Friday, February 16, 2007

Bishop Gumby

I clicked the link, a bit fearful that I might actually be moved by the "prophetic courage" of a liberal bishop putting the spotlight on the real flaws in our Church that demand our attention, since I, like most Catholics orthodox or dissenting, have been infuriated by the clergy's response to the priest sex abuse scandal. My fears were unwarranted. The video of Gumbleton giving his last message at St. Leo's bore dubious, at best, resemblance to the biblical and apostolic prophetic tradition, pace Clergy Abuse Attorney, though there wasn't any question of its family resemblance to the O'Donnell-O'Reilly school of prophecy. So full of himself. You'd think it would be obvious that a so-called prophet that talks that much about himself as the poor victim of the Vatican Man is just full of it. But the congregation gave their predictably indignant, pouty applause on cue. His "apology" was dripping with cynicism and self-pity, it was disgusting. Only the most superficial understanding of Jesus, Jeremiah or Isaiah would confuse Gumbleton's maudlin gesticulations for prophecy. Anyone who tries to reduce the priest abuse scandal to a laity-versus-hierarchy problem is sadly trapped in the moral universe of the typical disaffected teenager. Nowadays all you need to do to be counted a "prophet" is publicly piss on anything hierarchical or Western- or male-dominated. Jeremiah should have been so lucky to have it so easy.

Bishop Gumbleton was wearing one very liturgically respectable chasuble though. I give credit where it's due.