The funny blog post published on Father Z’s site prompts me to some not so obvious, not so politically correct, and not so kind considerations. Read the post first if you want to avoid the spoiler below.
The particular building mentioned in Father’s post was built after a public appeal. The money collected was such that there was a lot to spare, which led to the extensive alabaster decoration inside. Put it simply, the Archbishop only had to ask, and it was given to him much more than he had asked. Even, I add, for the godless monster he then built to show the world how godless he was (and is, because the man still lives). You will also remember Cardinal Dolan mobilising around $140 millions in no time to restore the roof of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan.
Moral of the stories: the Church has limitless resources. It’s not about how much money is in the bank account. It is about how much money can be received just for the asking.
What does this tell us? That you don’t need to be afraid that good priests will ever starve, or there will be no money for the restoration of Catholic patrimony. However, this does not mean that you should finance a monster like the Los Angeles Cathedral, or atheists like Cardinal Mahony.
My suggestion is this: starve the bad parishes and give your money to the good causes. The good causes may well be distant, the bad parish may well be near. It doesn’t matter. You help what is right, not what is near.
The way a Catholic should react to the current confusion is to cause the closure of bad parishes and the thriving of good ones. Yes, up to a point wealthy donors will keep bad parishes alive; but only up to a point, as we keep seeing that whilst it is very easy to mobilise big money for big or prestigious projects, parishes out in the “peripheries” keep being closed.
There is, obviously, no guarantee this will end well. A bad bishop might be so stupid that he closes the thriving parish to keep the bad one open; but I bet most of them aren’t as dumb as that, because they understand the risks this involves. They know that in the modern world a Catholic will not hesitate to send his money to worthy Catholic causes in other nations, even on the other end of the earth, but punish him for closing down the good parishes. Not will he be able to mobilise his rich donors in every circumstance. For the Cathedral, easy. For the ugly Sixties church with no bell tower, not so much.
The faithful do that (and you should do that) because the traditional idea that your parish should be helped first cannot stand in an age when your parish sabotages, rather than helping, Catholicism. Do they starve you of sensible, sane Catholicism? Starve them of their means of survival. Again: Cathedrals always find rich donors. Ugly parishes in the suburbs, not so much.
Let your money talk. Do not be afraid that the Church might ever remain without money for the roof of the cathedrals, or for the restoration of old, beautiful churches. There will always be money for the indispensable, the very beautiful and the very visible. Give your money ad hoc as much as you can to minimise the risk of misdirection (e.g. money for single, nominated projects: the new traditional vestments for the priests; for sanctuary renovations bringing them back to the old glory; for the new monstrance or tabernacle, etc.).
But starve the horrible parish with the horrible liturgy. Make the bad priests unemployed (yes, a priest can be unemployed). Vote against V II with your wallet. Make the parish go down in flames. In time, the unavoidable shrinking of the Church will see more sane parishes surviving and a more than proportional extinction of the bad ones.
Your cathedrals will not crumble. But you will contribute to the regeneration of the Church by voting with your wallet.
Do not be impressed by the whining of your V II priests that the parish is dying. He had it coming, and so did the army of lecturer, assistants of the assistants, busybodies of all sorts, and their applauding (in church) smug audience.
Let them go the way of the Dodo. Make them see that their own stupidity has ended in self-extinction.
Church of Stupid must die. It is better to have less parishes, but with a greater content of Catholicism, than help V II to survive;
and your local dumbo priest be damned.
The justified scandal about the way the Bishop of Rome undermines Catholicism must not let us forget that, in the everyday life of the Church, the real changes on the ground are actually brought about not by the things a Pope says, but rather by the people he appoints.
You could put it in another way, and argue that if Francis were very sound in his appointments – mainly those of bishops and cardinals, but also think of those within the Curia – the negative effects of his blunders would be in time vastly reduced (or even neutralised) by a generation of sound bishops taking care that things are made properly in their own diocese, and of sound Cardinals taking care that this policy continues after the end of the present Papacy.
If, on the other hand, a Pope is mediocre in his appointment of Bishops and Cardinals, even his best orthodoxy of speech and saintliness of behaviour will not be able to arrest the decay of the Church, with vast territories slowly being run in the wrong way, and mediocre Cardinals ensuring this continues to be so with the next pontificates.
We begin, therefore, to understand the kind of devastation both John Paul II and Benedict XVI have caused. Pick any horrible Cardinal of your choice (before the next batch of Francis' appointees is officially installed), and you will discover he has invariably been appointed by one of the two. Pick almost everyone of the vastly horrible 8,000 (if memory serves) bishops in charge of a diocese, and you will see exactly the same.
From Daneels to Mahony and from Schoenborn to Ravasi, the present generation of Cardinals has been entirely created by JP II or Benedict XVI. Entirely. The same can be said, with very few exceptions, of bishops and archbishops, from the powerful ones like Zollitsch to the rather obscure ones like Nourrichard. These are the people who shape the Church's life on the ground; who encourage good priests or antagonise them; who decide on the implementation of Summorum Pontificum, or lack thereof; who talk mainly of Judgment or of social issues; who promote the Sacraments or their neglect; who foster, or suffocate, vocations, and so on.
