Skip to comments.Swap White Cassock for Black, Lose the Red Shoes
Posted on 08/02/2010 10:40:27 AM PDT by STD
Sex Abuse Critic to Pope: Swap White Cassock for Black, Lose the Red Shoes
Politics Daily ^ | July 31, 2010 | David Gibson
Before this year, when Pope Benedict XVI became best-known for his questionable record in dealing with the sexual abuse of children by priests, the pontiff often made headlines for his fastidious attention to high-end clerical fashion.
Soon after his election in 2005, for example, Benedict rummaged through the papal attic for ornate gold vestments last worn during the Renaissance, and he resurrected a 19th-century liturgical cape so wide is must be held up by two attendants. Benedict has taken to wearing ermine-trimmed capes and hats, as well -- to the chagrin of animal rights activists -- and he even commissioned a set of 30 new vestments modeled on those worn by the notorious Medici pope, Leo X, who at his election famously declared, "Let us enjoy the papacy since God has given it to us."
The pope's daily attire has also drawn notice, from his sunglasses -- rumored to be Serengetis by Bushnell -- to his fancy red leather shoes, which were originally thought to be Prada but turned out to be custom made by a shop in northern Italy.
Now a lay woman who has been a leader in efforts to clean up Catholicism's sex abuse scandal wants to link these two issues -- sex abuse and papal fashion -- and by doing so, help the pope, and her beloved church.
(Excerpt) Read more at fivedoves.com ...
So can clothes really make the pope -- and help heal the church?
"Yes, and I do think it has to be something extremely dramatic, " Burke told me, saying that such a sartorial switch would be a powerful public statement, and an important symbol that would resonate particularly strongly with Catholics.
Burke's ideas were first floated in an item by Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed, who asked her what she'd tell the pope if she had the chance to speak with him. Humility and contrition were the themes she suggested, followed by some specific recommendations:
-- "The pope's red shoes should go to a museum, replaced by flat black brogues." -- "Fur in all its uses should be set aside demonstrating a change of heart on the pope's part."
-- "The pope should urge members of the hierarchy to demonstrate similar simplicity by giving up the vestiges of privilege. They should show externally how seriously they are taking the scandal of abuse."
-- "The pope should invite clerics and hierarchy to spend one day each week in fasting and prayer -- as an expression of public sorrow for failing to safeguard the safety of generations of minors."
Burke has a history with Benedict, and until recently it was a positive one -- which helps explain her disappointment and her rather radical proposal for the pope. "I was very hopeful when he became pope," Burke told me, recalling her reaction after the surprising April 2005 election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI. "I thought this was really going to be good. He might not do anything drastic, but at least he understood."
Burke's optimism was based on events from 2004, at the nadir of the American chapter of the clergy abuse crisis, when she and her colleagues on the National Review Board found themselves thwarted by the bishops who set up the panel in 2002 to serve as an independent, lay-run voice to oversee the bishops' behavior.
The board members decided to go over the hierarchy's head and straight to the Vatican. They faxed requests for meetings to all the major Vatican departments and the cardinals who headed them. One of just three to respond was Cardinal Ratzinger. In January 2004, Burke and two colleagues met with Ratzinger in his offices for two-and-a-half hours, a remarkable event. He pledged to take action, which Burke says he then did as a cardinal, and, at least initially, as pope. A month after that 2004 meeting, Ratzinger also sent Burke and her husband a heartfelt note of condolences when her 30-year-old son was killed in a snowmobiling accident.
Yet the past months of revelations and criticisms about Ratzinger's spotty record on abuse, the blustery counterattacks coming from the Vatican and top papal aides, and more important, Pope Benedict's refusal to publicly address the questions and qualms of the media and the flock, have unsettled Burke.
"He had his choice, of going down the similar bureaucratic path of all popes, or actually bringing the church into the 21st century, and to be known for that," she said. "He hasn't done that."
Back in April, Burke and some of her former review board colleagues were lamenting the sad state of affairs in Rome -- "They seem to be shooting themselves in the foot every time something comes out of that Vatican" -- when she decided she'd try to break through the Vatican cordon by writing directly to the pope.
"I didn't think I could rest until I actually wrote a letter," she said.
