The bishops policies following the sex abuse scandals are based on openness and transparency right? Shouldn't we all welcome an analysis of how it all happened so we can make sure it never happens again. Apparently not. Eminent Catholic laymen, Phil Lawler who was scheduled to do a book signing at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception bookstore has been given the boot along with his book by Msgr. Walter Rossi, the Shrine rector. It's just too negative to talk about these things. Time to move on. (See Julia Duin's Washington Times article.) On the other hand homosexuals are still being trained for the priesthood. In July Tom Roeser blogged about the Rockford Diocese pulling seminarians out of Mundelein after two upperclassmen propositioned an underclassman. Rockford now says it isn't true and Roeser is being threatened with legal action. He stands by his story at the time he published it and is fighting back. (Does anyone really believe the diocese will go to court on this? After all the deals and money spent to avoid going to court with the - gasp - possibility of entering into legal discovery. It ain't gonna happen!)
Anyway, Lawler has obviously touched a nerve. The bishops (and those who hope to be bishops - last Shrine rector is now the bishop of Wheeling/Charleston) want to "just move on," but as Lawler said at the Brent Society Communion Breakfast today, "If you have cancer the doctor doesn't tell you to move on; he cuts out the cancer." That hasn't happened; the Church in the United States is in deep trouble. And Msgr. Rossi's inexcusable action is one more example of shooting the messenger. (Hey, they've told us they've solved the problem; who are the riff-raff in the pews to disagree?)
Please call, fax, or email Msgr. Rossi and tell him what you think of his cancellation of Lawler's book signing. And order the book, The Faithful Departed: the Collapse of Boston's Catholic Culture. I bought it at the breakfast today and can't wait to read it. You may have to wait to get it. The first run has pretty much sold out, Msgr. Rossi and others of his ilk notwithstanding.
Here's the contact information:
Reverend Monsignor Walter R. Rossi
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
400 Michigan Avenue NEWashington, DC 20017-1566Tel 202-526-8300Fax 202-526-8313