Think of all this, and tell me whether the two men – one of whom soon to be canonised, then by the grace of God Paradise is not prevented by a papacy rich in mistakes – are not the two main culprits for the current woes of the Church, starting from Francis and all the way down to the stupid, cowardly, or outright heretical priest in the church near you.
Cardinal Mahony's blog has been the source of amusement for some time now and you would have great difficulties in finding another clergyman (Cardinal, or not) in which a staggering hypocrisy is so well matched with sanctimonious passive-aggressiveness.
To mention just two of the latest episodes, the man wrote that (clearly) the Holy Ghost physically drove his hand at the time of electing the Pope, though he leaves us in doubt as to whether he wrote, so guided, his own name on the ballot. We can, though, assume Mahony meant that it was Bergoglio's name.
The Cardinal's confidence in the Holy Ghost seems, though, rapidly vanishing now – next time, the Holy Ghost will have to slap the Cardinal directly in the face – because he has recurred to his faithful keyboard again to let us know that Pope Francis must now proceed to important appointments very fast, lest the old power structure consolidate themselves.
Funny that, thought yours humble correspondent. This is one who clearly indicates the Holy Ghost drives his own hand when he writes the name of Bergoglio, but then allows the man so elected to be deserted of any help?
Has the Cardinal reflected on what this means? It means, of course, that the Holy Ghost either has changed his mind about Pope Francis – thus making an open intervention of the Holy Ghost Cardinal necessary – or is actually… on the side of the Curia!
You see, this is the danger of going around writing inane, self-celebratory waffle like the Cardinal: Verba volant, scripta manent.
You should read the Cardinal's blog more often. Capital entertainment.
Besides being one of the most shameless hypocrites on earth, Cardinal Mahony must be truly terrified.
Clearly sensing further humiliations might be in store for one of the poster boys for the stupidity, inefficiency (and perhaps worse) exhibited by too many shepherds in the matter of homosexual sex scandals, our friend hastens to lavish the Pontiff with suspiciously loud praise; a brazen captatio benevolentiae that would sound strange in normal times, but is simply pathetic in the particular situation in which the Cardinal finds himself.
Let me say beforehand that I do not like at all this sudden infatuation of the entire Catholic planet for the newly rediscovered “return to the simplicity of the Gospel”. It seems to me that it smacks of easy populist slogan in the best of cases, and demolition of the prestige and authority of Church and Papacy in the worst. I do not doubt all those enthusiastic “new Franciscans” will not stop being stunned at the lavish richness of Roman churches and palaces, and at the magnificence the Church still so often displays in her activity. I actually notice most of this newly found admirers of poverty have nothing against ermine Mozzettas, very seldom seen on Francis’ shoulders (on very cold days, perhaps?). I do admire the astounding beauty and shameless splendor of the Church, and therefore avoid waxing lyrical about this “return to the original spirit of the Gospel” (or however it is called). Still, if a clergyman has the credentials to praise the new “Franciscan fashion” without appearing a hypocrite, more power to him.
But wait, is this the case of Cardinal Mahony?
Isn’t this the very man who built a huge, horrible monument to his own vanity? An unwatchable bunker with nothing to tell a casual observer it is a Cathedral (Modernists don’t “do God”), but otherwise huge?
How about the decoration? 5.6 acres of ground, 33,500 sf of alabaster (world record), an organ with 6,019 pipes and the man tells us “so long, ermine and fancy lace”? Can you imagine how vast a surface of 33,500 is, all made of alabaster? Is this “encountering Jesus without trappings”?
How about the cost? $189.7 of total cost, how is this “LOW and humble church”?
Seriously: how can the one lavishing praise on Pope Francis’ “simplicity” be, of all people, the man mocked all over the planet for his megalomaniac passion for ugliness and waste? How can he have the brazenness of launching himself firmly on the side of the black shoes and the simple cassock?
Again, the man must be terrified, and ready to face the ridicule he perfectly well knows will fall on him, for the hope the new Pope will be somewhat moved by his utterly shameless adulation, and persuaded to spare him further trouble.
Seriously, this man is a walking provocation.
P.s. Mahony tweets courtesy of Father Ray Blake’s blog.
On Cardinal Mahony’s Blog this post appeared.
At a first reading it would appear an exercise in humility. Sadly, I failed to be moved. I think I know why.
Read it again, and understand that this is nothing to do with humility.
There is no single word of admission of guilt. The “humiliation” is, besides being something he can’t avoid, presented as coming to him like a test: like a cancer, say, or having a life-changing accident, or such like.
