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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Back at Mother Knoll (to find an elephant in the room!)

I arrived Saturday night in time for two Sunday Masses and afternoon Confirmation at St. Paul's, with retired Bishop Thomas Daily officiating. He had kind words for Maryknoll and his old classmate, Maryknoll Father Tom (Fish) Foley.

Now here I lie wide awake at 3:45 a.m. in the throes of full-blown jet-lag.

I go to replace my Precioussss after breakfast.

The U.S. Regional Assembly begins with a social later today.

Ah, but here's where Sherlock Veneroso kicks in. Whilst Father Jim Gilligan, our cannon lawyer, deigned not to clarify the current status of Father Roy Bourgeois vis-a-vis Maryknoll, a simple phone call to the receptionist at the front desk revealed this intriguing tidbit: Father Roy has a room reserved from today on. Whilst I tend not to use titles after first reference, in this case it's germane.

Father Roy is certainly entitled to participate in the U.S. Regional Assembly as long as he is still a member of the region, which he can only be if he is still a member of Maryknoll, which he can only be if he is still a priest.

The more intriguing question is how will Roy's presence effect the discussions and agenda? Will we proceed apace and tackle such explosive issues as "Six Months Till We Revisit the Ambo" or "Why the New Roman Missal is the Last Nail in the Coffin of Vatican II Reform" or will we bite the bullet and acknowledge the immense elephant in the room?

If both Superior General Ed Dougherty and Roy address the assembly and allow questions and discussion, this could be the most exciting, interesting, controversial and provocative Assembly in Maryknoll's 100 years. How this is handled will determine the kind of Society we are, going forward.

Unfortunately, you might not read about it here. No, I doubt I'd be silenced (way too ironic in this case, no?) but rather because the second half of my jet lag would be kicking in about that time.

Till then, following is a link to an article about the Dutch Salesians whose superior is balking at expelling (whoops! DISMISSING) one of their members for publicly advocating pedophilia. The most telling quote: "Removing someone from the order is something you would only do in the case of grave moral transgression, such as rape. There was never any question of that."

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