Read this article more for the heretical and immoral bishops replaced rather than for the Vati-leaks. It does not include the latest such replacement, according to today’s (May 21st) Vatican daily bulletin:
“Removed Bishop Francesco Micciche from the pastoral care of the diocese of Trapani, Italy, and appointed Archbishop emeritus Alessandro Plotti of Pisa, Italy, as apostolic administrator “ad nutum Sanctae Sedis” of that diocese.”
Would that some of the big fish (such Vienna’s Cardinal Schonborn) be included.
The Vatican must adopt anti-leak system
The need to deal with cases and problems managing media pressure with absolute transparency
Mass-media are understandably saturated with news about the Vatican documents which could have been leaked by a single source, or not. Meanwhile, other less sensational news stories which are, however, more meaningful for the life of the Church, take second stage. But they are in fact not entirely unrelated to the first; both cases represent a situation that Benedict XVI is trying his best to straighten out, modify and correct. We have noticed three in the last week. Here they are.
A Catholic bishop has been demoted to a lay state because he was accused of importing paedo-pornographic material to Canada. Raymond Lahey, Bishop of Antagonish, cannot operate as presbyter, nor preside over religious ceremonies or administer sacraments. In recent years, it is the first time that a punishment of this sort is inflicted upon a prelate at the end of a canonical trial. In January, Lahey was condemned to fifteen months in prison because the Ottawa airport police found hundreds of pornographic photographs of adolescents on his computer. Lahey was released on parole at the end of the trial.
On another continent, the head of the Episcopal Conference was removed and replaced. It is the Central African Republic, where, on 14 May, Benedict XVI appointed new bishops. Three years after the inquiry that in May 2009 caused the early resignations of 54-year-old archbishop Paulin Pomodino of Bangui and of Bishop François-Xavier Yombandje, who retired at the age of 52. An inquiry lead by the then archbishop, now cardinal, Robert Sarah found that Pomodino adopted “a moral attitude not always in conformity with his commitment to follow Christ in chastity, poverty and obedience.” The inquiry also uncovered the fact that many among the local clergy had children. Last 14 May Benedict XVI appointed 45-year-old Fr. Dieudonné Nzapalainga as archbishop of Bangui. Up to then, the clergyman had worked as an apostolic Administrator, and 42-year-old Fr. Nestor-Désiré Nongo-Aziagbia, Father Superior of the Society of African Missions in Strasburg, France, as bishop of Bossangoa.
On the other side of the world, the announcement that the Australian dissident bishop William Morris was substituted ended a ten-year battle between him and the Vatican. The prelate, who was asked to resign before the dismissal, held and expressed ideas contrasting with those of the magisterium in matter of confession, general absolution of sins and female ordination. When asked to come to Rome to discuss the situation, the bishop, who certainly seems a little eccentric (among other things, he dresses as a lay person and wears a necktie embroidered with his Episcopal coat of arms) answered that he had pastoral engagements that prevented him from going. An inquiry lead by the American bishop Charles Chaput resulted in a request for his resignations, to which Morris seemed to consent after an encounter with the Pope in Australia. But, after some time, he wrote saying that he did not feel like resigning. In the last few days his successor has been named: Mgr. Robert McGuckin, already President of the Canon Law Society of Australia and New Zealand.
In the last few years there have been similar episodes, also more or less ignored by the media, except at the local level: arranged premature resignations, discreet exits from the scene. Benedict XVI grinds slowly perhaps, but he grinds finely. He touches feelings, friendships, ties and self-esteem; or he frustrates possibly legitimate hopes and ambitions that should yield to different and higher sentiments.
Perhaps it is also because of this that we have document leaks. Unfortunately, they do not seem to come from nowhere, but from very nearby offices, perhaps in the Loggia itself, from the apartment of the Pontiff. Until now, the response from the head of the Secretary of State has been weak, to use a euphemism. So the classified opinion of experts in the field is that, considering the situation, it is necessary to accept the fact that not all those who work near the Pope are loyal; and to adopt procedures and systems, also of a technological nature, that are used in many countries to protect “sensitive” areas and documents. In reality, the specialists displayed a certain astonishment at the absence of these precautions to fend off internal as well as external enemies, who in this case were surely less dangerous. The Pope and a billion and two-hundred-million Catholics have a right to it. Once upon a time faith was enough. Not anymore.