Tuesday, 12 March 2013
Tony Flannery, in the lamplight
What do you do if you're Tony Flannery and you're missing the press adulation you've been craving for months? Why you lash out, misdirect and create an impossible task for the future Pope. Still searching for those keys under the streetlight.
Flannery has an article in the Irish Times (don't you just hate the new website? Try reading the letters page now - impossible) in which he claims the first task facing the new Pope must be to investigate the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Marcial Maciel Degollado.
Now we all know this guy was a bad piece of work, including stories that he was possessed by the Devil and refused the last rites. But he's dead. And before he died we know Ratzinger pretty much decided he was guilty and dispatched him to a monastery to atone in silence.
We also know that Blessed John Paul trusted him and liked him. So what do you know? A sleazy liar managed to convince someone he was a man of God. Isn't that what we know about most abusers? They are manipulative, they lie, cheat, steal. They take advantage and Blessed John Paul exercised poor judgment of his character. Of course for years now we've been listening to them trying to attach this to Ratzinger and it will not stick.
Of course what Flannery is hoping to do is to twist things round so we start thinking it was Blessed John Paul who was the crook. I doubt if he genuinely believes it but he'd like to hint that Blessed John Paul knew all about Maciel's wickedness and covered it up because Maciel was conservative and a good fundraiser.
Fkannery thinks he is excavating "the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism....the narcissism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day. The rape and torture of children were downplayed or 'managed' to uphold instead, the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and 'reputation'. Far from listening to evidence of humiliation and betrayal with St Benedict's 'ear of the heart'......the Vatican's reaction was to parse and analyse it with the gimlet eye of a canon lawyer."
Now where have we heard this before? Oh yes, Herod Kenny - in a speech widely believed to have been inspired, if not written, by Flannery via his brother Frank Flannery, adviser to Kenny.
This is the same Tony Flannery who wrote an article attacking mandatory reporting because of the impact it had on the relationship between bishops and priests. He had to be rebuked by Blessed Ian Elliott