You’re on the inside? Do your job or GTFO

There are a lot of reasons to hate the anonymous NYT op ed piece yesterday. As another NYT reporter points out, it now puts the rest of the staff in the position of trying to investigate a writer whose identity their own newspaper is protecting. It absolutely gives Trump and his paranoid minions more reason to believe the press is the enemy, which makes life more dangerous for reporters like my husband. And it’s just . . . squicky. It’s not how newspapers operate. Anonymity is for when the writer’s safety is at risk, not for when he wants to play Secret Squirrel and we’re all supposed to play along.

But the thing that bugged me the most was the craven abdication of responsibility. Whoever this “senior” person is, he’s inside the White House, he sees that our president is entirely unfit for the job, and even though he somehow persuades himself that it’s worth letting ourselves be drowned in a flood of dreck because a few specks of tax reform –– tax reform — might go swishing by, he acknowledges that “senior officials” are daily “working to insulate their operations from [Trump’s] whims.” In other words, he has a front row seat to the burning of Rome.

And his response to all this is to . . . stick around. To keep the status quo, because robust military! Less regulation! Hey, he’s not personally fanning the flames, so it’s not his fault! He’s doing his absolute best to pass little thimbles of water along to keep it from spreading even faster. God forbid we should do something drastic, that might precipitate a crisis of some sort.

He says he doesn’t want to pursue impeachment, because that would be a constitutional crisis. But what he is describing is the constitutional crisis. People scurrying around scrambling signals, stealing documents, and playing shell games with the leader of the free world like Bugs Bunny sticking it to Elmer Fudd? That’s your constitutional crisis, right there.

I’ve kind of washed my hands of politics. I did my best to warn people away from Trump, and it didn’t work, and I lost my job for my troubles; so I have mostly tuned out. But I got pretty upset when I read the NYT piece, and I know exactly why:

It’s the same stupid, self-congratulatory, ineffectual, grandstanding, self-immolating shell game we got from the USCCB. In case you haven’t noticed, the Church is in flames. In flames, and we faithful were begging our leaders to do something, or at least say something. Let us know you see how we are suffering. And for the love of Jesus, use the strength of your arm to put out the fire. Do something about the career arsonists who call themselves our fathers. Use your power and influence to do the right thing. You’re on the inside, so do something. 

Instead, they issued a couple of statements saying, “Don’t worry, everybuggy. We took a good look and we know things are super bad and that is super bad, but don’t worry, because we are implementing procedures! Procedures are being implemented. A-OK. World Youth, yay! Now you write check now.”

Same. Damn. Thing. They are in a position to put out the fire, and instead, they choose to sit with it and paint portraits of it and pat themselves on the back for how well they’re managing it. Well, we’re still engulfed in flames, and they still haven’t even hooked up a hose. And this is our house. We’re the ones who have to live here, and we’re supposed to play along and pretend this is how it’s supposed to be. And we’re still engulfed in flames. It’s crisis time, folks. We’re past the point where we can avoid the crisis by being “silent.” It’s here. No, keeping quiet doesn’t make you look like Jesus. It makes you look like this is your fire, and that’s how you like it.

We’re going to get four more years of Trump because nobody wants to put their neck on the line and push for impeachment; and we’re going to get who knows how many more years, decades, centuries of the same old same old slow motion conflagration in our Church, while generation after generation of Catholics figure out how to live our lives, raise our children, keep our parishes stumbling along, while everything around us is on fire.

Nobody wants to put it out. It’s just easier, and more lucrative, to pretend you’re taking it seriously and somehow protecting the institution from the inside out by letting it burn. Crazy keeps the checks rolling in. Corruption makes the money and power and influence flow, and everybody gets their share. Same damn thing.

I’m praying, by God. I’m doing stupid little sacrifices. I’m not leaving my Lord just because He’s surrounded by perverts, and God help me, I still love my stupid fucking country, even though we apparently want to burn the whole thing down. And I love my Church. Even though we apparently want to burn the whole thing down.

You people on the inside. You who have influence. You leaders with front row seats. I’m telling you that you need to do your job or GTFO.

***
Image: The Fire of Rome by Hubert Robert [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

15 thoughts on “You’re on the inside? Do your job or GTFO”

  1. ‘I wash my hands of politics’…..oh btw I hate Trump lol. Impeachment huh? In line with Maxine Waters…..talk about crazy.

  2. Honestly, this is what business in government looks like, in every private industry corporation with more than 50 employees in the country.

    EVERY CEO is nuts. EVERY CEO is insane. And we just elected a CEO as president. What else did we expect?

    1. So ‘Catholic’ Trump haters would have been perfectly fine with a president who basically would have been a CEO for planned parenthood? Well I can answer my own question because they were the ones that voted for eight years of a anti Catholic, pro contraception, pro abortion, redefining marriage, supporter of the Planned Parenthood that you’ve seen in the undercover videos and as a side hobby laughed at the idea of religious liberty.

