Just when I thought it was safe to read the newspaper again, Bettnet.com points out Paul Vitello's column in the NY Times about Bishop Murphy reorganizing the religious formation offices of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Vitello used to be a commentator, not a reporter, for Newsday but left when Newsday downsized. Newsday had to downsize because they were caught inflating their circulation and overcharging advertisers. The result was millions of dollars in payoffs and the dissappearance of many long time Newday writers - Jimmy Breslin, Paul Vitello, Ed Lowe - none of whom had much use for the Catholic Church, all of whom were old. The article by Vitello sounds like the same tired old nonsense that used to be so much a part of Newsday:
-The Diocese of Rockville Centre used to be run by people who loved children and small animals, were open-minded, tolerant and peace loving people. People like Bishop McGann, Bishop Emil Wcela, Dick Ryan, and Robert Keeler were changing the nasty Catholic Church by applying the great documents of Vatican II and had to do it all while being oppressed by the Vatican and those damn young traditionalists, with their yearning for Latin Masses and other nonsense.
--Women had started to become very powerful in the Diocese in these enlightened times but this frightened the conservatives so they put a stop to this.
-Then, when the child molesting priests were exposed throughout the country it brought about the great Voice of the Faithful movement, which would usher in an unprecedented era of giving money to the poor.
-Now, Bishop Murphy (and those damn youngins'!) is messing up everything by clamping down, in a Stalin-like way, on poor defenseless Church workers - mostly women.
This tired old story is wrong of course, and here is why:
The fact is, Bishop McGann, Wcela, Keeler, and Ryan were the ones who befriended some of the very priests who later who exposed as being child molesters and corrupt. It was this "enlightened" era that allowed the corruption to flourish, it was Bishop McGann who shifted these molesters around.
Women have been the majority of "Church workers" for 30 years, but there are dissenters and orthodox ones, and the dissenters ruled. The PFI and other Diocese organizations did not teach orthodox Church teaching, but a blend of feminist propaganda, dissident theology, and just plain nonsense, all wrapped in a feel-good package.
The Voice of the Faithful have been underwhelming in their ability to raise money and donate to the poor. They are constantly referring to the writings of Richard McBrien, Bishop Gumbleton, and Joan Chittister and then wonder why no young people join them.
It is Bishop Murphy who is leading the Diocese to renewal. He has tried to dialogue with people, but he is talking orthodoxy, and most of the complainers haven't heard this stuff in 25 years here.
Vitello attempts to connect the generation of Catholics who grew up after Vatican II with those that sounded the alarm about child molesting priests, and on Long Island this is simply not a total connect. He then tries to say that this reorganization will turn back the clock so that Catholics will not think, women will not teach, and this is nonsense.