UPDATED:This is a great hymn, listening especially to the stirring last stanza!
This is hot off the press from Sandro Magister's blog, CHIESA!
The Mutineers of the Barque of Peter
With the leaking of confidential documents, the pact of loyalty that binds together the members of the Vatican curia has been broken. The consultations for a change of government have begun. A letter from the pope to Cardinal Bertone
by Sandro Magister
ROME, July 6, 2012 – The critical point of this pontificate is not the opposition, sometimes bitter, that rains down uninterruptedly on it in various areas. But it is the rupture that has taken place with that pact of loyalty within the Church which is manifested in the leaking of confidential documents, from its highest offices.
Pope Joseph Ratzinger does not allow himself to be intimidated by opposition. It is not something that he endures, but rather in crucial cases he intentionally provokes it. And he does not retreat by even one step when the reaction becomes exaggerated and fierce, beyond what is to be expected.
The memorable lecture in Regensburg was the first demonstration of this. Benedict XVI laid bare the burden of violence present in Islam with a clarity that astonished the world and scandalized in the Church the lovers of the embrace among the religions. He invoked for Muslims the revolution of the Enlightenment that Christianity has already experienced. Years later, the springtime of freedom that sprouted and immediately withered in the city squares of the Arab world confirmed that he had seen correctly, that the future of Islam really is played out here.
The sexual abuse committed by priests against children and teenagers is another terrain on which Benedict XVI has gone against the current, even before being elected pope. He introduced exceptional procedures into the regulations of the Church. At his behest, for about ten years three out of four cases have been addressed and resolved not by means of canon law, but by the more direct means of extrajudicial decree issued by a higher-level authority. Marcial Maciel, the diabolical founder of the Legionaries of Christ, was sanctioned in this way, when he was still universally revered and acclaimed, never caught at a disadvantage, with all of the numbers to emerge unscathed from a regular process, not only canonical but also civil. An entire national Church, that of Ireland, was put into a state of penance by the pope. Various inept bishops have been removed. The fact is that in the world today, there is no government or institution or religion more advanced than the Church of Pope Benedict in fighting this scandal and protecting minors from abuse.
And then the lifting of excommunication from the Lefebvrist bishops, with the efforts to bring them back into the fold; the liberalization of the Mass in the ancient rite; the admission of pro-Catholic Anglican communities into the Church, with their bishops, priests, and faithful; on this terrain as well as Benedict XVI has knowingly created conflicts that are still very lively, drawing avalanches of criticism down on himself. Not only from the left, but also from the right, as when in his book-length interview "Light of the World" he opened a loophole for the licit use of condoms.
It is a mistake to confuse the meekness of this pope with submissiveness. Or with his estrangement from management decisions. Even the tempest that is rocking the Institute for Works of Religion, the Vatican "bank," has its origin precisely in him, from his order to ensure the greatest financial transparency.
There is no government in the world whose decisions are not debated and opposed, before and after they become law, in public or in private. For the Church as well, Pope Benedict wants it to be this way. The internal conflicts documented by the papers that have come out of the Vatican are part of the physiology of every institution called to make decisions.
It is not the content of the documents, therefore, but the leaking of them that is the real thorn in the side of this pontificate. It is a betrayal of that pact of loyalty which holds together those who are part of an institution, and with greater reason the Church, where the inviolability of the "internal forum," and even more so of the secrecy of the confessional, inspires a general confidentiality in procedures.
The mutineers maintain, anonymously, that they are doing this for the good of the Church itself. It is a recurring justification in history. They say that from the scandal they want to produce a regeneration of Christianity. But many of their "secular" supporters are interested in a collapse of the Church. Not that it be regenerated, but humiliated.
Conflicts within institutions can be managed. But betrayal much less so. This is the signal, instead, of an absence of management, which has allowed the growth within the Roman curia of the hidden rebellion of some of its "civil servants," and has not been able to do anything to neutralize it.
The Vatican secretariat of state, which from the time of Paul VI forward has also been the main engine of the central government of the Church, is inevitably also the main culprit of this disorientation.
Benedict XVI is so aware of this that, in order to bring order back to the Sacred Palaces, he has not called upon his prime minister, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, but for the consultation of a college of adepts among those farthest from him: to begin with, cardinals Ruini, Ouellet, Tomko, Pell, Tauran.
For a change of management in the Vatican curia, the moves are already underway.