Sunday, April 25, 2010

It’s the management Stupid!

Out of the chaos of the present management meltdown at the Vatican, a couple of things seems to be emerging in the Catholic and other blogospheres.

One is to watch out for the Marcial Maciel scandal to break out in the press with nasty tidbits leaked to the press. This will in turn bite a few cardinals in the ass for their cozy relationship with this pedophile priest who founded the Legion of Christ in Mexico, a religious order with subsidiaries worldwide. Assets estimated at over fifty billion dollars in property etc and with an annual operating budget of 650 million dollars, it will take an awful lot of paperwork and expertise to dismantle this religious order’s empire should the Vatican decide to go that way.

One present possible scapegoat on the Catholic Blogosphere is Cardinal Angelo Sodano, former Secretary of State under John Paul II. All roads in the present Clergy Abuse scandal lead back to a Polish Patriot with a goal to liberate his Poland. John Paul II’s medieval vision to restore Poland to its Medieval glory was one of the agendas that accompanied him through his years as pope. JPII put the breaks on the flood of religious getting out of their vows under Paul VI. JPII did not want the priests to leave even if they were pedophiles. The Vatican front office under the CEO set the tone of all bureaucrats under him. JPII ruled from 1978-2005.

Under him is Cardinal Sodano who we now know got a big party for being made a Cardinal and a big party for being made Secretary of State. These parties were for two hundred people, mostly his relatives. These Parties are supposedly paid for by Marcial Maciel’s Legion of Christ. Sodano is also on the receiving end of a speaking fee of $10,000 for addressing the Legion of Christ organization in Rome. Etc. It is not surprising that in defending Benedict XVI during Easter Week with the remarks about not being concerned with “petty gossip” comes out of Sodano’s lips. Petty gossip about the many forms of politics and strains of corruption within the Vatican is more than petty gossip perhaps.

Sodano is supposed to have intervened as Secretary of State with the consent of JPII in squashing a Vatican investigation into Father Maciel’s perversions. The investigation was from Joe Ratzinger. In the game of Vatican politics, he lost that battle. Ratzinger finally got the upper hand and Marcial Maciel retired in the waning days of JPII's rule in 2005. Maciel died in 2008.

The goal in the present sex abuse scandal by the clergy is to deflect from Benedict whose signature on several documents puts him in the same pot of most bishops in the church that conspired to protect and coverup abuse by the clergy. In their way of thinking, the secular world and secular law was the enemy. John Paul II's whole life was a fight against civil governments most of which were totalitarian. The good press John Paul got in his lifetime covered up an awful lot of incompetence, and malfeasance in office with the hidden sex crimes.

John Paul II Gets A Second Look In Abuse Scandal
Robert Mickens, Vatican correspondent for the British Catholic weekly, The Tablet, says that within the priesthood, there is a certain mistrust of the secular world. And the Polish pope, who grew up under totalitarian regimes, often saw the church besieged by the outside world, Mickens says.

"Those who wear the Roman collar, those who are part of all this, believe that they are maligned unfairly," Mickens says. "John Paul II may have felt that this was again this onslaught of the Nazis or the communists, but now secularists, secularism, to discredit the church. If you look at what some people have been saying in the Vatican, that kind of paranoia has not gone away at all."

In a letter written in 2001, then-Cardinal Ratzinger, under John Paul's auspices, ordered all clerical sex abuse cases be sent to his department and that all cases be subject to pontifical secrecy. His No. 2 at the time, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said in a 2002 interview, "It seems to me there is no basis for demanding that a bishop be obliged to turn to civil magistrates and denounce a priest who has confided to him to have committed the crime of pedophilia."

As the Vatican and the pope face threats of lawsuits and even criminal proceedings in some countries, Vatican officials are now insisting that the Holy See has always recommended to its bishops that they report abusive priests to the police.
The present crisis will not go away. Many would be surprised that many departments of the Vatican are still using ink and quills (ball point pens perhaps) to deal with the modern flow of paperwork in a global headquarters of a global corporation (meaning no computers). What a joke!

Abuse Crisis Strains Vatican’s Ancient Ways of Management
That Benedict’s papacy has gone from crisis to crisis points to its difficulties as an ancient institution still struggling with modernity, even though the liberalizing Second Vatican Council in the 1960s was supposed to update the church’s relation to the world. Instead, it is facing the growing pains of a bureaucracy created in the 16th century to contend with the Protestant Reformation and the discovery of the New World. By some lights, it is still grappling with both…

And while the Vatican may be a world power, it often seems to be run like an Italian village. “The Vatican is facing two main challenges: generational and cultural,” said one diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of straining ties with the Vatican. “The biggest challenge here is management.”
What the public or what the average practicing Catholics might notice lately by things in the news is that the hierarchy of that church is aloof and out of touch. That across the board, corporate culture displayed suggests that the welfare of children was secondary to the importance of prestige of the priest class that runs the institution. That if children are perceived as secondary to the hierarchy, maybe the bishops and the priests do not care about the average person in the church as well. The good will of the corporation is spent.

I used the image above of John Paul II as a statue carved in salt at a salt mine n Poland. When I first saw it I thought of the Pillar of Salt that Lot’s wife turned into, from looking back during the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in the old testament.

John Paul and being turned into a pillar of salt so to speak may be due with the history of his reign being rewritten as we speak. His sin may have been in looking back to a Medieval Church in his idealized Medieval Poland as a vision for the future of the global church. He was sorely wrong I think.