The fourth of Jesus’ seven last words on the cross: “After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst,’” (John 19:28, ).

Every Good Friday we are all preached about the seven last words of Jesus.Calvary is re enacted in the three hours agony. After that we hope to change our lives and become better persons.

One such preacher is Fr.Simon Borges. While he was Parish Priest in St. Micheals Church Mahim which was his last posting as an administrator and Parish Priest he was the Sole Trustee and various church properties were under his trusteeship.

One such property was Marinagar. Marinagar consists of 7 buildings on a layout . Five buildings are still owned by the Church as its landlord and  besides this there are two co-operative societies Our Lady of Lourdes CHS Ltd.( registered in the year 1998 having 45 members out of which 43 are catholic families) and Our Lady of Vailankanni and Perpetual Succour CHS Ltd. having 112 catholic families registered in the year 2004.

As per the Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act , conveyance ( proportionate land as per the FSI consumed in the bldg is put on the Societies name) is to be given within 4 months of society registration by the St. Micheals Church. Till date conveyance is not given.Most builders/owners usually never give conveyance as they hope to benefit from future increase in FSI.

Both the societies were facing water shortages and hence Our Lady of Lourdes CHS Ltd. approached St. Micheals Church to give them permission to dig a ring well. Previously also Our Lady of Vailankanni and Perpetual Succour CHS had approached Fr.Simon Borges for permission to dig a well and he asked for a copy of the plan and to show the exact spot where the well was to be dug. Despite giving him the plan and showing him the spot no permission was granted till date. In short he did not give permission. I therefore narrated my experience with Fr. Simon Borges, to  the Secretary of Our Lady of Lourdes CHS and told him that he would never get permission and that he was being fooled. If conveyance had to be given to the societies there would have been no need to approach him as the well was to be dug within the margin area of the society.

Since Our Lady of Lourdes CHS was facing an acute shortage of water they started digging a well . Fr. Simon Borges a disciple and follower of Jesus lodged a complaint to the BMC and wanted the well to be sealed.

bmc letter


Today is Good Friday, we mediate on Jesus’s last words I THIRST but in actual practise what is done by his so called disciple towards to fag end of his Parish Priest tenure is here for all to see and the act has been done to catholic families.

Not just that Fr. Simon Borges called a few tenants of Marinagar one of whom was Mr. Godfrey Fernandes and told them to become parties in my societies case which we have filed for conveyance. Since Godfrey told him that my society had to get what was promised in writing , he stopped calling Godrey and yes the tenants did apply and become parties in my societies case and wanted costs and prayed for its dismissal.Who paid for the tenants advocates? No money has been collected from the tenants.

I have also written a number of emails to our beloved Cardinal Oswald Gracias asking him to tell Fr. Simon Borges to return my societies plan which Cardinal Gracias has done nothing and in fact he has given him a rare extension and has allowed him to be Parish Priest even after having completed 75yrs.

Its great to preach , what is the practical implementation of it by these preachers? We, are called to be transparent but is the administration transparent. What is the accountability.Only the laity is accountable.

No honest priest can come out openly against the administration as they will be victimised. Its sad but true.

Experience has taught me that a number of priests want to project an image that they are Christ personified when it comes to dealing with other communities,the recent distribution of food packets is an example but when it comes to doing their duty as a human being,  forget about being a catholic they have no feelings.

It is common knowledge that  some priests go about spoiling peoples names and most people accept what these priests tell them as the Gospel truth. These persons who have got benefits from the Church are then carriers of the Good News given to them by these Priests without confirming facts.

The reason why I am writing this is to show how a priest who is supposed to be highly mature at the fag end of his Parish Priest( a Parish Priest retires at 75 yrs of age) days has behaved with catholic families for water .

In short if you believe in Christ do what you feel is right. Mathew Chapter 5 verses 23/25 states that ” When you are offering your gift at the altar , if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go , first be reconciled to your brother or sister and then come and offer your gift, Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to the Court with him”. Are such priests mass valid?


Hon. Sec.

Our Lady of Vailankanni and Perpetual Succour CHS Ltd.





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Not even the faith of a Mustard seed

It’s sad that lay people have more faith in Christ than some of the teachers.

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Sanitize and remove the log of corruption from your eye—Sunny Fernandes

Yesterday as I entered the Church for Sunday mass, I dipped my hand in the font at the entrance to sign myself with holy water, but there was no holy water.

