Every able-bodied Catholic bishop has a duty to visit the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul–and the pope–once every five years. (Or at least once every eight years, if the pope’s schedule gets full, with important things like endless, confusing month-long Synods.)
In previous centuries, these visits ad limina included an individual meeting with the pope. In this benighted century, the popes have held group meetings with the visiting bishops. Pope Francis meets with as many as twenty bishops at once.
Our American “shepherds” will arrive in Rome in fifteen separate groups over the course of four months. The first group, the bishops of New England, arrived at St. Peter’s yesterday.
Now, let’s briefly anatomize the current Church scandal, here in the U.S. It begins and ends with one name. McCarrick. The Pennsylvania grand-jury report, and subsequent reports in other states, have revealed a great deal of evil and episcopal blundering. But none of that came as “news” to us older Catholics.
We had heard it all before. And we knew that the hierarchy fixed the problem! Under the able leadership of the good guys in miters, in 2002. Especially the Prince Charming of that group. Theodore McCarrick.
In Rome, they knew of McCarrick’s menace. Even then. Viganò revealed that. Subsequent reports confirmed it. The head of the Vatican press office even wrote a book about it, quoting all kinds of Cardinals (off the record, of course).
And the Vatican promised to “make known the conclusions of the matter regarding McCarrick.” Leaving no stone unturned, “following the truth wherever it leads,” even if it proved embarrassing. They made this promise over thirteen months ago. In the meantime, the pope used his authority to defrock McCarrick. Without publishing even one single fact of his case.
So, it seems to your unworthy servant: The loudest wailing noise in Holy Church right now is the utter silence of the Holy See on the subject of Theodore McCarrick.
We American Catholics want to take a step forward, towards restored confidence in the integrity of our institution. That step involves one thing happening. The See of Peter revealing, in full, everything they knew, and when, about the evil little Irish-American leprechaun.
I ask you, dear reader: How does an American bishop–who ostensibly pretends to care about his faithful people back home–how does he not get off the airplane at Fiumicino and immediately do this:
Kneel at the Apostles’ tombs. Walk into the pope’s parlor. Kiss the Ring of the Fisherman. Then ask, “Where is the g.d. McCarrick Report, Your Holiness?! WTF? You are fricking killing us. What in the actual f?” (Or something to that effect.)
But these feminized cowards in miters will do no such thing. Instead they will tweet things like, “Oh, mother, bring me my aqua vitae! I just got to meet the Successor of Peter! And he has such twinkly eyes! And amazing jowls. So cute! I just love him!”
An earthquake shook the Vatican offices yesterday. Maybe it came after one of the New-England bishops actually managed to ask the Cardinal Secretary of State about when they would publish the McCarrick report. “Oh, si. Presto. Subito.”
Then the walls shook.
…I, for one, object to our bishops going to Rome solely to fan-girl the pope. I think we deserve more serious shepherds than this.