Rorate Caeli

Back to Normal: Bishop Liberal in Doctrine and Morals is Liberal in his own Mores

For Cathedral-sized Filth
Good for the bishop and for the Church: In the same week of the arrest of former Archbishop Wesolowski for his abusive acts as nuncio in the Dominican Republic, as the Pope's own living quarters and bank are still under the control of a monsignor formerly in the service of Vatican diplomacy whose most famous event during his entire life was being caught stuck in an elevator with his male paramour when in Uruguay a few years ago, another bishop resigns for moral reasons - now in England. 

From the diocesan website:

Bishop Kieran has announced today his resignation as Bishop of Arundel & Brighton. In a statement to be read in all churches of the Diocese this weekend he said:

"I am sorry to confess that, going back some years, I have been unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest. I would like to reassure you that my actions were not illegal and did not involve minors.

As a result, however, I have decided to offer my resignation as bishop with immediate effect and will now take some time to consider my future.

I want to apologise first of all to the individuals hurt by my actions and then to all of those inside and outside the diocese who will be shocked, hurt and saddened to hear this.

I am sorry for the shame that I have brought on the diocese and the Church and I ask for your prayers and forgiveness.

There will be no further comment.

What he means by that is that he had at least one concubine for many years [Update: a married parishioner and mother of two, among others.] And the Catholic Herald informs:

From 1994 to 2001, he was director of the Catholic Media Office, considerably improving relations between journalists and the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Thank you, that explains a lot.


Unsurprisingly, Bishop Conry ("Bishop Kieran,"  as he preferred to have himself called up to the end) was known both for his hatred of the Traditional Mass (that "can't become a regular Sunday Mass," and can only be granted if the "stable group" is "sizable") and traditional doctrine on... moral questions ("Church teaching on birth control could be wrong"), also considering himself droll enough to make jokes about the Sacraments and hip enough to meet repeatedly and unapologetically with homosexual activists and Call to Action. And who can forget his belief that it is not possible to talk about salvation to the young and that regular confession is a bad idea? All of this was apparently enough for the Conference of Bishops of England and Wales to choose him as chair of the Department of Evangelisation and Catechesis, and therefore the most important bishop in England overseeing the teaching of Catholic Doctrine...

As Deacon Nick Donnelly rightly remembers on Twitter, as with scores of bishops around the world (scores and scores and scores), there had been rumors for years (years and years) about Conry's "extracurricular activities"... After years and years of "being unfaithful to" his "promises", under the protection of the mainstream media in Britain, some piece of evidence was surely about to come out now and made things so urgent that he did not even wait for papal acceptance for his resignation to be announced. 

This collapse of Bishops' moral position, their personal moral position, is a tumor destroying the credibility of the Church from the inside and from all sides. When a bishop (or priest) who certainly knows better says something bizarre and completely outside Catholic Tradition, or begins to waver when faced with secularism, Catholic faithful should increasingly ask themselves the questions:

Is the bishop speaking for himself, or is he speaking on behalf of those blackmailing him? Is there truly such thing as a "moderate" bishop, or is he being "moderated" by the enemies of the Church out of fear that his duplicitous behavior will be revealed?

This moral crisis of bishops will probably get much worse before it gets any better -- and Conry is just the most recent chapter. The moral situation of bishops in the Church is so dire in our age that an English reader told us he was, "so relieved that it was a female concubine, not a male lover or a minor!" Quite a relief!... We the spiritual victims of these horrible bishops who do not hesitate to act as tyrants in office, but who, when caught, use the language of evasion and condescension, must apparently be extremely gracious and thankful when their relationships are at least not against nature, and involve just adult women... Goodness!

The world episcopate is rotten to the core in a much larger proportion of its members than we dare admit, not only in their deficiencies in the defense of doctrine and morals (damaging the souls of the faithful), but also in their own mores (damaging their own souls) -- both are not unrelated; it is in need of an urgent and deep clean-up operation that is simply not forthcoming. The "filth" that then-Cardinal Ratzinger criticized in his famous 2005 Via Crucis meditations days before his election as Pope is still as deep, if not deeper, than it was then; and, no, it is not limited to "progressive" bishops. There is every indication that much of what was included in the final dossier handed by Benedict XVI to Francis involved precisely this; and stories leaking several times every year to the Italian press from the "bishop factories" in some seminaries and pontifical universities in Rome are so sordid they seem to come from the worst passages of Suetonius. And instead the great "crisis" in the mind of part of the new Roman Curia is sending the signal, to laymen as well, by this absurd pre-synod Kasper-led "doctrine" on Holy Communion for couples living in concubinage, that wedding vows mean very little and that in practice marriage is not indissoluble -- when they should be reinforcing their own sense of the vows and promises they made to Almighty God! An absolutely unconscionable distortion of priorities that reveals something: "there where their treasure is, there their heart also will be."

What is needed is not a slick media-savvy operation, but enforced purification in the ranks of hierarchs. Yes, there was one traitor in the original Apostolic College, but he still comprised only one-twelfth of its original composition. Enough is enough.