Fr. Z's latest post raises some uncomfortable questions. I agree with him. We must know the truth - whatever it is. The Vatican "machine" (I can't think of another word at the moment) needs a radical overhaul (it has needed it for a long time). Some of the responses to recent allegations have been detailed and well-presented. Unfortunately we do not always get this from the Vatican, and I was reminded recently of something that happened about twenty years ago when a priest wrote to the Vatican asking if it was permissible to recite the Rosary in front of the exposed Blessed Sacrament. The question was answered by a priest in Notitiae, which (forgive my flippancy) seems to be a sort of liturgical "agony aunt". The answer, to cut it short, was "No". This was taken up by some priests as a law. I had people coming to me and complaining that their priest had told them that they were not allowed to say the rosary during adoration and this was then extended, I believe, in some cases to not being allowed to recite it publicly in church. I remember during a Marian Priest's retreat, the late Fr. Roland Huot SSS telling us that some Blessed Sacrament fathers had gone to Rome to protest. They were told that the opinion was not a law - it was an opinion. I waited to see if the Vatican would announce this in a more public way; it did not. However, about ten years later there was a small piece in Osservatore Romano admitting to the mistake - TEN YEARS!!!
There must be some people who know what is going on in the Vatican. Like most Catholics I just try to be loyal and give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but these latest scandals and allegations need detailed, honest and immediate responses from the top. We cannot hope to win this battle with the Media unless we are truly open and "above board". Where bad things have happened we need to admit them and not offer excuses. We need healing - the Church needs healing. Some of this will be like radical surgery, some of it like purgation, some of it like extended rehabilitation. The secrecy, obfuscation and false appeals for obedience, fidelity and respect in the face of horrendous episcopal examples of negligence and complacency must end. We must grow up. Another blog (Catholic Commentary) recently had a post about the difference between the office and the office holders. We need to keep this very clear as we move ahead with the house cleaning. In respecting our bishops, we cannot respect bad decisions, carelessness and self-pleading. If the Holy Spirit is now blowing through the Church, let's open all the doors and windows, unlock the cellars, grant access to forbidden places and pray and fast as He does His work. This must happen - it's overdue.
I have placed the picture of Our Lady above because I believe that we must pay attention to repeated invitation - made by her through the late Sister Lucia of Fatima and through the late John Paul II - to consecrate ourselves to her Immaculate Heart. The messages she gave through Don Gobbi are still relevant - perhaps more relevant - today. Catholics who do not say the Rosary should start doing it now.