More on the Conclave and the tensions among the cardinals

Further to my last post I came across an article by the very highly thought of John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter. It is his assessment of the rumours of a gay cabal or cabals among certain Vatican officials, and cast some light on the sort of dysfunctionality which the Vatican seems to have fallen. You can find it here:

And the accusations against Cardinal O'Brien are disturbing. Having gained the reputation as 'bigot of the year' from Stonewall, these would suggest that he has himself wrestled with same-sex attraction. Who knows if they are accurate, true, based on some sort of facts, or malicious? I don't think any of us are in any position to know. What we are faced with is that, on the eve of the conclave, the credibility of the only British cardinal present has been undermined from within the clergy but through the national press, and again the suggestion of sexual incontinence and misbehaviour slops around the Catholic hierarchy like sewage in the bowls of a storm tossed boat. Its the timing that is so depressing.

The conclave should be a time for the Catholic community to look forward with hope and optimism. Sadly, the conclave seems to be being caught up in a hopeless morass of incompetence. While Pope Benedict's abdication looked bold and decisive, taken at a moment of relative calm, giving the chance for a new broom to deal with pressing needs, it seems increasingly part of a general destabilising of the Catholic hierarchy which seems to lack direction, riven with internal rivalries rooted in things far from the Gospel, played out through leaks to the media, and all giving fuel to those who are so embittered by the Church and want nothing less than its total destruction.


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