Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Who is in charge of the Archdiocese of Toronto?

The title is not rhetorical. I have come to believe that the Archdiocese is bogged down - somewhat reflective of the CCCB's mode of operations - in a bureaucratic structure where no one gets the blame and everyone can take the credit. The most recent example of CCCB ineptitude was the website of the bishops conference maintaining speeches of self-admitted and then convicted pervert/child porn consumer, Raymond Lahey. Eventually the rubbish was removed, but it took about two months to accomplish - and with intense pressure.

Of course it goes much deeper than just ineptitude and the millions per annum spent in employing laity (on the proverbial widow's mite). But already that is an indication of corruption that would horrify the persecuted and poor church of the third world. 

The bureaucratic structure is reflective of a perception of what "church" is by those who have created and/or facilitated this. One major example of Archdiocesan malefaction is the inability or lack of desire to communicate with the laity. An example, and comparison: 

Over the past year, this blog and the blog, Vox Cantoris, have been involved - though we would rather not be - in reporting on abuse - gross abuse - of our churches' Sanctuaries as platforms for concerts. Today is not the time to go back over all the repugnant details. Today will not be a time to give you time and place of upcoming abuse (and yes, the abuse is still continuing). This example is mentioned, as it is an example of a refusal of the Archdiocese to communicate with concerned laity over the matter to put an end to said abuse. Charitably, could it be not so much a refusal, as - like in the Lahey case - there are no clear lines of authority, so nothing ever gets done. 

Today, will be a day to lament the change between the reign of the late Aloysius Cardinal Ambrozic and the present change in governance of H.E. Collins. I recall a time when sending a letter off to the late Cardinal always received a reply. I recall a time when a call to the bishop - actually resulted in a call back from the bishop. Now we seem to have shifted into a situation where the Cardinal has walled himself off, unless appearing in carefully structured public appearances - akin to managed publicity.

 Who is responsible? Does the present Cardinal even receive mail sent to him by the laity? I have no guarantee that he does. And if, so, why does he never reply? I recall, when he had just become Archbishop: he did answer an email I sent him. But no more. Something has changed...

This may seem trivial; but it is not. One of the major tasks of a bishop is to communicate with the laity. Occasional appearances on TV and radio is publicity, not communication. The release of occasional statements etc. a Pastoral Plan (replete with unsavory cash grab plans vis-a-vis legacies) is not communication.  Are we dealing more and more with the Archdiocese as a registered corporate entity, rather than a local church of Jesus Christ? This question reflects the same ambiguity that hovers over the Knights of Columbus: are they a charity that runs a billion dollar insurance empire, or, are they an insurance company, that runs a charity on the side. Serious questions, and serious answers are needed. 

What we need is a bishop who is in direct touch and contact with the laity. We don't have this. Something needs to change. Consider Pope John Paul as Bishop of Rome and his personal, pastoral outreach to parishes. 

We need an archbishop, not a managed public personality by bureaucrats. I am very interested in constructive feedback. 


Freyr said...

You may be the only one experiencing this ambiguity regarding the knights. They are an insurance company which began as a fraternal order. The evolution of fraternal orders into insurance companies is not very unusual. The dichotomy is a false one and the real question ought to be whether they adhere to Catholic principles or not.

As for the archdiocese, any local church which requires a number of auxiliary bishops is too big. Why there aren't dioceses of Pickering, Midland and Mississauga is beyond me. Time to revive the office of chorepiscopus or rural bishop. Any entity that gets too big is likely to find itself mired in bureaucracy.

Barona said...

Pope Francis is leading the way on what to do with valuable church assets that are sitting idle

TH2 said...

A very good, perceptive analysis, Barona, in terms of looking at the "structural" problem per se. Yes, I agree, the bishop is a "managed public personality by bureaucrats". Yet...

In the final analysis, +Collins, because he is heir to apostles, wields final authority over the Toronto Archdiocese. If he REALLY had the wherewithal, if he REALLY had the inspriting faith to be a true shepherd of Christ, he could override all this bureaucracy quite easily.

Thing is, in my considered opinion, this is not someone who is willing to take "the heat", he is someone that wants to come across as "nice", "charitable" and "compassionate", so worried about what others will think of him. Lost in the mire of bishop groupthink, he is. And he is only a Cardinal because it is a "tradition" in the TO Archdiocese that the bishop is eventually assigned to wear a red hat.

He won't speak out, nay act out, on the really important matters. Like his brother bishop, +Prendergast in Ottawa, he only gives the surface appearance of orthodoxy. E.g. Lovely talks about pro-abort politicians not to receive Holy Communion, yet nothing is done about McGuinty. Nothing is done about the sodomites at Ottawa's St. Joseph parish, and so forth.

Words are empty without action. To quote Cardinal Newman: "Nothing is easier than to use the word and mean nothing by it", from his Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent, if I recall correctly).

Bishops in Canada are very weak, sissified men, most are apostasized administrators, unwilling to really be crucified like Christ. And all of us laymen who are trying to comprehend and resolve the crisis in the Church are only punching clouds if don't identify and acknowledge that the problem and evils in the Church over the last 50 years, ultimately, lay squarely in the hands of the bishops.

Anonymous said...

Since money seems to be the only stimulus to get a response from our leadership, my wife and I are resolved to meet our obligations without our donations funding poorly run parishes or this diocese. A significant number of Toronto Catholics doing likewise will be heard.