Ricca Scandal: Phone Calls, Newsagents, And Bishops.
The head of the Bishop's Conference in Uruguay confirmed the past of Monsignor Ricca, thus exposing once again the astonishing incompetence and unbelievable arrogance of the Bishop of Rome.
Father Lombardi has just finished to assure us Bishop Francis was, in fact, informed about the accusations, but found the sources “untrustworthy”. Strange. This a man who calls his newsagent to ask him to stop the newspaper subscription (living on Mars, the poor man couldn't know) but does not call his own people in Uruguay to ask what is what.
Add to this that for a high prelate to be forced to let the Bishop of Rome lose face in such a brutal manner the evidence against Ricca must be crushing, and probably growing by the hour. If this had not been the case, the Uruguayan prelate would have simply stalled with more neutral formulations like “we are looking into it”, or the like. Instead, the “dark past” of Monsignor Ricca was confirmed.
What does this tell us? That the Church is led, in the best case, by a rather childish man; one who appoints his lunch buddy to an important position, a person whose most important banking qualification consists in having run three hotels, and perhaps some accountancy skills; then runs into full denial mode when he is gently warned from several sides (south American Nuncios, and a professional magazine) that the appointment of the lunch buddy was a disastrous one; then, when the scandal explodes, reacts by having the press accused of being “untrustworthy”. I know who is untrustworthy.
The Germans call this Realitätsverlust: loss of the sense of reality. Exactly this is what is happening to Bishop Jorge, who thinks throwing toys out of the pram is the best way to react to a serious crisis.
We must face the sad reality that the Church is led by a man whose incompetence is only equalled by his arrogance; a man who talks a lot about humility, but whose actions show that he does not have a shred of it; a man who is digging his own grave every day with great alacrity, and has possibly not even begun to notice it.
Lies have short legs. To send Father Lombardi out to say the untruth (and I am being charitable) in front of the world press when every child must have known that this house of cards would tumble in a matter of hours is just plain delusional.
As I write this, Monsignor Ricca is still at his place. I expect a decision to be announced before the Bishop of Rome boards the plane to Rio. Even Bishop Jorge must know he is now in full grave-digging mode, and he must get out of this fast.
Heavens, at some point the loss of reality will have to stop.
Still, the cover of “Vanity Fair” was most surely deserved.