Monday, September 10, 2012

I guess Bishop Finn is guilty as charged.

Bishops bathing in a river.  Fernando Botero

Failing in 'good faith' - kind of like, 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions'.

I really wasn't paying attention to the Bishop Finn story, but some details were brought to my attention this past weekend by a couple of readers.

Rod Dreher, a former Catholic who left the Church mainly because of the way bishops handled the sex abuse scandal, recently wrote a post about growing disenchantment with the bishops amongst Catholics - his thoughts were related to the Bishop Finn case.  What did I think of what he had to say?  The best part of his post - for me at least - was Dreher's comment  concerning Catholics devastated by the failures of the institutional Church and its 'leadership class'*: "Many of the Catholics I know who have held on to their faith despite the scandal are people who always held the episcopate and the clergy in a certain unfavorable regard."

Works for me.  I only returned to the Church because Christ is really, truly present in the Eucharist, and sins are forgiven in the sacrament of penance.  I can't really say that I have an unfavorable regard for priests and bishops, but neither do I 'idolize' them, as some would suggest Catholics do.  Though I've known 'fallen' priests, and my distress and disappointment in their fall has been deep - not so much because I had placed them on a pedestal, but because I knew them, and was confident that they were faithful and solid and stable.  Rather than drive me away from the Church, their fall from grace has made me more aware of how frail, weak, and inconstant mortal man is, and more importantly, how unsure our salvation can be.

As for Bishop Finn?  I have nothing to contribute. 

The blog  Waiting for Gadot to Leave  has some interesting things to say however. 

*Interesting choice of words, others, who dislike the hierarchy, refer to it as a caste system.  In both cases, it suggests servility to clergy, and seems to issue from a certain anti-clericalism.  There is the 'anti-clericalism of the saints' and then there is the anti-clericalism of dissent.  Very often it is difficult to recognize the difference. 


  1. It's all so difficult...

  2. i have not followed this story, but this article brings out aspects that are troublesome ...

  3. That was an awful lot of publicity for a first offense misdemeanor!

  4. Can I use this opportunity to vent that I can't stand my priest?

    Spiritually he is wonderful and even amazing. I couldn't ask for a better priest for sermons, confession and spiritual direction.

    As a person however.. him and his merry band of trad priest worshippers.. just ugh... Lord have mercy on me!

    I haven't told a soul and it is hard to choke down any longer, I hope this will help me keep my mouth shut about it to people who know him...

  5. Ray, what do you mean? do you only see this in a legalistic, letter of law terms?
    By not following civil law, canon law, and the Bishops own policies for the USA, a deviant pedophile was allowed to continue and to be a predator for young girls. he was allowed to stay as a priest, preaching, celebrating sacraments, hearing confessions etc. all this time. There seems to have been more than enough red flags that someone in charge, (i.e. the Bishop) should have intervened much sooner. if one of the victims was your daughter, and you were aware of the facts of this case, would you still think it is just a lot of publicity over a misdemeanor?
    in every company i know of, the bishop, as his immediate supervisor would have been fired for ignoring all the signs.

  6. +JMJ+

    How did I miss that painting the first time? It's so wow.

    Is the river glowing because of the bishops or are the bishops hoarding the glow? A combination of both, perhaps?


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