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Thursday, February 01, 2007

A signpost along the way.

What does the KoM mini-scandal mean?

Dismissing the mail-it-in carping of scolds who go Emily Postal about the tone and bad form, what what, of St. Blog's (read: whining about other people whining), the problem is this:

There are no consequences for pro-abortion advocacy by Catholics in public life.

First, let's dispense with the "it's just a lay organization" business. Not quite.

Where the rubber hits the road, (1) the Order has clergy, (2) the Pope is involved in the governance of the Order, (3) a cardinal archbishop is tasked with the spiritual oversight of the Knights, and (4) the pastor of the candidate has to endorse him.

Then--and this has to be emphasized--lay people are expected to step up to the plate and shoulder their responsibilities, too. I've heard there's something about that in "the Vatican II" somewhere. In my swatting at the clergy below I mentioned, but didn't put enough emphasis on the equally-dysfunctional lay leadership of the Church.

Yet, given the hierarchical constitution of the Church, the buck stops with the ordained. And the climate created by the leadership has taught and continues to teach that disregard for life issues is of no importance whatsoever because there are never any consequences for that disregard. In fact, we'll honor you in spite of it. And it's not just abortion, of course, nor just the Malta Order--for some reason, Cardinal Mahony sponsored Rupert Murdoch for a papal knighthood, which was granted in 1998. Yessiree, the man responsible for the Fox Network's quality family-friendly programming, and yabboes on Page 3 would have been on the top of my list of candidates, too. I guess Hef was probably disqualified because he was raised Methodist.

Look, I actually like Archbishop Wuerl, believe it or not. He was a hardliner on perverts in collars before the scandals broke and is one of the finest catechists in the Church today--almost certainly the finest in the English-speaking world. He deserves profound thanks for the American Catechism, a truly five-star effort.

You know what's coming.

But to simply focus on teaching without any hint of sanction teaches another lesson--namely, that it doesn't matter. And it says it without saying a word. Loud and clear.

There are signs this may be changing among some of our shepherds--thanks be to God. It certainly can't happen fast enough.

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