Which she did, offering to share the expertise she and the board had gained through their experience to help the pope and the Vatican deal with the crisis. Burke said she really didn't expect a response, but one arrived two weeks ago, in mid-July. It was from Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, passed along through the Vatican's ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Pietro Sambi -- "the usual channels" -- and it thanked Burke and suggested she get in touch with Jeffrey Lena, the California attorney who is defending the Vatican from sex abuse lawsuits.
As a judge, Burke can't participate in any way in the case Lena is defending, and that wasn't in any sense the point of her letter. "It was just one of those things, they really didn't pay attention," she said. Lena has tried to call her at the Vatican's behest, but she said she can't get involved legally, and in any case, the details of the sex abuse crisis are a symptom as much as the illness itself.
"This has gone way beyond the sex abuse crisis," said Burke, who is a Dame of Malta, the female counterpart of the Knights of Malta, a prominent Catholic charitable organization. "They're using that as a shield for all the other missteps."
Burke says she'd like to see the Vatican meet with an international group of lay people, a larger version of the National Review Board that the bishops set up, but one that would be able to talk with the pope about a range of issues. "I mean, what's wrong with listening?" she said. "It doesn't mean they're going to follow through, but it would give people at least some presence at the table."
Burke doesn't necessarily blame Benedict for the Vatican's current problems; she hopes he is still the same man she and her colleagues met in 2004 -- a cardinal willing to listen, dressed in plain black cassock without a hint of red and no outward sign of his ecclesiastical rank.
The problem now, she says, is that "his position is like any other politician -- he's surrounded by those who have been there before" and who want to "keep things as they were before because they have the power."
Rather than writing another letter, Burke prefers to speak out publicly in hopes of leapfrogging protocol to get right to the pope.
She said, "That's really the only thing you can do, is publicity of some sort, saying, 'Don't you get it?' "
So far, there has been no response from the Vatican to the ideas Burke floated about a penitential wardrobe for the pope. But it's not likely they'd fly anyway.
In 2008, after all the rumors about the pope wearing Prada shoes refused to die, the Vatican daily, L'Osservatore Romano, published an article denying the reports as "stupid and banal." The pope is a "simple and sober" man whose interest in clothes -- and his bespoke calf leather shoes -- are about tradition rather than "frivolity."
"The Pope is not dressed by Prada but by Christ," the pope's newspaper wrote.
Dear American Sisters & Brothers in Christ,
The new strange behavior of the current Pope makes me question the whole notion that we await 'the last Pope, Peter the Roman' before things go wildly off track. I think it's quite possible that before this last Pope springs forth to lead Catholic Orthodoxy astray, Benedict XVI will carefully prepare the way for all Catholics to depart the faith, so that 'if it were possible even the elect might be led astray'. After all, St. Malachi prophecies tell us that this mysterious Peter the Roman will be the last Pope, the religious leader that will ultimately destroy the Catholic Church. He supposedly joins up with the AC to lead the world into a new twisted faith that will involve the open worship of the Beast.
The ultimate legacy of Bill Clinton will become the failed impeachment facade. Not fully appreciated by historians, the quiet acquiessence of the US Senate in 1999 sowed the seeds of our ruination. With it's many hushed and dignified motions to avoid disgracing a sitting US President, the lack of legal proceedings may have actually ushered in the rule of the Anti-Christ.
After all, we were once a nation built upon liberty, decency and an absolute ultimate respect for the law. When one man's treason, in spectacular the treason of a US President goes unprosecuted, then the freedom's of us 'little people' can all be lost at the nod of a burearocrat. Instead of hushing up this 'indesrection' of Bill Clinton's should have become 100 point headlines across the land. Let's recall the truth, Clinton's brazen disregard of the Office of the President ( Monica Lewinski ) and open treason ( selling the "Crown Jewels" of America's nuclear weapons secrets to Communist China for $6.4 million dollars ) has had some totally unexpected repercussions for America.
Today, I will go on the record; without the enabling treason of Bill Clinton and the gutlessness of the US Senate, the audacity of Hussein Obama's fascist dictatorship would have been completely impossible. Clinton was merely a trial balloon salesman led around by his perversions.