Yesterday for the first time in my life I was forced to receive communion in my hand.

All lay ministers who administer communion, used to wash their fingers in holy water, now washed with sanitizers. Wondering was the sanitizer blessed? The irony was these lay ministers were administered communion in the mouth. So was there sanitized communion for them?

Why all this sudden change and theatrics? It is Corona Virus a pandemic for which precaution is taken. If that is so close the Church for few weeks. That will not be done as donations will stop and maybe donations to the Church is immune to Coronai Virus, but Holy Water is and so is Communion administered in the mouth.

Now the cross cannot be kissed during Lenten Season, but you bow in front of it. So am I fearing the Lord, who I worshipped all my life or is my Lord weak in front of a virus.

I was taught that if I had faith of that of a mustard seed, I could command a mountain to move and it would. Here a virus which is much smaller than a mustard seed cannot be avoided, and we are made to believe that we can move mountains. Yes my faith is not just weak infact I lack it completely, so is it the same with everyone and especially the clergy too? Is their faith also weak and they dont have like me that they have to be sanitized. Will they don clinical safety suits instead of cassock next?

Peter was proclaimed as the rock upon which the Church is built i.e. the Vatican. Even the Vatican is not spared of the Corona Virus? So is the rock the foundation of the Church weakening due to a virus?

So how would new borns be baptized going forward? Like Eucharistic wine, will there be Baptism water now made available and sold as a new revenue generation.

Will there be no sprinkling of holy water and would be the priest waving his hand to the audience as blessing

Now that we cannot touch Christ, I am wondering will HE be touching us as now HIS dilemma is not the weight of our sins but the weight of a virus.

Is this a message from God to the Church and it’s leaders, Its time to sanitize and remove the log of corruption from your eye, or face the virus which cannot be seen by the naked eye

Sunny Fernandes

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Is the end of Lent Season which is Easter only enjoying Choclate Eggs, or is it revelling in the resurrection of Christ or a Bunny? Sunny Fernandes

As the Season of Lent begins, due to my limitation of knowledge of my religion, and even more limited in my practice, I am cobwebbed in confusion

Should I go for Mass and smear my forehead with ash that marks a sign of the cross, or should I try to reach out to lives and lighten the cross of challenges in their lives or help whose lives are reduced to ashes.

Then what I see is many displaying the ash on the heads, so I guess that is what I should do

Should I give up something bad, wrong in me during Lent or should I give it up forever. Is Lent a season for a change or is it a reason for a change in my life. Some give up alcohol and certain food and binge on Easter. If this is so I give up the bad in me for this Season, give up alcohol, etc and binge on Easter Sunday, which is more a Feaster Sunday.

Is the Season of Lent that culminates in the Holy Week a rituals of external display of religious worship only, or should it be reaching out and resurrecting people out of poverty, hunger and pain.

Should I be fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday or should I be feeding the hungry?

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Let Indian bishops respond!Begone Bed-Room Inspectorate!

Let Indian bishops respond!
Begone Bed-Room Inspectorate!
(Letter to the Editor)

Varghese Pamplanil

Note: “Who’s this gray haired, erudite looking, venerable exuding Pamplanil?, was the first question that sprang to my mind after reading his frankly speak, learned research piece. ‘A moral theologian, university professor, research scholar or just a layman?’

Can’t be the last, was the conclusion reached! Not a “theologically illiterate layman” in any case, although that title was slapped on laity, by the grate Cardinal Valerian Gracious at the first Bangalore seminar of yore!
Let Bishops respond!
We send this like all the rest, to all Indian bishops, accepted to be erudite, to see who sounds convincing. Nothing like matching facts with facts! Pamplanil is commenting on the article in the CCV, Jan, 30/ 20: “Fireworks in German Bishops’ Synod on contraception, masturbation, homosexuality, women’s ordination” etc.

Now read below what Pamplanil has to say and react with your considered views without mincing words. james kottoor, editor ccv.

This is with reference to the suggestions at the Synod of German Bishops for approval by the Catholic establishment of all types of sex such as masturbation, homosexuality, contra- ception etc. The German bishops seem to have realised the follies of the Church, the realities of the day and saw the writing on the wall.

