Short Takes, by Kristine Ward

Published on February 27, 2013

Cardinal Levada: enough is never enough

We read with interest the following quote from Cardinal William Levada who will be an elector in the coming conclave.

‘There are some victims groups for whom enough is never enough, so we have to do our jobs as best we see it,’ said Levada, 76, who spoke with reporters from a Menlo Park seminary as he prepared for his trip to the Vatican for the papal conclave.

The dig at survivors is obvious, of course, from this man who was entrusted with care of souls in a California diocese before being promoted to Pope Benedict’s previous position as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith where the clergy sexual abuse cases were sent.

We have to wonder what Cardinal Levada’s reaction would be if Catholics who sat in the pews where he preached or in the audience at dinners where he spoke simply said to themselves following the homily instructions, “enough goodness, sacrifice, fasting, almsgiving, or prayer will never be enough – why try it?”

Cardinal Darmaatadja: the eyes have had it

Cardinal Julius Darmaatmadja, of Jakarta, Indonesia, who at 78 could have been an elector in the conclave, said in an interview with the Rome-based AsiaNews agency that his health and particularly the “progressive deterioration” of his eyesight led to his decision not to travel to Rome.

Best anyone publicly knows at this point, the handicap that is causing  Cardinal Darmaatmadja’s to be shut out from the conclave is physical not moral.

If his brother Cardinals and the abdicating Pope, whose presence on Twitter was inaugurated with fanfare, could not be moved to modernly transport him into the conclave via Skype it is terribly sad that they were not moved to pity enough to enlist an over age 80 sighted Cardinal to go to the conclave to assist his brother with his “sacred duty.”

The Report: for the chosen one’s eyes only but not for the choosers

The Vatican announcement regarding who will see the results of a three Cardinal commission to investigate the huge leak of confidential information from the Vatican, in fact, from the Pope’s desk says the report will remain secret.

The announcement said: “The Holy Father has decided that the acts of this investigation, known only to himself, remain solely at the disposition of the new Pope.

So, the 115 men (as of today’s counting) who when they received red hats swore to be so faithful to the Church that they would shed their blood if necessary to protect her, will be entering into the most serious decision of their lives with mighty consequences for the Church without the information contained in the report.

Seems unfair at the very least that a Pope who says he won’t be involved in the next conclave has devised a bit of a hamstring for those who will, let alone the possibility of avoidable inadequacy by the chosen one who will read the report.

And, it appears, there has not been a peep from those who are being hamstrung.

Soles: oh, so important, but what about souls?

It seems it was impossible for the Vatican to keep the news briefing about life after the papacy to the mere basics of title and place.

Fashion, it seems, in the closing hours of this papacy has been on the minds of the Pope and the Vatican and nothing less than the details of the color of the soutane that will be worn capeless in retirement, the fisherman’s shoes and the fate of the ring would do.

Odd, it seems, since this was a retirement that was being billed as an out of sight one.

The Vatican felt it important to let the world know that Pope-emeritus Benedict will no longer look down at red shoes but will walk in Mexican crafted brown ones.

We hope with every step he takes in them he will think of the Mexican survivors of sexual abuse, particularly those victims of Marcial Maciel, the founder of the Legionaries, for whom the steps of daily life are painful and the fugitive perpetrator priests of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles who walk free in Mexico.

We hope that leads him to remember all of the other victims of sexual abuse – and those children who are in harm’s way today – because he, who by virtue of heading the Congregation for the Doctrine for the Faith and inhabiting the papacy knew more than anyone else — abdicated long ago from using the tremendous power of the papacy to truly confront the crisis.

— Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) KristineWard@hotmail.com

www.nationalsurvivoradvocatescoalition.wordpress.com

The National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC) is an all volunteer organziation of in the pew Catholics and men and women of goodwill supporting survivors of sexual abuse and working to educate society about sexual abuse and to bring about effective legislative reforms. NSAC News is a daily free online news briefing on the scandal distributed online Monday through Friday. To susbscribe email Steve Sheehan: sheehan1777@aol.com.

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