04 May 2015

There is Never Enough Blood to Satisfy the Enemies of the Church

The group SNAP, which uses the sex abuse scandals in the Church as the cudgel for promoting itself and its own agenda, has moved into the truly Orwellian today.  Not content with the sacrifice of Bishop Robert Finn, the Kansas City leader of SNAP is calling for the disciplining of Fr. Gregory Lockwood for the grave crime of defending Bishop Finn in print.

Thoughtcrime.  Hate speech.

You see, a faithful bishop cannot even be defended by a faithful Catholic priest or layman publicly, or they'll go after him, too.  

SNAP has decided that Bishop Finn is a bad man.  Therefore, anyone who defends him must also be a bad man.  We see this line of "reasoning" in other contexts these days by other groups with similar tactics:  Bake that cake! Perform that sodomite marriage! Desecrate that Eucharist! Offer up that incense to Moloch!

Or else.

The SNAP press release is excerpted below, and I have (several responses):

MO--Victims want KC priest disciplined for defending Finn

(Oh yes, the "victims" want this.  Not the professional victim-creators, oh no.)

In a stunningly (not) callous letter to his parishioners, a Kansas City pastor is (not) misleading Catholics, (not) re-victimizing adults and (not) endangering kids by (not) deceptively defending a convicted bishop and attacking the motives of those who feel betrayed by him.

(On the contrary.  The only people in this incident who are seeking to make political hay out of, and "re-victimize" those who may have been abused, are those whose very mission depends upon the existence of abuse victims.  Fr. Lockwood's letter is not misleading and is in fact quite charitable.  But what's one more good man to destroy?)

In a letter to members of Christ the King parish on Wornall Road (written on church letterhead), Fr. Gregory Lockwood claims that Bishop Robert Finn faced a “politically motivated charge” filed by “an ambitious prosecutor with strong ties to the abortion industry.”

(That is absolutely true.)

The priest also claims that in the Fr. Shawn Ratigan case, church officials “never had any impulse to cover up.”

Fr. Lockwood also claims that many of those who are upset with Finn are “nasty,” say “mean” and “vicious” things about him and part of a “mob scene.” (Quod erat demonstrandum.)

“The issue was never the Ratigan affair,” Fr. Lockwood writes, but rather some sort of ideological crusade because Finn is conservative. He thus impugns the motives of those who care about kids, about truth and about deterring crimes by holding criminals accountable.

(The motives of many of them are very much up for some well-deserved scrutiny. Bravo to Fr. Lockwood for saying so.)


This is wrong and hurtful on so many levels. ("Wrong and hurtful". Welcome to the level of public discourse in 21st Century America.)


And third, it endangers kids by fostering a hostile climate for victims, witnesses and whistleblowers, making it less likely that child molesters – clergy or otherwise – will be reported, exposed, prosecuted, convicted and kept away from kids.

Somewhere in Christ the King parish there’s a 14 year old girl who is being molested by her uncle. He tells her “If you speak up, no one will believe you.” Then she sees her pastor, Fr. Lockwood, publicly defending a proven enabler. She decides “My uncle is right. Adults side with adults. I won’t be believed. I’ll keep my mouth shut.”

And her abuse continues.

(Wow. I don't know whether to be more amazed that Fr. Lockwood holds such sway in the reporting of abuse by his letter writing activities, or that SNAP knows that somewhere in Christ the King parish there is someone who is being molested by her uncle.  Do they really know and have decided not to report it themselves, or is this some kind of clumsy rhetorical device? Is it possible they have already put out next year's abuse statistics for SNAP fundraising efforts?)


Archbishop Joseph Naumann should publicly and harshly discipline Fr. Lockwood to deter this kind of callousness now and in the future.

(Drivel, plain and simple.)

Readers, this is just repugnant.  A new low for SNAP, whatever that's worth.


Athelstane said...

You gotta be kidding me.

But now that you mention it, this is believable. Fr. Lockwood celebrates the TLM and has made other efforts to embrace tradition and orthodoxy in his parish, and he has made a number of enemies in the diocese as a result.

And that is what this really all about.

thetimman said...

Chris, I have saved the text of your comment, but the links don't print out and I don't have time to check out all of them for accuracy. I don't want to publish any incorrect accusations, that's something I don't want to take on. So, I suggest you either write something more general that leaves out real people's names, or else condense the comments to one or two links that I can verify. Thanks.

Christopher said...

Fr. Lockwood is my pastor.
My boys have thrived serving in his parish.

I must increase my prayers and penance for him, and I will try to increase my tithe.

What else can I do to support him?

Michael said...

Fr. Lockwood is a married priest. Let's have full disclosure here.

SarahTX2 said...

You are not unabashedly Catholic. You are unabashedly lunatics. SNAP did not decide that Finn was a bad man. The Pope did. The Pope decided that defending a guy who took up-skirt photos of little Catholic girls' crotches was unacceptable. Are you calling the Pope “nasty,” “mean” and “vicious”?