TheCatholic Church had accepted,with alacrity, the preposterous and perverted view of the debauchee and sex fiend Augustine of Hippo (fifth century BCE) that Original Sin had infested the human race with the first sexual intercourse between Adam and Eve.Then onwards the Church latched on, like an obnoxious pest, to the reproductive organs of its followers with ferocious intensity.

The Church had realised that, if this basic human instinct is condemned as the mother of all sins, it can hold its dumb followers in a state of perpetual control. The Church has been peeping into the bed rooms of Catholic men and women, with hawk’s eyes, to oversee the various permutations and combinations of human sexual activities. The church has demeaned their god to a cheap voyeur.

Sex is the grist of the confessional box, details are probed in meticulous manner. Catholic couples can have sex in “missionary position”only.All other modes are taboo. According to the clerics, whose experience is limited to surreptitious illicit sex, sexual activity, per se, is abominable and dirty. For the Church, sex is intended solely for breeding like rabbits and pigs. Joyless sex is insisted upon.If the couples derive any pleasure in the act, which is normal in the case of healthy, considerate, mutually understanding and accommodative participants, the child born out of the union would be tainted with original sin.This sin would be removed by “water dunking”, with a lot of hocus-pocus, by a male priest, even if he is a rouge and a deviant.

Thousands and thousands years before the anti-human cabal in Rome got the blueprint of regressive sex from their asexual god in the fifth century, sexual activities were widely prevalent among Homo Sapiens. In the past, shortly after a girl attains puberty, she was given in marriage. In the old days, the minimum age for marriage for girls was 12 years. Among many people, even today,marriages do takes place at an early age. In the Christian West teenage sex is rampant. All over the world, at any given moment, various forms of sexual gratification take place. No god seems to be bothered about it. The only people who spend sleepless nights ruminating on sex of others appear to be the Christian clerics.

The Church says their god keeps detailed accounts of the sexual activities of their members especially sexual deviations to earmark them to the bottom most part of hell. Take comfort, if one reaches that part of the hell one can enjoy the company of many Popes, Cardinals, Arch-bishops and the like. One of my college professors used to say that he would prefer hell to heaven, since in hell one can have the pleasant company of Hellen of Troy, Coleoptera, Merlin Monroe , Sofia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor and all other beautiful females; one can ogle at movie stars, models who appear in Playboy and Fashion World etc.In hell, one may have various sexual choices.

Men and women has been engaging in all sorts of sex since the day the “naked ape”, called the human, came down from its perch on the trees. No earthquakes or eruption of volcanoes could have taken place because some humans engaged in the sex act. At the most, the reverberations would have been limited to the shaking of the conjugal bed.

Church or no church, Pope or no Pope, humans, male and female engage in all sorts of sex, masturbation, homosexual and lesbian acts. The church may have a detailed list of the various permutations and combinations of the act.

“Telling us all the sins, we are capable of performing with our sexual organs does not enlighten us about our sexuality. Those who reduce a mystery to a problem are guilty of ‘intellectual perversion” (Mathew Fox)

“The conflict between ethics and sex today is not just a collision between instinctuallity and morality, but a struggle to give an instinct its rightful place in our lives, and to recognise in this instinct, a power which seeks expression and evidently may not be trifled with and, therefore, cannot be made to fit in with our well meaning moral laws. Sexuality is not mere instinctuality, it is an indisputable creative power, that is not only is the basic cause of our individual lives, but a very serious factor in our psychic life as well. Our civilisation enormously understates the importance of sexuality.” (Carl Jung)

The Commission of theologians and lay experts appointed by Vatican II on Responsible Parenthood did make various far reaching recommendations in line with modern thinking. The chapter on Marriage and Family which had been discussed and revised time and again was presented for the first vote on 16 November 1965. Cardinal Ottavani, the Grand Inquisitor, 75 years old baker’s son, from Trastevere, Italy, half blind, had sternly warned that the principle of responsible parenthood would be incompatible with the Catholic faith. Despite this, two votes produced more than 2000 “placet”and only 91 and 144 “non-placet”. In Article 50, responsible parenthood was affirmed in a welcome way. “Married couple must in the end themselves decide”. But the Cardinal party, by their usual tricks and manipulations, succeeded in turning the clock back.(Source – “My Struggle for Freedom”- Hans Kung )

The weak kneed Pope Paul VI was prevailed upon to issue the notorious “Humane Vitae”. “After “Humane Vitae” most bishops and priests in Latin America were too busy in managing a revolution against what they saw as “sinful societies” to worry about what people were doing in their bedrooms. If you mention “sin” in Europe, most Catholics would think of sex; if you mention it in Brazil, they think of society” (“Absolute Truth”, -1998- Edward Stourton).

