Tuesday, June 12, 2012

You are a priest forever, an unpriest for ten or twenty grand

Our Archbishops Chief of Staff responded to criticism of payments to encourage priests who had sexually abused children to seek laicization, our Archdiocesan weekly reports.

SNAP calls these "payoffs". Mr. Topczewki cites Cardinal Dolan as calling them "charity". The latter might be more plausible if Mr. Topczewki had not already gone to such lengths to say our Archdiocese's motive was financial. Here on the secular side the word "buyouts" would be applied.

I have gotten the impression that part of SNAP's strategy is to make Church leaders and spokesmen sound rattled and defensive, desparately spinning at length as if they never had or else cannot keep a firm grasp of their objectives. Is laicizing a priest pretty much like firing any other employee, or is it utterly different because of the nature of the priesthood?* I assume circumstances put Mr. Topczewki in the unfortunate position that he seems to say both at different points in the article.

*Judy Block-Jones of SNAP posted a comment to the article saying "These child predators should have been fired, without pay... ."


  1. Aquinas10:38 PM

    According to the orders of Mel Keysedick, Esq.

  2. Based on that phrase quoted from SNAP's Midwest Associate Director, it appears a case could be made that SNAP is, among other things, a dissenting Catholic group, i.e., it dissents from Church teaching on the nature of the priesthood. That seems like a more relevant criticism than what our Archdiocesan Vicar General had to say in the previous post.

  3. Aquinas1:21 PM

    Agreed. Vicars-General (and archdiocesan spokespersons in general) seem loathe to point out SNAP's heterodox view of the priesthood. But, then again, they back off of any criticism of groups and individuals whose doctrinal enthusiasms run, um, unfettered. The list of clerics, those with teaching authority, and women religious in this diocese alone would run long.