If I speed on the motorway and get caught, I haven’t been “called to lose my driving licence”. I have chosen to drive too fast and have paid the consequences. If I talk of my “vocation to bus riding” and do not mention that I am the cause of my own problems, I can’t see where the humility is.
The writing style and entire attitude remind me of those Protestant ministers caught with the secretary in their bed; only when they apologise they at least do so openly. Cardinal Mahony doesn’t.
We learn instead that on Ash Wednesday he has discovered a new vocation (one which clearly he did not have before) , because people now insult him and, it is clear to everyone, further trouble lies ahead. The Cardinal writes he is called to be “humiliated, disgraced, and rebuffed by many”, but he doesn’t say that he richly deserves it. Many saints were “humiliated, disgraced, and rebuffed by many”, but they were saintly men and women. I am missing something here….
The entire exercise sounds so passive-aggressive to me I wonder whether it has been written by a woman. “I am treated so badly you wouldn’t believe it, but I am such a good Christian that I will embrace it. Yes, I will, I will! Look at me, what a spotless lamb I am!”.
Dulcis in fundo, he closes with another passive-aggressive blow to his enemies:
Strangely, the more I allow all of this to unfold without protest and objection, the greater the inner peace I feel.
It is clear he could move oh so many objections and his protests would be oh so justified; but having now discovered a new vocation, he will deliver himself to his slaughterers. The “inner peace” he “strangely” feels shows us his great, serene strenght in the face of adversity.
The gullible will be moved, no doubt. The others will wait for real and sincere apologies, and the end of this passive-aggressive attitude.
Cardinal Mahony was made bishop by Paul VI, and Cardinal by John Paul II.
After Archbishop Gomez’ announcement of Cardinal Mahony’s disgrace, the latter decided to write on his blog an answer to the Archbishop. Unwisely, the Cardinal encourages everyone to disseminate his letter.
The Cardinal’s arguments are pretty much as follows:
1. We weren’t told “at school”.
This is very interesting. It’s the first time I read of a cardinal saying he was never trained as a specialist. No, Your Eminence, of course you weren’t. Your job was, in fact, to apply that modicum of common sense and intelligence than one can expect from every half-way wise person.
I also point out that people become parents – and many of them do an excellent job of it – without receiving a specialised training at school.
Still, this is a new one for the Church, and might be used from other organisations too. I can imagine big whigs of the BBC saying “we did nto receive any specific training about dealing with pedophile journalists”.
2. I made mistakes, but hey, everyone does. Since 2003 no one could accuse me of anything.
This is so twisted Berlusconi would be proud of the man. No one questions the fact that since the beginning of the century the problem has been tackled very aggressively (too aggressively, I would say; but that’s for another day…). The big problem is not what has happened in 2003, but before. In addition, it is clear the turning of screws from 2000 on came at the initiative of the Vatican. This is not something Mahony spearheaded, this is something he had to comply to.
3. Archbishop Gomez did not raise any question since 2010, and now shoots at me with the cannon.
Honestly, I thought as much when I read the Archbishop’s statement. My conjecture is that we are at the vigil of further revelations which would disgrace the Cardinal even more, or else that now a complete picture has emerged that makes the Cardinal’s position utterly untenable. It doesn’t happen every day that an Archbishop orders to a Cardinal to just keep out of his Archdiocese’s affair because he has already made enough damage.
If you ask me, the Cardinal has missed a wonderful occasion to shut up; but again, I can’t imagine he would asked me very often. How deluded the man is can be clearly seen from the picture of his horrible, very expensive Cathedral (among friends it is called the “Taj Mahony”) in a prominent position in his blog page.
Cardinal Mahony was made a bishop by Paul VI. John Paul II made him Archbishop and sent him to Los Angeles, the biggest Catholic diocese worldwide. John Paul II is also the one who gave him his red hat.
In a rather brutal communique’ of the (huge) archdiocese of Los Angeles (Socialist Republic of California, USA), Archbishop Gomez has announced that Cardinal Mahony and an auxiliary bishop (Curry) have now been relieved of every duty concerning the Diocese (Mahony) and from his responsibility for his part of the Archdiocese (Curry). I do not know about the other bishop, but Mahony’s duties within the Archdiocese cannot have been numerous, or of any real importance. Possibly one dinner here and one lunch there, with the occasional buffet thrown in. Therefore, one cannot avoid thinking this last measure is simply due to either something big about to happen or to the frustration of his successor at the mess Mahony has left behind him.
If memory serves, Mahony’s idiocy already cost Californian Catholics several hundred million dollars in compensations, though if one understands the way the press presented the matter this should prevent further money going down the drain.
Again, one can’t escape the impression that further developments are going to be announced, and the Archdiocese wants to start a preventative cleaning to avoid accusations from the usual corners; or maybe Archbishop Gomez is simply fed up with the continuous references to the Archdiocese’s past, and understandably wants to separate the Cardinal’s responsibilities from his own tenure.
Something tells me, though, that this is not the last we hear from our disgraceful -and now disgraced – Cardinal.