“Catholicism is still all about sex. In Europe and America sex is driving a wedge between the Church leaders and the led and the gap has increased. The realities of Catholic life is growing wider all the time. The number of Catholics who fail to live up to the Church’s ideals about sex, marriage and family is growing all the time. Increasingly they cease to see themselves as failures and conclude instead that the church and its teachings are irrelevant” (ibid)

“The actor turned zealot” from Poland, (expression courtesy Morris West) , made the situation from bad to worse. “In 1980, Synod on the Family, John Paul II’s first synod, was typical. It began with wide- ranging opinions being expressed on controversial issues including contraception, divorce and the changing role of the Christian family in different parts of the world. But at the end of the first week Ratzinger, (the Inquisitor after Ottavani), structured the agenda along much narrower lines. The Pope’s apostolic exhortation ‘Familiaris Consortio’ which came out a year later could easily have been written without the Synod ever having been taken place(‘God’s Politician – John Paul II and Vatican’ – David Willy – BBC’s longest serving foreign correspondent who moved to Rome in 1972)

In today’s world balancing the family budget is a Herculean task. It is a crime to produce more children who cannot be provided with nutritious food and other creature comforts and above all an appropriate education that would enable their economic survival.

The earth is overburdened by the exponential growth of human population putting strain on limited resources especially drinking water. Global warming is inching higher and higher because of the uncontrolled plundering of natural resources out of greed mostly by Christians in the Bible Belt who think that their god will take care of everything as is said in the bible; everything is created for humans, increase and multiply like locusts.

Sex is an end in itself. It is a no-cost entertainment, good for the body and mind. The benefits of frequent sex are many, say the experts in the field.

In India birth rate is the lowest among Catholics, Humane Vitae seems to have been dumped, deservedly, into the wastebasket . The stark reality is that the clerics will not lift even their little fingers to help its socially and economically deprived followers. On the contrary, these ever greedy Shylocks, all the time, demand their pound of flesh.

Nowadays the writs of Rome seemed to be given a go-by. After all ‘Who is Afraid of Virginia “WOLF ” Hats off to the German bishops for their courage to come out of the “darkness at noon” and see the light of the day. Make no mistake, the mandarins of the Zero church will continue to be the ostriches with their heads buried under the sand for ages to come. Varghese Pamplanil.

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Climbers and Alpiners

EUREKKA, EUREKKA, again I say Eurekka, because I have finally found the ‘name’ of the pearl of great price, rather the virus causing abominable corruption in the Church, I have been searching for! It is “CLIMBERS, ALPINERS!”

This is the name of the ultimate cause of the deadly disease destroying the very existence of the universal brotherhood, “you are brothers only”, the Son of Man Jesus founded for the whole of humanity and therefore ‘Catholic’ to the core!

Can you uproot them?
Can you uproot this deadly virus from the body politics of the Catholic Church in India and abroad? You win if you do! For that the right question to ask is not: “Who are the ‘Climbers/Alpiners’ in India”, but “Who are not!” They are few and far in between! Energize this little leaven that transforms the whole mass and you have achieved your goal!

Climbers and Alpiners are the deadly virus! Identify them, uproot them, one by one, never to rise up again. Start today, now, then you are right on the ‘demolition drive’ of high-rise Palarivattom Flats, for the RISE of ‘Brotherhoods’, nay for the shooting up of a ‘Servant leadership in the priesthood!’

For more clarity read below NCR article by Fr. Peter Daly on “Climbers & Alpiners” and a commentary on it.

Climbers or Alpiners, who are they?
Goodbye,climbers!We need to restore
servant leadership
in the Priesthood!
by Fr. Peter Daly, in NCR, Dec 9, 2019

Caption for 1st picture below:Baltimore Archbishop William Lori, left, and others applaud as Auxiliary Bishops Mark Brennan and Adam Parker stand with their crosiers during their Jan. 19, 2017, ordination Mass at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore. (CNS/Catholic Review/Kevin J. Parks)

In our last post in CCV, Jan.9, we spoke of three Hymalayan hurdles blocking ‘Church reform’ in India and in the universal Church: “Criminal cover-ups, criminal silence and criminal craze of Climbers” in the hierarchical ladder. The last one, Criminal climbers or Alpiners, is the one least explained or understood by our readers. That is what NCR(National Catholic Reporter, USA) explains beautifully in the article below.

