Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Good Riddance to a Harmful Man

There is much rejoicing in the diocese of the Twin Cities:
our dirty sheriff archbishop has resigned!

Back in 2010 when bink made a sculpture out of thousands of DVDs carrying the archbip's message against making civil marriage legal for all,
Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo of the Washington Post wrote an article about the DVD debacle, "Of Bully Pulpits and Bully Bishops", in which he compared archbishop John Neinstedt to Hollywood's fat-cat bishops (or corrupt sheriffs):

While medieval labels like “Robin Hood” no longer apply, the age-old temptation to make deals with the rich and powerful have not gone away. I don’t know if John Nienstedt, the Archbishop of St. Paul, Minnesota, has succumbed to this temptation, but if you substitute “same sex marriage” for “rights to hunt deer in Sherwood Forest” you’d have enough for a movie.
bink ^ painting the archbip's DVDs 
Marion: Why, you speak treason!
Robin Hood: Fluently.

Sex was indeed what finally brought the archbp down:
not his opposition to civil rights for adults who want to marry people of the same sex, but his role in covering for priests who rape children. *

Most public figures feel too remote for me to hate, but this guy got personal: I've seen the letters he wrote to churchfriends telling them they were risking damnation for supporting their own children, who were LGBT.

Even granting he may have held this as a [regrettable?] spiritual truth, I lost all respect for him when he repeatedly refused invitations to meet with bink or any of the other church-going Catholics who were distressed by his message.

I am not surprised such a man would hide other cowards behind his skirts. It is fitting that he only steps down now because of legal action. 

Good riddance to a bad man.
I don't know why the press almost always calls the rape of children by priests "sexual abuse", which sounds so much milder, like, "Oh, he just touched them."

Webster's defines "rape":
unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will usually of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent
"Usually" does not mean "always".


Zhoen said...

Why is sex such a focus for these powerful asshats? And such a point of weakness for them as well?

Rape of a child is the most horrible of sins, and to try to redirect that to intolerance of loving sex between two consenting adults, is just beyond what I consider human. What an irredeemably damaged soul.

Frex said...

I'd say we SEE sex (and gender issues) more--they're ... sexier;
but other kinds of control --of ideas, of money and other resources--are just as much or more of a focus and a weakness for people in power.

I was shocked when I worked for the Church to see how people in the congregation generally accepted financial secrecy, for instance, as the norm.

Once I went to an Episcopalian Church and the priest--a married woman--announced an open meeting to discuss the church's annual budget report.

I went up to her afterward--she was a friend of a friend--and told her how exciting it was to me, a Catholic, that her church publishes their finances!

She looked shocked, and laughed. I got the feeling she was more used to Catholics telling her they were happy to see a woman priest.

It's all parts of the same puzzle.

Laura B said...

When I read about the Archbishop resigning, one of my first thoughts was about "Bink" losing her job over the whole DVD debacle, and irony?-not really- sweet satisfaction?- not really- no real happiness in it-"what goes around comes around" gestalt?- none of these are the really the feeling, as one big mess does not cancel out another big mess...
but still, a little part of me said "Yeah, see, how does it feel for you to lose YOUR job now?

Fresca said...

Ha, good point, Laura; I hadn't even thought of that angle!

deanna said...

I've been sorry that things unfolded the way they did in bink's situation (and yours). There always could be discussion of an issue; there won't ever be total agreement, but to hide from people and cover for other people is always wrong.