Thursday, July 17, 2014
Jennifer Haselberger and Kevin McDonough: Whom shall we Curse and Whom shall we Bless?
The top leaders of the archdiocese in Saint Paul, Minnesota, have been under investigation ever since Miss Haselberger resigned her position as Chancellor for Canonical Affairs in the spring of 2013.
Archbishop Nienstedt and his two predecessors -- Flynn and Roach -- are under suspicion of having failed to protect young people from abusive priests.
Father McDonough has been the second-in-command, the "power behind the throne," for many years (he was Vicar General from 1991 until 2008, at which point he became "delegate for safe environment.")
Doc Pence has been arguing for a decade that officials of the archdiocese have been passive in the face of wide-spread corruption.]
by David Pence
A brave woman has told the truth. The corrupting de-sacralization of the Catholic priesthood in the Saint Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese has been revealed. Too many "faithful Catholics" heap abuse upon this woman for playing exactly the role of Joan of Arc and Catherine of Siena centuries ago. Like those heroic female saints, she challenged men of high office to do their duties. She did not ask to be bishop or priest. She asked bishops and priests to be fathers. Read her deposition; and read the depositions of the clerics. Only she describes the central conflicts in the language of sacraments and theology.
The Minnesota Public Radio presentation, "Betrayed by Silence", is an exquisite unveiling of the deep evil behind the smiling face of Archbishop Harry Flynn, and the smooth blarney of Vicar General Kevin McDonough. A courtroom scene of diocesan priests weeping at the sentencing of serial predator Gil Gustafson, while the victim's family sat alone, is a soul-wrenching emblem of the wretched spiritual state of our priestly fraternity. The program's placement of our local clerics in their historical roles in the American bishops' bureaucracy is superb investigative journalism. The radio program is excellent on history, utterly misguided about celibacy, and conveniently silent about the homosexual subculture in the archdiocese. When the secular press gets one of three right, we should thank them.
Miss Haselberger has been criticised for speaking with MPR, Commonweal, and the National Catholic Reporter. They all have a deep animus toward Archbishop Nienstedt (for all the wrong reasons) and are lifting this drama to the national stage. The "orthodox" Catholic press, however, is too confused or frightened to face the facts of her story. What could she do? Who will explain this very explainable story with real names and real spiritual causes and remedies? Who will speak the mind of Christ when his shepherds are scattered?
It is time to rip up the separate concordat that our local priesthood has made with homosexuality. This subculture of deceit emerged from a sacral identity crisis. The priesthood as a collective culture was opened to perversions and horrors when they stopped believing in their acquired ontological character which allowed them to exorcise a real Satan at Baptism, forgive sins in Confession, and confect the Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. As floundering clerics questioned the sacral identity of Ordination that engaged them in the ultimate spiritual realities of the Sacraments, a thousand counterfeit flowers bloomed.
The spritual cleansing of the local presbytery will aim at Principalities and Powers. It will take more than a change in policies and procedures. Joan of Arc and Catherine of Siena urged the French soldiers and deposed pope of their different eras to do their duties. Jennifer Haselberger utters a similar cry today. Let Catholic men, priest and lay alike, heed these good women.
UPDATE: The reporters at MPR have now posted an expanded summary (in four chapters). More excellent work on their part!