Your Holiness!
Personally I have been hammering on the substance of it from New Leader times, as I could never swallow the various tittles and heavenly appellations affixed to prelates on the hierarchical ladder from Revts to His Holiness. The last “Your Holiness” appeared to me as: “Blasphemy Parexecellence!” But I got inspiration and insight while meditating on Jesus washing the feet of his betrayers, deniers, doubters, Primeministership seekers, James and John.

So I was forced to describe that title: ‘Blasphemy Parexellence!’ It was not because of any antipathy towards any Popes from Pius XII to today’s Francis. If I had any antipathy against any Pope, it was against the longest reigned Pope John Paul 2nd who protected the notorious Mexican Marciel of Legion of Christ(of devils would be more proper.) and his friendship with a Polish Lawyer’s wife, which British Journalists described ‘More than a friendship but less than a love affaire’ to be polite to him.

Crush Hierarchical Structure!
Even when the Catholic Church Reform International (CCRI) headed by Rene Reid from US introduced herself to India years ago, I told her point blank that she and her team can hope for no success in India, unless and until the Clerical Hierarchical Structure is crushed to smithereens and dumped in the Arabian sea. I still happen to hold that view!

And think of all our writings on the Chuch of Constantine where no reform is possible; of the need to focus solely on Jesus the cattle-shed born Jew the SON OF MAN not a Christian or ‘Catholic’ an ‘Oximoron’, who befriended the CATTLE CLASS, who may have been friend of drunkards & prostitutes, but who said, they would go to heaven before the priestly class whom he chased out of the temple; of Francis promoting a Church of the poor for the poor and much more!

Climbers & Alpiners in India!
It is in this context the “Climbers & Alpiners” in the Church today, is explained in the NCR article below by Fr. Peter Daly. Read it and draw your own conclusion for the future course of action. james kottoor, editor ccv.

Please read below ‘Alpiners/
Climers in the Church!
by Fr. Peter Daly

When I was in the seminary in Rome, we called them “Alpiners,” the “climbers” among our fellow seminarians who were ambitious to climb up the corporate ladder of the church. They had a secret (or not so secret) ambition to be a bishop or a Vatican official. Sometimes it was painfully obvious. One guy was caught with a “hope chest” in his room, full of bishops’ accoutrements like miters, a pectoral cross and a collapsible crozier.

For the “Alpiners,” their priesthood is a not a call to serve, but to be served. It is the opposite of what Jesus wanted. (See Luke 22:27, John 13:14 and Matthew 23:11-12.) Ambition is one of the worst and most destructive features of clericalism. If we are going to reform the priesthood, we need to tame the demon of ambition and substitute the idea of servant leadership.

Ambition gives oxygen and energy to the evils of clericalism. It comes from a desire to dominate others. It is a common temptation. In the desert, even Jesus was tempted by the evil one with the power to rule over the kingdoms of the Earth.
Not all ambition is a bad thing. It is not a bad thing to have an “ambition” to develop your gifts and talents. It is good to want to be an excellent musician or preacher or scholar. All these talents can be put at the service of the church.

But the desire to rule is not a good thing. It a feature of megalomania and narcissism. It betrays not talent, but insecurity. Ambition for authority shows an internal emptiness that can only be filled by external deference, titles, honor and power.

This corrupted ambition is the sin of the Pharisees. Jesus takes it so seriously that Matthew’s Gospel devotes an entire chapter (Ch. 23) to this one sin. He said: All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’

As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven.Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Messiah.

The greatest among you must be your servant.Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Jesus called pharisees a “brood of vipers” (Matthew 23:33). He might say the same thing about arrogant clerics.
Clerical ambition has always been around. James and John were “Alpiners.” They came to Jesus and asked to sit “one at your right hand, and the other at your left” (Mark 10:37). It is not just clerics who are ambitious for power in the church. Sometimes it is their families. After all, it was the mother of James and John in Matthew’s version of the story who intervened for her sons to sit at the hand of Jesus. This kind of ambition is from the evil one.

