The Internet Age finds the Roman Catholic Church mired in the quagmire of a bastion of pedophilia, noble hierarchy, and the universality of the church merely an illusion of a by-gone era. A holistic look at the Catholic Church suggests that its leadership failed to learn from the symbolism of Jesus Christ (Matthew 4:1-11) in avoiding the devil’s temptations. Thus, Pope Francis needs to lead the Catholic Church through a cultural evolution.
Cultural evolutions are tough, so the new leader must set into place values that receive positive receptivity before the old guard can undermine this paradigm directional shift. Pope Francis shunning of the flamboyances associated with his position to do simple things as sleeping in a basic bedroom, to drive an older car, eat with the poor, and so on is teaching the Church leadership that they are in the business of saving all souls. In less than one year, Pope Francis has humanized the world’s poor.
Pope Francis has altered the role of the bishop from that of a revered church prince replete with the finest regalia to make his minions bow in his presence. The November 18, 2013 Los Angeles Times reports, “The German bishop suspended by the Vatican last month for spending lavishly on foreign travel and furnishings for his $42-million residence renovation has paid a $27,000 fine to settle a court case brought against him for lying under oath.” The defrocking of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg clearly signaled that Pope Francis is serious.
Pope Francis is coming to grips with the awful symbolism of announcements of parish and church schools closings. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make a layman’s case that the selling off of church property is to help pay claim settlements levied to cover pedophile priest activities hidden for years.
Pope Francis has counter-forces working against the positive public persona he is attempting to make of the Catholic Church by holding scandalous priests accountable for their past transgressions. On January, 02, 2014 Philly.Com reported, “PHILADELPHIA District Attorney Seth Williams blasted the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on Tuesday for helping Msgr. William J. Lynn post bail after an appeals court overturned his conviction for crimes related to sex abuse in the church. . . . Williams said the archdiocese posted the $25,000.”
As a former chairman of the Ethics Commission for the City of Wilmington DE, I believe Msgr. William J. Lynn is guilty by the appearance of impropriety. The archdiocese’s bail help suggested that they see Lynn’s improper image only on legal grounds and his moral sin is a minor issue.
The December 06, 2013 FT Magazine suggests how big money is corrupting the financial underpinning of the Catholic Church. “On June 28 . . . Italian police arrested . . ., Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, in Rome. The cleric, nicknamed Monsignor Cinquecento after the €500 bills he habitually carried around with him, was charged with fraud and corruption, together with a former secret service agent and a financial broker. All three were suspected of attempting to smuggle €20m by private plane across the border from Switzerland.”
Pope Francis has the upper hand in guiding the Catholic Church evolution back in the direction of being Christ like for he has a roughly 90 percent approval rating. Hence, we might expect a hierarchy leadership purge until the new direction becomes the norm.