Sunday, September 25, 2005

Amy Welborn Says: Church Purge “Badly Needed”

Amy Wellborn is a so-called Catholic conservative. (As in, the Pope and the church may not be right but they are never wrong.) Today, in a New York Times Op/Ed column, “The Sins of the Seminaries”, Ms Welborn asks, ”Why is it considered unfair to expect priests and seminarians to live by the values of the institution they serve?” Welborn answers herself saying, “Others may call it a purge, but I call it truth in advertising.” There is only one thing wrong with Welborn's conclusion: “A seminary has a dual responsibility. It owes the future priest preparation for a life of sacrifice, unique witness and engagement with other human beings at moments of joy and pain in a society that has no respect for his vocation. But a seminary also owes us, the people in the pews, psychologically mature priests who aren't engaged in an eternal and ego-driven struggle with their own problems, who are prepared to serve, to teach and preach - with integrity and honesty.” Sounds good. But it's wrong. Seminaries have never ever, no NOT EVER, prepared its priests for a “life of sacrifice”. They have never had a major goal to give the people in the pews priests who are “psychologically mature”, priests that “aren't engaged in an eternal and ego-driven struggle with their own problems”. Seminaries and convents have always been a place where psychologically immature people have found a safe haven for their psychologically immature outlook to fester and become even more psychologically immature. Yes, seminaries and convents can turn out good priests and nuns, but it is against all odds. Convents used to be the place where families stowed their unmarriageable spinsters and a place where the Catholic Church could find free laborers to do its scut work and to teach children. That kind of unpaid forced labor is not a prescription for a happy well-adjusted work force. When the time came that unmarried and unmarriageable women could make their own way in the world, the Church's convents began to empty out. Seminaries have always been rife with pedophiles and homosexuality. The history of the Vatican shows a history of murders and avarice right in Vatican City that goes back to the earliest popes. It's a bit late to order a purge so that the Church can guarantee that their seminarians will be psychologically mature and perversion free. The RCC has always spoken about itself as though its leadership were spotless. There were the requisite demurrals about priests, nuns and the Pope being only human, of course. But the subtext from the Church is that men and women of the cloth have actually attained its impossible requirement for mankind to be inhumanly pure. And, as mankind will always do, because mankind cannot be pure, the men and women in the Church have always lied and engaged in cover-ups when immorality in the Church has been revealed. It's foolish to speak about a needed purge of seminaries and not speak about a needed purge of the Catholic Church hierarchy. Which brings us to lies and necessary purges in other places. You will remember, I am sure, that last week we were informed that our heart-attack prone VP, Dick Cheney, would undergo a procedure this weekend to repair an aneurysm behind his left knee. We were told he also had an aneurysm behind his right knee, but only the left knee artery bulge would be fixed. The procedure would be performed under a local anesthetic and would involve a short hospital stay. This morning we have been informed that the right knee was also fixed and that the procedure took six hours under a local anesthetic. A Sarasota cardiologist, Mike Mollod, was quoted in all the official White House bullshit that “It is not a very risky surgery”. As though a local makes it routine. As though not risky in a healthy man means not risky in seriously ill Dick Cheney. We have no idea what actually took place during those six hours yesterday. But this morning, doctors are weighing-in on the whole affair. (See NYT's “Vice President Has Procedure for Aneurysms in His Knees” by Lawrence K. Altman.) It was “irresponsible” to do both knees during the same operation, one doctor said about the “intraoperative decision”. Intraoperative decision is medical-speak for, “we decided to do it during the first surgery”. Which means, “we found a life-threatening situation going on and we had to change our plans”. The White House wouldn't let the doctors who did the surgery speak to the press. A statement from Cheney's office this morning said Cheney is "awake, alert, and comfortable" and that "he's due to be briefed on the impact of Hurricane Rita in Louisiana and Texas, as well as the federal, state and local response.” I wouldn't bank on it. If Cheney goes into a coma, his office will say, “The Vice President is napping and resting comfortably.” When he dies, the report will be, “Mr. Cheney's knee surgery has caused a complication which requires the VP to stay off his feet for an unspecified amount of time.” When he's trundled off to the mortuary the White House will say, “The President has been called back from Texas to consult with the Vice President on a matter of national significance”. To show that having to go back to Washington is no big deal, the President will be shown boarding Air Force One arm-in-arm and laughing with brother Jeb. Together at last.

1 comment:

Barry Schwartz said...

Could be, could be. This is a little like the Star Trek episode 'Mirror, Mirror': everyone moves up in rank.

Here is how it will happen, though. See if this pattern seems familiar. Cheney will have a lingering cold. Then one day there will be funeral music playing on the radio, without explanation.