17 October 2011

An Ordinariate Question

Every once in a great while, a news report grabs my attention. This one has, and the way it is being handled has too. So I am going to share it and a couple thoughts with you.

The story is ugly. A bishop in the Roman Catholic Church has been indicted on felony charges. He and his diocese are alleged to have deliberately covered up the activities of a priest they knew was acting, "inappropriately" around children, had stored images typified as "child porn" on his computer, and had pictures of children in indecent circumstances which he had made.

The indictment says bishop and his staff had possession of the computer, and returned it to a family member instead of calling the cops. Here is the major quote:
Bishop Finn and his diocese face charges of aiding and abetting the distribution of child pornography.

The diocese had been warned about Reverend Ratigan in May last year, when the head of a school at which he taught wrote that the priest had behaved inappropriately around children.

Then, last December, a computer technician found files on the reverend's laptop, showing graphic images of minors as young as two, mostly girls.
The full story is here.

Some thoughts:
  • If convicted, I hope the bishop rates the "sex offender" status that requires him to register.
  • The story has little play in America, and lots in Europe. I suspect we are way to deferential to clergy here.
  • In a few weeks, as of the first Sunday in Advent, the Roman Church will implement new liturgical rules that among other stupid things, ban girls acolytes. If I was a parent of a boy, I would worry!
  • Would someone please explain why anyone with an IQ higher than their hat size would want to join the "ordinariate?"



Anonymous said...

There was a retired Episcopal priest from out of state arrested here earlier this year for child abuse. Since he never worked here I can't help thinking that like the Unibomber, those who knew what he was up to, sent him out here to get him away from them. Why would anyone be Episcopalian?

JimB said...

Chris, like most intellectually dishonest "you are bad too!" arguments, this one does not hold up.

Episcopal priests who retire are not sent anywhere by the church. They are free to move where they will. While they are generally asked not to stay where they served, that is not an absolute. Our bishops have a lot less authority over the lives of their priests than RC's do.


Anonymous said...

First, the question at the end of your post assumes that nobody who disagrees with you has a brain and that is also not a place where useful dialogue can be had. It's arrogant and unfair. Liberals turn off an argument with a conservative if the conservative brings up Spong. I do the same when people bring up brains or IQ because it makes you a genius and anyone against you an animal.
Your main argument is that because some Catholic priests are bad, nobody should be Catholic. If that is true then people must only belong to perfect churches and TEC isn't perfect, it has bad priests too. "You're bad too" is the same argument your using from the other direction.
Finally, neither of us knows for certain that the Episcopal priest WASN'T told to get out of Dodge. Few people run 3/4 of the way across the country for no reason. Our previous bishop had an affair and it was hushed up until he retired. While the crime was not as bad as child abuse, he had help covering it up. Cover ups happen in TEC,too.

JimB said...


No that is not the "main thrust" of my post. You miss-read it. Sorry, clearly I need to work on my writing.

In any case, if that is what you got, it was not what was said. The problem in the Roman Catholic Church is systemic and the man on top refuses to admit it. That is a problem that goes well beyond a single bad actor.


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