Wednesday, January 14, 2015

“Pope Francis”, in scolding the Curia this past Christmas, stops far short of what’s actually needed

The Latest from Leonard De Chirico:

Pope Francis was chosen “from the end of the world” in the hope that he would deal with the crisis of the Roman Curia as an outsider. Since being elected he has been sending clear signals about his uneasiness towards the Vatican establishment. The latest example of his criticism was his message to the Roman Curia just before Christmas (December 22, 2014) where he diagnosed a spiritually gangrenous reality….

Back to the list of sicknesses. One consideration is worth mentioning. Historically the Roman Curia is a child of the Renaissance courts that surrounded the princes in their various tasks as absolute monarchs. The Pope as a Renaissance prince also had his dignitaries assigned to him and Popes even today continue to have them in the Vatican state. Throughout the centuries the Curia was given a theological status as if it were a small model of the Church itself; indeed the Church at its best on a small scale. The Curia is a product of a monarchial vision of the church and the role of the Pope as absolute monarch of a state is also part of the same breed. Pope Francis criticized the awful spirituality of the Curia, but did not go so far as to question its political and monarchial nature. While denouncing its wrong behaviors, he did not tackle the wrong theology behind it. …

This means that reforming the Curia entails much more than denouncing the poor spiritual conditions of its members or changing personnel in key positions. It involves a radical re-envisioning of the structures of the church according to the supreme apostolic teaching, i.e. the Bible, where the church has no court of dignitaries nor prince at its head, but Jesus Christ alone, who was crucified, rose again and is now exalted.

Of course, I wrote this a long time ago, in an “open letter” to the pope:

The time is long, long past for some pope to stop saying “I [personally] am a sinner…” (as you had done at the beginning of the interview), to stop shifting the blame to “the sins of the children of the Church”.

If your intentions truly are what you say they are, you need to start saying, and quickly, “The Roman Catholic Church has sinned against Christ and his church and humanity” — and then, as is required by your own doctrine of confession, you need to articulate these sins clearly and in fact numerically.

It takes no imagination whatsoever to understand what these sins are.

That alone will be a show of good faith. All the rest of your happy-hopeful statements are mere window dressing and evasion and dissembling.

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