Thursday, July 09, 2009

John Allen indulges in a little Left-Liberal wishful thinking

While everyone agrees that John Allen is the best of the liberal journalists covering Vatican issues, he is still on the other side, and one of the things about the other side is that they are not, shall we say, deeply committed to reality.

In his post for today at NCR, Allen opines,
In what could be seen as another piece of fallout from Benedict XVI’s January decision to lift the excommunications of four traditionalist bishops, including one who is a Holocaust denier, the pope today restructured the Vatican office that handles relations with the traditionalist world -- and, in effect, gently fired the officials who presided over the earlier fiasco.

...

As a result of a document issued by the Vatican today, titled Ecclesiae unitatem, Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillon-Hoyos, who had served as President of the Ecclesia Dei Commission since 2000, and Italian Monsignor Camille Perl, the number two official at Ecclesia Dei, are both out of work.

...

In broad strokes, the restructuring announced today is seen by most observers as a sign that the Vatican intends to take a more careful, and perhaps a bit firmer, hand in its dealings with traditionalist Catholics.



Ok, here's the bits he left out.

Cardinal Hoyos is 80 years old and has, in the words of one of my inside informants, been "gagging" to retire for some years now. Retirement age for active bishops is normally 75. He has a nice family home in Colombia and wants to go there. And who wouldn't. Rome, as we have seen, is still a snake pit (always has been I suppose).

The plans for restructuring Ecclesia Dei, and folding it into the structures of the CDF have been underway since there was even serious speculation that the HF would lift the excommunications. Papa, as the former head of the CDF and as the quintessential inside man in the Vatican's dealings with the SSPX, has long known that the big issues do not revolve around the Mass or the liturgy, but around the doctrinal, ah...shall we say...trends in the Church to which the SSPX (and quite a few others) have objected.

The plan all along, as far as I know, has been to dismantle the Ecclesia Dei structure as an "overseer" of traditionalists, a move intended to acknowledge that there is not the chasm between us and the rest of the post-conciliar Church as is so fondly imagined by the extreme wings of both sides of the fight. (Whether this is true is arguable, but that's the official line, a chasm does not exist. There is no "rupture", just make sure you don't look down when you take that next step...everything's going to be fiiiiinne...whatever.)

As all Traddies know (those who are not "neo-trads" that is) Msgr. Perl has never been our friend. And that's putting it politely. The fact that he has not been made the replacement for Hoyos is an extremely encouraging sign. It means that the Boss knows who is and who is not going to help him re-integrate the Trads, and traditionalism, into the Church.

The fact that he's being replaced with Pozzo, who is generally acknowledged to be a friend, is another such sign.

Sorry John. But it might be a good idea to actually talk to the people on whom you are reporting once in a while, because it looks like your "most observers" are looking the other way.

Fr. Z has more

And the ever-reliable NLM still more.