Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Sheriff of Nottingham and the Serfs in the Pew

My husband and I are watching Season 1 of the BBC series, Robin Hood. It's campy and silly in many respects, but reminded us of the current on-going situation in the Church of the cover-up of the homosexual problem and the silencing of good priests. (And that is not silly or campy at all, but dead serious.)

The Sheriff of Nottingham, played brilliantly by Keith Allen, is the villain you love to hate. He tells his ally in evil, Sir Guy of Gisborne, that the way to keep the serfs in line is through fear. Once the serfs are afraid, it's easy to compel their cooperation. Just lop off a hand, cut out a tongue, or have a public hanging now and then and the serfs will fall tamely into line with nary a wimper of protest. The taxes will be paid on time and if the serfs are starving -- oh well.

Does this sound familiar? Aren't the faithful "starving" for the truth as they toss their "taxes" into the collection baskets? Doesn't dissent still rule in many dioceses like Los Angeles and Manchester? Hasn't Fr. Haley had his tongue metaphorically cut out? Haven't bishops cut off the hands of good priests by driving them out? Where are Fr. Madden, Fr. Nesbella, Fr. Foster, Fr. MacCormack, and others? Can they raise their hands in absolution or pour the waters of baptism on the heads of infants? Can they use their hands and voice to raise the Host and Chalice and proclaim, "This is my Body; this is my Blood?" No, they've been cut off from ministry because they bucked the lavendar mafia. And the lesson of their punishment has certainly not been lost on their brother priests.

Like the Sheriff of Nottingham's evil proclamations, "laws" have been issued by the bishops that don't solve the problem, but aid in the coverup. The Dallas Charter and the VIRTUS safety program not only did not end the scandal of homosexuals in the priesthood, they shifted the blame to innocent priests and the laity, especially parents. VIRTUS claims homosexuals are not a problem because heterosexual child abuse is more common. True, in absolute numbers, but that begs the question. Homosexuals represent about 2% of the population, but commit almost 40% of child sexual abuse.

You can believe the problem is over if you want, but the fact is that many bishops are still covering it up amd still retaliating against priests who blow the whistle on homosexual immorality in the rectory and the chancery. The problem took years to create and isn't going away anytime soon and that's why they won't talk about it. And that is exactly why the laity must.

The Sheriff of Nottingham may try to keep his ugly secret under wraps, but he's running out of wraps, which is a bad thing for the sheriff, but a good thing for the truth.

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