This self-aggrandizing ambition is seen in the lives of many clerics who, like Theodore McCarrick and Michael Bransfield, climb the church ladder. They often talk about being humble, but they are not at all humble. They spend enormous amounts of money on themselves. They use their power and influence to aggrandize themselves. Bransfield and McCarrick both ran the Papal Foundation to funnel money to Rome and thereby gained a lot of influence in the church.

Where does this clerical ambition come from? Let me count the ways.
It starts early in our training. Seminaries are incubators of ambition. We are taught to want and to value the superficial trappings of clericalism; the clothes, the titles, the perks. Seminarians are encouraged to have an obsequious deference to the hierarchy in everything.

It is seen in the clothes. Clericalism loves special clothes; cassocks and capes, lace and silk, birettas and miters. The fancy clothes separate clerics from others and practically shout, “Look at me.” The pretentions of a Cardinal Raymond Burke parading around in his watered silk “cappa magna” (big cape) and fancy lace surplices would be laughable if he did not mean for it to be taken so seriously.

Caption for second picture below: Cardinal Raymond Burke, then-prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature, the Vatican’s highest court, celebrates Mass to mark the opening of the judicial year of the tribunal of Vatican City Jan. 11, 2014. (CNS/Reuters/Stefano Rellandini)

Or look at our presidernt’s chairs and cathedra in cathedrals and churches everywhere. They are really “thrones” of potentates, inherited from Byzantium. Jesus said that the pharisees demanded “seats of honor” in synagogues. So do clerics. Look at the chairs in most cathedrals, fit for an emperor.

Then there are the exaggerated titles. We call them “Excellency” or “Eminence” or “Monsignor.” These are not Christian titles; they are the pretentions of Italian nobility. The worst is “Monsignor,” which means “my lord” in Italian. Only Jesus is Lord. The cardinals have the temerity to call themselves “princes” of the church. What would Jesus think of that?

After the clothes and titles come the fancy episcopal residences and rectories. Pope Francis has been trying to model humility to bishops by living in two rooms in the Casa Santa Marta rather than the papal apartments. But legions of bishops and many priests are not getting the message. Bransfield spent more than $4 million on his house in West Virginia. McCarrick spent hundreds of thousands of dollars remodeling two apartments and a house for himself in Washington. Remember the “bishop of bling” in Limburg, Germany, who spent $42 million on his residence? Ask yourself, where does you bishop live? How does that house reflect Christian poverty of spirit?

Most egregious of all is the desire for offices of power and prestige that have nothing to do with being servants of God or the church. In this regard it is time to take all the vestiges of the Papal States to the junk yard. What would this mean?
• The Vatican diplomatic corps? Do away with it.
• The Vatican bank? Close it.
• The Vatican pretentions of civil power? Ditch them.
• The Vatican bureaucracy? Give it to lay people, who would do a better job for less.

Most of the Vatican pretensions to statehood are the only ways to compensate the papacy for its loss of temporal power in the Italian Risorgimento in 1870. For 100 years, the papacy has been licking its wounds and trying to hang on to the trappings of monarchy. Jesus told us to “render unto Caesar” not to become Caesar.

What is the cure for ambitious clericalism? Take away the career path and all its trappings. The pope is trying to do just that. His first Christmas in Rome, he told the Vatican curia to get out of Rome and back to their dioceses. When he was presented to the crowd in St. Peter’s Square, he refused the velvet and ermine cape traditionally worn. He never occupied the papal apartments. He ditched the papal limousine. He carries his own bag. In meetings, he sits on an ordinary chair, not a throne on a raised dais. He wears his worn-out black shoes. His whole life says servant, not ruler.

Time for real reform. Francis says he wants a poorer church for the poor. Let’s get started. One thing is clear, ambition for wealth and power are not part of that church.

People have asked how McCarrick and Bransfield and their type could rise so high in the church despite their sins and crimes. The answer is more straightforward than people might expect. They sought those higher offices and went after them. They got what they wanted. People did not want to stand in their way. They were champion “Alpiners.” [Fr. Peter Daly is a retired priest of the Washington Archdiocese and a lawyer. After 31 years of parish service, he now works with Catholic Charities.]

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Locked out by their relatives

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