Two articles in Crisis Magazine about bishops in the Catholic Church. The importance of liturgy in seminaries is discussed..


About John Lilburne


Instituted lectors


1144 K Sat 1 Jun 2002

On Wednesday I was reading the U.S.A. magazine Crisis at the Mannix Library. They seem to have all their articles on the internet, with the June edition published today. (Update 10 June: unfortunately the links for some articles just give subscription information).

In the May edition I found two articles particularly interesting, which I have linked to on the right.

Here is a paragraph from Ralph McInerny:

... There are seminaries in this country that are notorious for their predilection for sexual perverts. One is known as the Pink Palace. No one reading Rose's book will be surprised at what is now all over the media. Our bishops have known about such scandals all along, and they have treated them in the three-monkeyed manner they now treat pedophiles. Good men have been systematically weeded out. It is not simply that the moral theology taught in seminaries is very likely opposed to Catholic doctrine and that the Mass is not a prominent part of the day; the behavior in many seminaries has turned them into Augean stables. ...

I think the "three-monkeyed manner" is to "see no, hear no, speak no evil". Russell Shaw also discusses bishops.

It is sexual abuse scandals that are getting the headlines. But I think it is liturgical abuse that is a major part of the problem and fixing it an important part of the solution. Regarding liturgy, to ensure that good men are not "systematically weeded out" of seminaries I think there needs to be improvements in following liturgical law, particularly with regard to instituted lectors and instituted acolytes. These are ministries that seminarians undertake, but (in my experience as a lector) are not encouraged to follow the liturgical laws for them.

Obviously the sexaul abuse problems are important. But it seems likely to me that there will be ongoing sex scandals for the foreseeable future. The publication of new liturgical laws, in the Roman Missal, happened in March and before that in 1975. Its a rare occurrence. Part of the Catholic Church's problems is that it is not getting much attention.

Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 1 June 2002. Last updated 10 June 2002.

Other sites:

"It didn't just happen" by Ralph McInerny

"The very model of a modern bishop" by Russell Shaw