Friday, August 21, 2009

No Sucessful Fraud Without Help

From Cassandra: The problem is that we have to look beyond accomplices in the Legion itself to the power structures of the Church. From Cassandra.

Cardinals and coverups

Subtle Legionary theologians are working out the distinction between Father Maciel’s unedifying private life and Legionary “mystique,” their idiosyncratic word for religious “charism,” apparently less concerned with the damage their scandal more and more seriously is inflicting on the wider Church.

As exlcblog made us aware last week, Sanjuana Martínez reported in CIMAC that one of the babymommies alleges that Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, is implicated in the payment of hush money. That would make for a stupendous scandal if the churchman organizing the apostolic visitation had been previously involved in silencing witnesses, especially after calling for “transparency” in the letter announcing the visitation.

I do not and will not believe that allegation without further evidence. But I wondered if either she or Martínez could have meant to name rather the emeritus Secretary of State, Angelo Sodano, whom we know to have been at the service of the Legionaries in the past.

Now Dean of the College of Cardinals, Sodano in 1999 intervened against the group of Maciel’s victims who were seeking a canonical hearing, according to their lawyer. In May 2005 Sodano’s Secretariat of State issued an unsigned document denying that the CDF investigation begun by Cardinal Josef Ratzinger was even underway, which the Legionaries then used to claim publicly that Maciel had been cleared, as in the May 29-June 4, 2005 story in the National Catholic Register, "Vatican Exonerates Legion's Founder."

In March 2006 Sodano was himself found sending a secret, misleading letter through a surrogate to make life difficult for Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, in the matter of the reappointment of Cardinal Camillo Ruini as Vicar of Rome.

Speaking of misleading leaks, the new reports of the massiveness of Father Maciel’s corruption make the shock professed by Legionary leadership in February seem insincere and their approach then seem just another in a long series of attempts at covering up: surface the one daughter, plausibly spin that it was a one-time indiscretion, and try to move on.

A source representing the thought of Cardinal Franc Rodé, head of the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and foremost Vatican champion of the notion of the existence of a Legionary charism, took this tack with Catholic News Agency in an article on February 8. “An official from the Congregation who spoke with Catholic News Agency” said that the Legionary crisis did not warrant outside intervention.

Those looking for conflicts of interest in the Congregation’s oversight of the Legionaries have noted the presence of Legionary Father Clemens Gutberlet on Rodé’s staff.

Then on Monday, February 23, 2009, Catholic News Agency reported confirmation by “Vatican officials” that Legionary leadership would “release a major statement in response to the controversy surrounding the double life of its founder and the future of the order. The statement will be released on Tuesday ‘or Wednesday at the latest’… The source told CNA that it will be a foundational document that will be decisive in determining future action…”

That leak (was it also from Rodé’s Congregation?) had been coordinated with the showing in some Legionary seminaries that same day, February 23, of a video of Cardinal Rodé encouraging Legionaries.

The source proved incorrect. That statement never was made. But the leak seems part of an attempt to assist the Legionaries to wrap things up quickly and handle the scandal on their own terms. The attempt had involved Catholic News Agency, based in Denver, the archdiocese of current apostolic visitator Archbishop Chaput.

The scenario in which the Legionaries would keep their independence from Vatican oversight did not prevail. Instead, the Legionaries’ statement was deferred and on the next day, Tuesday, February 25, Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O’Brien in his archdiocesan Catholic Review made his famous call for a review of the “very basis of the Legion movement.”


Anonymous said...

I hate to say it, but I would not be surprised if it WERE Bertone who paid hush money. I'll wait to see the proof, but I would imagine a babymommy probably knows the name of the Cardinal who paid her off.

My feelings about the Vatican and church hierarchy have changed forever since this Maciel scandal. Although I've always been pretty cynical (and cynicism usually doesn't lead me wrong LOL), I have to say I think I had a basic childlike trust that although there might be some scandal in the Vatican, overall I could trust the organization. I don't feel that way at all anymore and have basically been reduced to only trusting something that is spoken ex cathedra.

I also now doubt the infallibility of canonization (especially now that we are calling into doubt the infallibility of approved charisms, which apparently had been generally agreed upon as infallible for 800 years). The only reason we know about Maciel is because of the information highway.......if he had lived several hundred years ago, can you imagine that the truth about him EVER would have come out? I can't help but think he may very well have been canonized had he lived a few hundred years ago.

And as for the miracle required for canonization..........just have an RC patient, a couple of RC doctors, a major lie, possibly the careful greasing of some key palms......and voila! miracle accomplished.

Truly my eyes have been opened, and I will never trust our Church hierarchy again. After all, if you can't trust the Pope's judgment or the motives of the highest levels of the hierarchy, who CAN you trust? I trust in Christ only at this point. And the only reason I stay Catholic is that I truly believe this is His Church and He is present in the Eucharist. If not for that, I'd be out of here yesterday!!

Anonymous said...

Re. 'charism', you'd do well to do some serious reading on Church history. Such concept was very seldom, if ever, used the way it is now before VII.

Anonymous said...

I would agree with Cassandra on this one: it is very hard to believe that Cardinal Bertone was involved, but it would not be surprising to hear that Cardinal Sodano was. One straw in the wiond: ex RC like me will remember the "Day in the Life of Nuestro Padre" video, showing among other things MM meeting with, and evidently receiving plaudits from...Sodano (and Re), with no other cardinals shown doing likewise. Similarly, at the meetings held in RC after the first announcements were made in January or February, it was said that Cardinals Sodano and Re had visited the generalate to express their solidarity with LC (the only other mentioned was Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, who I doubt was otherwsie implicated).

Anonymous said...

Hmm, wasn't Cardinal Sodano's nephew involved with the building of the LC athaeneum in Rome? The one JP II asked them to build?

Im not sure if it would be the same nephew of Sodano who was in jail for five years for Mafia related crimes, and who was the president of the company of vati-conman Raffaello Follieri, former boyfriend of actress Anne Hathaway?


Anonymous said...

To the first Anonymous,

Papal approval of charisms has never been held to be an infallible act by most (non-Legion) theologians. The language used to effect such approval doesn't come anywhere near the standard for infallibility. As someone else put it, it's the canonical equivalent of issuing a driver's license.

Canonization is different. In the formula for that, the Pope expressly invokes his apostolic authority and declares that what he is doing is a matter of faith, and that the new saint shall be honored throughout the Church.

The doctrine of papal infallibility guarantee that papal decisions like canonizations can't brought about through corrupt methods. No one ever gets canonized without some major order or outside organization pushing hard for it to happen. Infallibility simply means that even if some religious order openly bribed half the Vatican to get their man canonized and otherwise short-circuited the normal process, he still wouldn't be canonized unless he truly was a saint.

If anything, the Maciel disgrace demonstrates exactly how infallibility works. This man built an extraordinarily wealthy organization, paid off all sorts of cardinals, got chummy with high ranking prelates all over the world. On the human level, everything was set up for Maciel and his mother to be canonized.

But neither of them will ever come close, because before it could happen the world found out that he was scum and came to realize that her cause was just a stalking horse for his. The Holy Spirit at work.

Anonymous said...

Yerrg. The comment above should say

"The doctrine of papal infallibility DOES NOT guarantee that papal decisions like canonizations can't brought about through corrupt methods."

Pete Vere said...

Anonymous 9:16, one really cannot speculate upon what would have happened 200 years ago without the information superhighway. While the Internet and modern communication contributed significantly to Fr. Maciel's downfall, it was also a major contributor to his rise. Thus 200 years ago Fr. Maciel would not have had the means available to bring about the evil that he did.