After my plea for help for the FFI yesterday at the Register, many people emailed me or commented that I should read the Catholic World Report article and it would alleviate all my fears.
Most of those who did so I believe to be well-meaning as they thought I did not understand what is truly happening. However, I had read the CWR article before I posted my plea. You see, I have read just everything there is to read about this matter including the very same source documents that the CWR report used. However, I have come to very different conclusions than that author did.
I appreciate that people do not want to believe that such a thing could happen in the Church without sufficient reason. So when they read the CWR report, unfamiliar with the detail, were inclined to believe it to be an accurate representation of the situation.
Unfortunately, I do not. I do not wish to imply any malice on the part of the author, but it contained half-facts and misleading quotes that give the impression, as the commissioner wishes, that there is something clearly nefarious at foot within the order. As of yet, there is absolutely no evidence of that. None. Just innuendo. The only clear accusation is traditionalism.
All that is not to say that there was not strife within the order and that some of that strife was caused by how some aspects of traditionalism manifested themselves through the leadership of Fr. Manelli. But even that being the case, the sanctions imposed upon the order and most severe and disproportionate to the problem.
Again, I appreciate that many people don’t want to believe the Church could act so unjustly, so being unfamiliar with the case, accepted the CWR report at face value and assumed I (and other) are over-reacting. I hope that is true, but alas I do not believe that to be the case.
For anyone that is interested in understanding more about this, please take a look at a rebuttal to the CWR report at Rorate Caeli. It is written by an insider and as such presupposes fair bit of knowledge about what is happening. Further, it doesn’t even go into some of my concerns with the CWR report, but it is not my intention to critique that publication or the author, I just disagree with him.
Lastly, I have also received some complaints, some not so friendly, that people would prefer that I just went back to blogging about the culture wars and joking around rather than deal with all this internal strife. Trust me, nobody wants that more than I do and I will try to keep it light when I can. But these are important issues and they are important to me personally. If I will not stand up and be heard on something so important, than why am I doing this?
I will try not to become a one trick pony, but I will from time to time post on these issues. Thanks for listening.