Church in Rome

Michelangelo Flood Sistine Chapel

After the Flood, when Noah’s ark rested on land again, Noah built an altar and offered a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God.

The Flood represents our baptism and salvation in Christ. Noah’s sacrifice represents our celebration of Holy Mass. The moment of peace and hope after the Flood, when God and Noah entered into a covenant of perpetual stability of life: that represents us–the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, reconciled with God through a purification of conscience, living in communion with divine love.

I printed out the list of all the participants in the Roman meeting of Bishops’-Conference presidents, and prayed for all of them by name.

This isn’t Vatican III. The Pope has not gathered a holy synod. It’s another kind of meeting. Looks a lot more like some kind of corporate “in-service.” With ugly, painful subject matter.

st_peter_basilica_vatican_01But nonetheless we should behold and rejoice in the real beauty of the moment. The living, world-wide Church, in the person of these particular prelates, converging at the tomb of St. Peter.

The P.R. about the meeting has focused on how the “experienced” churches—USA, Ireland, the Holy See—will share all our “child protection” insights with the “undeveloped” churches.

I, for one, pray for a miracle: that something quite different would occur. Instead of a lot of feel-good bureaucratic nonsense, I pray that bishops who risk their lives daily for the Gospel, in the dangerous and poor parts of the world, might actually get a chance to talk.

And maybe raise questions like: What business does the American Church have lecturing us? You, Cardinal DiNardo, president of the USCCB, remain personally implicated in a recent sex-abuse cover-up in your own diocese, involving your own Episcopal Vicar for Spanish speakers. You have yet to explain yourself.

The American bishops have lost the confidence of their people. Why should we listen to them?

And what business does the Holy See have lecturing us? You, Holy Father, covered-up for at least one sex-abuser for years—McCarrick—and you have never acknowledged it. When will you give us the full truth about this?

That would be real “synodality” in action. The things that really need discussing–getting them out in the open. Trusting, like Noah, in the faithfulness of God.

10 thoughts on “Church in Rome

  1. Prayers and sacrifice are always needed to heal the Church. I pray that this is a turning point in the issue. If a profound change starts, healing and changes will work in the Lord’s time.

  2. After this conference the US bishops must meet again soon. They must examine the career development of Tobin, Wuerl, Farrel and and all members of the McCarrick “family”. Less than that scrutiny will leave the entire conference guilty of obstruction of justice.

  3. Amen Father Mark! All of the sex abusers and their supporters should be laicized and removed from all influential positions in the Church. Its past time for a complete “house cleaning.” This Evil must be completely removed from Holy Mother Church!

  4. I would love to believe this will be the turning point, but between Francis saying not to expect much, to the article about how to handle children of priests, and the article about the students at the school for the deaf, all I can do is trust in God, and pray I’m overly cautious. As always thank you father mark for your posts.

  5. We have professors at the University of Notre Dame calling all those who oppose abortion, “White supremacists”. A ‘Catholic university named in honor of Our Blessed Mother ( what a sick joke) led by a priest, Fr. Jenkins who attracts and hires such hateful and anti Catholic professors as this. Does the horror never end? How much more will our precious Lord and Blessed Mother endure before the cup of Justice overflows. Such blatant evil and more will continue to go unchecked and spread, with no fear of reprisals from the hierarchy under the current conditions. How utterly dismal.

  6. Dear Fr. Mark know that we love you and all that you stand for. It is very obvious that this sex scandal we are experiencing in the Catholic Church has hurt you deeply. We feel and share your hurt but know that our faith in our church goes beyond the individuals that participated in these atrocities as well as those who condoned their actions.

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