Nevertheless, Hussein's co-option of all four branches of the US Government was foreshadowed by the cowardice displayed by our elected representatives in 1999. Evil's not omnipitant, so someone foul must first demonstrate our weaknesses.
Consider, those regal celebrations last weekend in Rhinebeck NY of Chelsea Clinton's wedding. It signals so much more than just the happy marriage of two handsome young people. It heralds the death nell of 'the American Republic' by totally repudiating our unique national notion of 'equal representation (of the great and small) under the law'
Bill Clinton should be sitting in a jail, or a halfway house learning how to control his various addictions. Hillary, disbarred hiding out in a Whitewater Arkansas shack hounded by mainstream media persecution. Instead they are brazenly taking a victory lap over the blood, sweat and endless toil of all the American people past, present and future. Can you hear their mocking laughter?
Do any of you really think that the current occupant of the White House would dare redistribute wealth, totally transform and inexorably destroy this nation's once great legacy without the lecherous path carved by the treason of Bill Clinton? As we already know from watching the US Presidency of the impeached malefactor Bill Clinton, no weakness witnessed in the corridors of power goes unappreciated and unexploited by our enemies.
In this way both the Vatican and Washington DC should have been much more vigilant. The enemy, once at the gates has now sat down and occupied the Oval Office. Can the throne of St. Peter and the False Prophet be far behind?
Pray, pray and pray for the peace of Jerusalem, the future of America and the President of the United States.
Hey, sorry about omitting the link to the article. It’s
Anne Burke = More proof that the patients are running the asylum
First part previously posted:
Sex Abuse Critic to Pope: Swap White Cassock for Black, Lose the Red Shoes
Will Benedict XVI carefully prepare etc, Sorry
Will Benedict XVI carefully prepare etc, Sorry
“Anne Burke, a justice on the Illinois State Supreme Court and former head of the review board of lay people established by the U.S. bishops to oversee their new policies...”
The Bishops also trusted “Sr.” Carol Keehan! They’re being manipulated by CINO’s.
That doesn't say much for their collective powers of discernment. And on that note:
...It should be a warning sign to everyone that if a religious order looks to "the Psychs" for expert advice on dealing with known sinful behavior, instead of looking in their Bibles for solutions, they prove themselves to be scripturally deficient if not illiterate....We should not expect "psychological treatment" will end sinful behavior. That's what many bishops have believed, however, and look at what fruit it has yielded - $3,000,000,000 awarded in damages and settlements by Catholic dioceses within the United States alone.
Alex Murphy, May 20, 2009
If the InsideCatholic.com blog can be believed, two-thirds of all American bishops were complicit in covering up the immoral and illegal actions of 4% or fewer Catholic clergymen. All we can say with certainty is that 96+% - 105,302 Catholic clergymen - were never accused, yet 95 percent of all Catholic dioceses in the United States were impacted negatively. The numbers are more damning for the bishops then they are for the priests.
.... Alex Murphy, Sept. 29, 2009
The alleged (and probably fraudulent) "St. Malachy prophecies" say nothing of the sort.
A range of issues, huh?
Like what? Ordaining women, approving contraception, approving divorce, and approving queer unions?
I don't know that's what she has in mind, but unless and until she gets specific, I must assume the worst.
Alex Murphy -> “That doesn’t say much for their collective powers of discernment.”
It appears there’s way less discernment in Protestant child sexual abuse cases and to make it worse they say they can’t do anything about it -
“...According to the Associated Press, the SBC has concluded that its decentralized structure of independent churches makes it impossible for it to establish a website of pastors credibly accused of child sexual abuse, or even to require the reporting of such crimes to the police...”
More than 260 sex abuse cases reported annually to insurance companies by Protestant churches
Rose French/Associated Press
Like I said to your cohort - weed your own trough first.
I stopped reading right there. I'm constantly told by Catholics that anything published by the AP that pertains to the Catholic Church should not be trusted. I'm guessing that when AP reports on Protestant issues, Catholics just roll over for them.
It’s not the only link. Read on...