      How bout liberal Catholics put themselves on the line when it comes to pro life instead of placing more importance on your liberal political ideology than on the teachings of Jesus.

      If one truly believes that ending abortion is saving lives then there should be no other alternative as it stands then to vote Republican. You can spin that seamless garment nonsense all you want but basically the left lays waste to all the life teachings of Jesus…..contraception, abortion, marriage, end of life issues but yet you will somehow ‘form’ your conscience to vote for left leaning candidates.

  3. There are good bishops who are trying to do something, though legitimately they’ve been handed a mess (especially if they’ve been appointed within the last decade). Bishops who were part of the ‘old guard’ need to go. And there are people in chancery buildings working to put things right, but in a legitimate way, not in the kind of weasel-y, sycophantic airbrushed ‘patriotism’ that the author of the NYT op-ed is displaying.

    Regarding the Church, now that all the dirty laundry is being aired I think we’ll see some significant changes. It simply can’t go on like before. The faithful and even the lukewarm won’t stand for it. The AG offices may be starting what Robert Royal has called “the cleansing fire” and Catholics who take their faith seriously are going to be needed to rebuild (especially as so many of the leaders are going to exposed as not taking Catholicism seriously)

    Put not your trust in USCCB – the organization’s credibility is completely shot. In my view it is failed attempt at large, bureaucratic machine to diffuse responsibility and issue mandates and statements nobody reads. Members of a certain generation love large, anonymous organizations that are full of committee meetings and somnambulant decrees. It’s not the way forward.

    The watchword here is subsidiarity: work in your local parish and local diocese for real transparency and change. Pray for and support good priests, and blow the whistle on the frauds. That’s the only way we’re getting out of this.

    1. Robert Royal? Robert royal of Raymond Arroyo “Papal Posse” fame?

      He hates the Pope. Makes no bones about it. He’s also for the death penalty, (how is that not abuse?)and is against multiculturalism.

      I have no patience for gadfly Papal jet setters. It’s getting embarrassing. It’s like the priests that jet around talking about abortion and soliciting donations. Enough.

      I dump the whole sex abuse scandal at the feet of the Puritan Posse. They fight tooth and nail against no nonsense sex education and the most ridiculous sexism the world has ever seen. What else could keep people hiding with their heads down in a cloud of shame? Now they want to shift the blame .

      It’s such a great thing that we are airing it all out, and talking about problems like big boys and girls, but we should also keep in mind that the clerical sex abuse crisis WAS a crisis, and isn’t one now. We don’t need to run around like our hair is on fire. (I stole that description from our excellent host).

      And yes, there will always be abusers out there because a small percentage of the population consists of giant perverts. So TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT SEX. (Sorry I shouted.)

      1. The death penalty is not “abuse” because — as St. Thomas Aquinas indicated — it’s akin to removing a diseased limb to preserve a life: it’s intended to be medicinal. The evildoer is executed to preserve the common good.

        I will note that it’s not just medicinal to the common good but CAN be medicinal to the malefactor:
        If he knows his appointed hour of death, he may indeed repent of his sons. In fact the late Abp. Daniel Buechlein, who disliked the death penalty & ministered to death row inmates (including Timothy McVeigh) admitted at a Theology on Tap speech in 2001 or 2002 that he’d personally witnessed such conversions.

  4. We are all on the inside, as believers. We all have a responsibility to not just look after our own spiritual lives, but have some part and concern in the wider church. Yes, bishops have not managed priests or scandals well, but they also are buoyed up and enabled by a laity that doesn’t require much accountability and thinks that the church runs itself.

    I would challenge believers to look around themselves and see what level of involvement and accountability they undertake in their own parishes. Do you know the parish budget? Do you know how it is spent? Do you know if the volunteers who work with children are allowed to ever be alone with them? Do you give of your time, talent and treasure? Do you encourage your children to serve in ministry? Do you contribute to Laboure? A lack of lay ownership has meant a lack of lay accountability. We also must do what we can and not wait (again and disastrously) for persons and bodies above us to clean up this mess.

    1. I mean, I’ve done the Virtus training (in two different dioceses). I’ve volunteered. I’ve gotten to know my pastors and invited them over for dinner. I’ve sat through multiple homilies where they review the parish’s financial situation and actually read the budget report in the bulletin.
      What I haven’t done is ask how seminarians are trained, or if priests get Virtus training, or how priests are assigned to parishes. That’s, clearly, where we need more lay involvement, and where the church hierarchy has been pretty slow to welcome any lay involvement.

  5. Excellent, Simcha!
    Yes, and anyone who voted for Trump, for the good of the Republican party or to maybe stop some abortions from happening, who is currently wondering how bishops could cover up or downplay sexual abuse, needs to ask themselves how they rationalized the all the women who said Trump had sexually assaulted them…

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