Fr. Anthony Spadaro, S.J.
His introduction of Spadaro notes that the Jesuit is deeply interested in the life of an Italian writer... Why do you think that was important to note?
Recently Jesuit Antonio Spadaro, who edits La Civiltà Cattolica and who is deeply interested in the life and works of Pier Vittorio Tondelli (HERE), made some observations about the recent Synod of Bishops which has caused eyebrows to rise. - WDTPRS
What is Fr. Z suggesting by that? He did two posts - or posted the same post twice, the final one an update of the first. He leads with that particular introduction. Perhaps the update - double posting - gave me the impression Fr. Z was trying to make some sort of statement about the Jesuit? Although Spadaro is well known in his own right as the editor of La Civita as well as for his exclusive interview with Pope Francis not long after his election - something which seems to me would be much more newsworthy and significant.
It appears Fr. Z's article is in support of Cardinal Burke, who wrote an article correcting observations and misinformation coming from Spadaro's interpretations concerning the Synod. In brief:
To give the impression that there is another practice in the “internal forum,” which would permit an individual in an irregular union to have access to the sacraments, is to suggest that the conscience can be in conflict with the truth of the faith. Such a suggestion clearly places priests in an impossible situation, the expectation that they can “open a door” for the penitent, which, in fact, does not exist and cannot exist. - WDTPRSI think that's fairly straightforward from Cardinal Burke - his article is available online at NCRegister and didn't impress me as needing any more obsequities, polishing or editorializing. Cardinal Burke speaks clearly and understandably, and always charitably. Cardinal Pell also made statements in anticipation of the final conclusions forthcoming from Pope Francis. One is free to speculate and interpret these statements of course, and even clarify erroneous statements - nothing wrong with that. Likewise, Edward Pentin can make of Vatican news whatever he wants - that's his job. (The Holy Father had some things to say to journalists on his return flight from Africa he might want to make note of as well. But I digress.)
The way Fr. Z phrased his introduction made me curious. What if someone writing about Fr. Z always pointed to his enthusiasm for the Acton Institute and his admiration for Fr. Robert Sirico with embedded links to Sirico's homosexual past? (I have written about Sirico's past - without linking to Fr. Z of course. My bad for bringing it up again.)
What if every time someone wrote about Cardinal Burke, someone always noted the approval he gave to a transgender woman to make religious vows in a secular institute, only to rescind the permission after a concerned member of the faithful went to the Vatican over the issue? (That's very public, BTW. It was once a bit of a local scandal and I too posted on it. My bad - again.)
Pier Vittorio Tondelli
Just for the record - Pier Vittorio Tondelli was an Italian gay writer who converted and returned to the sacraments not long before he died - he praised the virtue of chastity as a mystic grace. He's a wonderful example of conversion and reconcilliation for gay/ssa persons seeking to return to the sacraments. I've written about him many times, and his photo is in my sidebar. I pray for the repose of his soul, while admiring him for the reformation of his life.
Passive aggressive, suggestive innuendo flies in the face of Christian charity, perhaps even implying the mere association or interest in the life of a former homosexual indicates that person's sexual orientation or interest. Think I'm over-reacting? I am ashamed to admit I have done the same in the past. Nevertheless, it remains a Pewsitter tactic, a Remnant tactic of discrediting or impugning the character of another. If Fr. Z is doing that, I'm not saying he is, that is too bad for him.
The phrasing, the 'tone' if you will, sounds a bit familiar to me. What it says to me is that despite what Courage Apostolate promotes, despite what the Catechism teaches, once a homo - always a homo. You can leave it all behind - but someone - even wearing a collar - is there to remind people of your reputation, or suggest something is wrong with you because you are 'too soft' on gays. One local priest famously told a group of people - I was among them - that in this archdiocese alone, well over 50% of the clergy are gay. At the time his inventory included the local ordinary. This type of jock-seminarian shaming explains why many priests can be less than willing to promote Courage or sign on as spiritual directors. Years ago when I tried to find priests to help persuade the local ordinary to establish a Courage chapter here, the priests I spoke to sought to preserve their reputations and wouldn't get involved. They didn't want to be labeled as gay friendly.
These days there are angry priests online, often with an ax to grind. Perhaps thrown out of 'liberal' seminary, or kicked off the faculty of a Catholic university, they remain angry, often cloaking their bitterness in traditional vestments and clerical-wear they know will goad Novus Ordo bishops. It's a great way to legally and boldly one-up their 'liberal' superiors and critics. When they resort to gossip and mudslinging - they are careful to stop just short of public defamation, detraction and calumny. I do not trust them. Not. At. All.