I think he should have said "let ME enjoy the Papacy since I have it now"
Isa 42:8 I [am] the LORD: that [is] my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
Act 14:15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:
Former Governor Keating of Oklahoma was on that board for a while, too. He was not, shall we say, solidly behind the Magisterium. Not too bright, either.
Anyone who doesn’t sincerely affirm that all homosexual acts are totally wrong, every time, has no business in the business, as it were. As the lovely and brilliant Ann Coulter said, “Sodomites cause sodomy.”
That's a very revealing statement.
In my case, at least, you guess wrong.
Yes, and as those eminent philosophers at the University of Woollamaloo put it:
Rule One: No Poofters!
And no, “Although I don’t poof myself, I don’t think we should be too judgmental toward those who do. There are nuances in our personal self-expression ...”
Sadly, it seems typical of the USCCB that a body formed to address an issue of unchastity would be made up of people who don’t believe in chastity.
Correct you are AB
Rolling over again?
“...Tom Farr, general counsel and senior vice president of claims for GuideOne, based in West Des Moines, Iowa, said most abuse cases are resolved privately in court-ordered mediation. Awards can range from millions of dollars down to paying for counseling for victims, he said.
One of the largest settlements to date in Protestant churches involved the case of former Lutheran minister Gerald Patrick Thomas Jr. in Texas, where a jury several years ago awarded the minister’s victims nearly $37 million (euro28 million). Separate earlier settlements involving Thomas cost an additional $32 million.
A victims’ advocacy group has said the Southern Baptists, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, could do more to prevent abuse by creating a list of accused clergy the public and churches could access.
Southern Baptist President Frank Page said leaders are considering several options to help churches protect children against abuse.
“We believe that the Scripture teaches that the church should be an autonomous, independent organization,’’ Page said. “We encourage churches to hold accountable at the local level those who may have misused the trust of precious children and youth.’’
Several years ago, the Baptist General Convention of Texas, which represents moderates who have increasingly distanced themselves from the conservative-led Southern Baptists, started a list of accused clergy for churches, but not the public. Under pressure from victim advocates, the Texas group just released the names of some convicted sex offenders who may have been ministers in local congregations.
Joe Trull, editor of Christian Ethics Today and retired ethics professor at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, helped the Texas convention create its registry and says there are now about 11 cases involving clergy abuse with minors.
But he believes these are just the “tip of the iceberg’’ because churches don’t have to report abuse cases to the registry and aren’t likely to.
“The problem we’re having is that churches just weren’t sending the names,’’ Trull said. “In the normal scenario, they just try to keep it secret. We’re going to have to be more proactive and let them know if they don’t come forward, they’re helping to perpetuate this problem.’’
Yes, the AP got their information from the Insurance Companies which is why I posted the excerpt since you had a (red-herring) problem with the AP source. I also posted the link to encourage you to read it in full. When pastors from thousands of churches are trying to keep their child sexual abuse cases secret one would surmise that the numbers and documentation would be scant.
Joe Thull - “...believes these are just the “tip of the iceberg’’ because churches don’t have to report abuse cases to the registry and aren’t likely to.”
Since the premise of this first statement is a flat out lie, I refused to read the rest of the column, figuring it was just another attack on the overall Church for the actions of a very few in it.
Josef Ratzinger, before he became Pope Benedict XVI, was VERY concerned about sexual abuse in the Church, and did what he could to either fight it, or make others aware of it, within the confines of his office, at the time.
They’re selective in their sources. This thread source appears to be a denominational blog site - http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/july2010/july.htm
When one posts an AP source it’s immediately shot down (in a red-herring tactic) despite the fact that the information was derived from Insurance Companies. ABC and other Baptist sources were also quoted yet left untouched. None of us with a Catholic view attacked the doubious origination of the actual thread starter composition which is something to keep in mind for the future.
Goodness Gracious - Here is the actual prophecy by St. Malachy of Petrus Romanus :
"In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there will reign Peter the Roman, who will feed his flock amonth many tribulations; after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed and the dreadful Judge will judge the people".
The Political Daily title to the article reads as such:
Sex Abuse Critic to Pope: Swap White Cassock for Black, Lose the Red Shoes
NOT WHAT YOU POSTED as the title.
Please do not alter the titles from the original. Thanks.