Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Clueless or complicit?
Despite his triumphs, the child abuse issue will remain a blot on John Paul II's papacy
- William Grimm
- May 3, 2011
Responding to complaints that the beatification of Pope John Paul II was over-hasty and unseemly in light of the sex abuse scandal that will always be a blot on his papacy, the archbishop did not deny the problem. He simply said that beatification is not a "medal for good management service."
No, Archbishop. Letting the chancery office run out of toilet paper is poor management service. Refusing to see or seeing, refusing to act against the rape of children is something else.
It is hard to imagine Archbishop Nichols‚Äô Anglican counterpart, Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, saying the same thing. After all, Williams is a father not solely by virtue of ordination, but because he has two children.
I have listened to parents speak of child abuse, and usually they describe the response they would take as including the possibility of spending time in prison. That is why even as a child I suspected that the sudden move from our neighborhood of one family was tied to some boy‚Äôs parents learning what that family‚Äôs teenaged son had been up to. In any case, I have never heard a parent describe anything related to child abuse as poor management. Only a celibate of a certain ilk could even dream of such a callous comparison.
It becomes more evident as time goes on that Pope John Paul was informed of cases of abuse, including those perpetrated by Marcial Maciel of the Legionaries of Christ. But the pope chose to present this serial rapist as "an efficacious guide to youth." Was John Paul simply clueless? If so, that is a culpable matter for a leader, especially one with so much authority and responsibility as a pope.
Or, was the pope like so many of the bishops he appointed, men more concerned for the public image of the Church‚Äôs leadership (as well as its finances) than for the safety of its children and the proper handling of its sick priests? In that case, he was complicit in the cover-ups and in the silencing of those abused.
Certainly, if one looks objectively at the papacy of John Paul II, there are glorious triumphs. But, there were also terrible failures that rate at least a bit of Purgatory. Why the rush to call the celestial host to choir practice?
The quick beatification of Pope John Paul II is presented by the Vatican as a response to the voice of the Church at large. Since the Vatican is famously unwilling to listen to that voice in other matters, it is hard to suppress the thought that the real affection and respect toward John Paul is providing a handy cover that some hope will fend off investigations and disclosures that will be embarrassing to the entire leadership caste of the Catholic Church.
The beatification of John Paul may be an attempt to lay a tarp of sanctity over the reality of the Augean stables that are the Church‚Äôs leadership. It will not succeed because ultimately God remains in charge. Just as in mythology Hercules diverted rivers to clean out those fetid stables, a river of indignant rage by Catholics who know the difference between children and toilet paper will eventually rise to wash out our Church.
Father William Grimm is a Tokyo-based priest and publisher of UCA News, and former editor-in-chief of ‚ÄúKatorikku Shimbun,‚ÄĚ Japan‚Äôs Catholic weekly.