He has routed the arrogant of heart. He has pulled down princes from their thrones

The NCR questions whether the U.S. bishops, have the will to confront the now undeniable corruption in their culture.

He has routed the arrogant of heart. He has pulled down princes from their thrones

The harsh reality couldn’t be avoided. The secretive, all-male, allegedly celibate clergy culture, where bishops can enjoy privileges once reserved for royalty and the extremely wealthy, was coming apart. There is no place left to hide.

The National Catholic Reporter of the USA says, in an editorial following on the sex abuse scandal, that after all of the denial, lying, cover-ups, excuses, promises to change, apologies for “mistakes made,” and looking for blame and causes in every imaginable corner of the church, the harsh reality can’t be avoided. The secretive, all-male, allegedly celibate clergy culture, where bishops can enjoy privileges once reserved for royalty and the extremely wealthy, was coming apart, the NCR believes and says there is no place left to hide.

The NCR says many insiders saw it coming — and wondered when the scales would tip toward total disclosure. When Theodore McCarrick, Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, tumbled off the pedestal, the wider world noticed. So many, the NCR observes, felt utterly defrauded, anger and betrayal going off the charts. Things must change.

McCarrick symbolizes, the NCR believes, hierarchical corruption and the “arrogance of heart” that has taken the clergy culture so off course. McCarrick’s fall, the NCR says, provided the world with a rare look at a privileged life, protected by clerical secrecy and advanced by accumulated power and access to monied interests; all a fertile soil for corruption, a system that remains in place. The NCR considers that if it is not radically reformed, changed well beyond alterations to institutional structures and norms, the corruption will continue in one form or another.

Theodore McCarrick, the NCR observes, paid a huge price for his deception and betrayal of trust. They note, however, he did not act alone. McCarrick they say was enabled by peers who operated within an ethos that encouraged secrecy and protection of hierarchical privilege at all cost.

The NCR questions whether church members will see in the coming weeks if the U.S. bishops, who hold a retreat in January, and the bishop leaders globally, who meet in February, have the will, not to mention the faith, to confront the now undeniable corruption in their culture. They won’t have many more opportunities to engage the radical reforms necessary to begin rebuilding credibility and trust within the community.

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