficult to know exactly what is true any longer just by attending to the Vatican. Is indifferentism still a heresy? Then why have Assisi prayer meetings been organized? Is faith in the Resurrection passe? If not, why has a bishop been awarded the red hat for thinking so? The point is, the separation between the Catholic Church and the Vatican has been radical and disturbing--even alarming. This has endangered the faith of millions.

4. Johnston speaks correctly of the formation of priests before Vatican II which caused many good men to give up their vocations. It is probably true they were treated as schoolboys--though it should be remembered they entered the seminary back then at very young ages--some in their mid-teens in pre-seminary institutions. But this was not universally true. Some of the great orders had magnificent formation programs--the Jesuits, in particular. They developed men of integrity and high-mindedness, with first-rate intellects. And at least all seminaries everywhere had a vigorous prayer life and developed habits of daily prayerfulness. All this has changed for the worse. Seminaries are now not only located on college campuses, but seminarians are indistinguishable from other college students. They cruise the bars. They watch R-rated movies. They have affairs. What they don't do is pray much.

5. Johnston argues the Council wished to give lay persons more amplitude to fulfill their vocations in the Church. This was certainly a need in the preconciliar Church. But the postconciliar solution was bizarre. Instead of the laity Christianizing the world, it entered the sanctuary of our churches, blurring the distinction between the priesthood of the ordained and the priesthood of the baptized--in the Protestant fashion. This reminds me of Christ's parable of the possessed man whose soul was swept clean of devils, only to have it repossessed by devils even worse than before. Lord spare us from such fixes!

6. Johnston glosses over the liturgical problem. Yes, there was the matter of lay participation in the Mass. But the solution of Paul VI has been to destroy the ancient liturgy and to substitute an abomination. The new liturgy is Protestant, rather than Catholic, in its theology. What is worse, it contravenes the Council of Trent. It is the single most destructive force in the Church today, reducing belief in major dogmas of the Catholic faith. As such, it is a danger to the faith.

My point is this: whatever the weaknesses before Vatican II, these were miniscule when compared to what the Council has actually achieved. If before the Council there were problems, after the Councils there were only disasters. And this was because the Council delivered the Church to the hands of its enemies, to the very people the preconciliar popes had warned us to avoid. They seized the opportunity to do what they had been eager to do for centuries--destroy what had been so zealously guarded by the Catholic Church for two millenia.

18 posted on 03/29/2004 5:53:36 PM PST by ultima ratio
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To: Maximilian
Money -- it's all about money and possessions. See article over here:
"The Catholic Church in the United States is a Church which somehow over the decades has become much too fond of money and much too fond of the little comforts which money can buy," said Shaw.

"Harsh as it may sound, I would say that although I'm very, very sad that in the settlement of sex abuse cases so much money has ended up in the pockets of lawyers, on the whole I'm not at all sorry to see the money go," he said. "I think it will be a good thing for the Church in the long run to have a little less and maybe a lot less money to play around with."

19 posted on 03/29/2004 6:16:57 PM PST by cebadams (Amice, ad quid venisti? (Friend, whereto art thou come?))
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To: cebadams
Money -- it's all about money and possessions.

I don't think it's "all" about money, but certainly that is a big part of it.

20 posted on 03/29/2004 6:21:34 PM PST by Maximilian
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