I repeat, you are lunatics pretending to be Catholics.

thetimman said...

Sarah, I posted your comment, distasteful as it is, because you at least put a name to it. It isn't the most insulting I've received, but the others were all anonymous. For the record, your comment is not accurate.

SarahTX2 said...

Thank you for posting my comment. Which part is not accurate?

thetimman said...

Well, some would say I'm not a lunatic. Not everyone, of course, but several.

And, it is an overstatement to say Bishop Finn "defended" Ratigan. Even taking the charges filed as true, arguendo mind you, he was guilty of not reporting him quickly enough.

That doesn't mean "defending". You think it's still good enough to convict him? Fine. But he didn't defend him.

Curmudgeon said...

1. Yes, Fr. Lockwood is married. He came in through the Anglican pastoral provision. The prudence of that is certainly open for discussion elsewhere, but it's not relevant here.. In any case, he is still a priest and as KC diocesan priests of his generation go, a darned good one.

2. Christopher increasing your tithe has unintended bad consequences...it feeds the chancery rats, and these chancery rats, many held over from the Boland days and others quietly cooperating in the auto destruction of the Church are a lot of the reason why Finn is gone. Might I suggest that you find a way, like I do, to support your parish in a substantial way that doesn't result in more money going to the chancery rats.

3. Tim, I'd really like to see Chris's comments and links.

4. Sarah, perhaps the lack of formation and the ignorance betrayed by your comment is not your fault. But then again perhaps it is.

5. God bless you Fr, Lockwood. Ironic that the first time I heard a diocesan priest publicly run down the "New Springtime" was from a married priest who would not be in priestly ministry at all but for the supposed New Springtime. But God bless you all the same.

Athelstane said...

Ironic that the first time I heard a diocesan priest publicly run down the "New Springtime" was from a married priest who would not be in priestly ministry at all but for the supposed New Springtime.

To accept this assertion, we'd have to have a clear idea of just what "the New Springtime" is and why it was a necessary and sufficient condition for the Pastoral Provision to have come into being.

To spin out a possible alternate history: If, say, Cardinal Siri had been elected in 1958 or 1963, and had squelched any of a Council, and maintained a course generally in line with that of Pius XI/Pius XII, is it really so hard to believe that he would have refused approval of proposals for something like the Pastoral Provision to address the growing number of Anglican and Lutheran clergy desiring admission to the Church? The priests that have been ordained through the PP have been heavily on the conservative (if not necessarily traditionalist) end of the theological spectrum, after all, and it was apparent that this was going to be the case from the outset.

In any case, it may well be that Fr Lockwood enjoys irony, too.

chantgirl said...

While I have strong feelings as to why married priesthood is a terrible idea, one could view the pastoral provision as God's providing for the Church in a time when she refused to provide for herself. When the new springtime started seeing the branches wither off of the vine, God grafted a few new branches. Clearly this was an emergency measure and should not be the norm.

As for humor, then Cardinal Ratzinger signed Fr. Lockwood's rescript on Reformation Day. The humor was not lost on the former Lutheran.

Christopher said...

To continue the alternate timeline conversation; according to the article in the Catholic Key about Fr. Lockwood (dated 8/11/2011) - It states:

"Father Lockwood presented himself to then-St. Louis Archbishop John May for ordination as a Catholic priest under Pope John Paul II’s 1980 pastoral provision, written primarily to accept married Episcopalian priests on a case-by-case basis, a tradition that formalized and extended a practice begun by Pope Pius XII three decades earlier."

This suffices for me as evidence of Divine providence, we would be blessed to have Fr. Lockwood as our priest in either case.

Curmudgeon said...

Lutheran, not Episcopalian? My mistake. Anyways, I still like Fr. Lockwood.

Dr. Bombay said...

Fr. Lockwood is indeed married. And he also fully supports continuing the Church's discipline on mandatory celibacy for clergy.

It seems certain evil factions within the diocese are starting to feel their oats. Since they've taken down a bishop, taking down a priest shouldn't be too difficult or so they think. Since we have a leadership, going to the very top, that seems cowed by the prevailing zeitgeist, they may be right.

Tom Leith said...

Fr. Lockwood is simply wrong that there was no "impulse to cover up". The details may be found here in the report Bishop Finn himself commissioned. There was nothing but an "impulse to cover up". And giving his laptop to Fr. Ratigan's brother for destruction was a criminal act. Any attorney should know this.

It is indeed true that Bishop Finn's departure is welcome to the Spirit of Vatican II hermeneutic of rupture types in the KC-StJoe chancery and elsewhere in the diocese, it is not true that Bishop Finn's textbook-orthodoxy is the only issue here. By a long shot.

Dr. Bombay said...

Anyone who claims Bishop Finn was trying to cover something up doesn't know Bishop Finn.

Calumny is still a sin, no? Si, indeed it is.

thetimman said...

Agreed, Dr. Bombay. Any lawyer (or non-lawyer, Tom) who knows Bishop Finn would know that.