dr. james kottoor
What is domino effect? It is some shocking or surprise happening, which induces or facilitates similar good or bad things to happen. The Latin phrase for it is: “Post hoc, propter hoc.” (This has happened and because of it similar things happen)
What is literally implied is, the first event causes similar things to happen, which need not be true at all, unless the first event is that much eye opening or out of this world. Such a case indeed was the ‘mass resignation of all Chile bishops’ a total of 34, which the wide-spread clerical sex abuse precipitated. It never happened in the history of the Catholic Church, so Chile is making history.
From the time of Pope Benedict XVI bishops around the world were regularly exhorted to report Pedophilia and similar clerical sex abuse both to the Vatican and Civil law enforcement authorities. It fell mostly on deaf ears of bishops around the world, either because many of the bishops, themselves being reluctant celibates and sympathetic to defaulters, did not want to shake the boat or hated to be seen as the main cause of throwing out many in their fraternity from the shaking boat into deep cold waters to drown themselves.
But this time Pope Francis himself made the unepected and unsuspected blunder defending vociferously and to the hilt Bishop Barros, his blue-eyed boy, twice in public, as a very clean person and had to regret horribly and apologize to the whole world for being in the wrong.
Once bitten twice shy! Francis went all out to unearth the whole truth about sex abuse and Chile episcopate (34 of them) and probably found that the whole lot of them were fully aware of the cover-up. In that case how could any one say he was not aware of it? So they did the wise thing of resigning en masse to save the ugly face of the whole episcopate and preventing the chance of anyone saying he was above board. In a small group of 34 bishops that (not knowing) can hardly happen. So the domino effect made all to resign after the main accused, Bishop Barros offered to resign.
Other eye-popping acts of Francis
Pope Francis did many other things which were global shock treatments to Bishops’ conferences around the world although they did not precipitate the intended changes for the better, in the Church. To cite a few: He is the first Pope to describe himself: “I an a sinner” (Holy Father, a sinner?) and make public confessions which produced a partial ‘Domino effect’ in the ‘Framily Synod’ where the assembled bishops described themselves as “Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Sinners”.
The truth is, it is easy and even entertaining to call oneself a sinner when one is in good company! But no single bishop around the world came forward to call himself a sinner. Secondly Francis gave up the Papal apartment and still stays in the Casa Santa Marta doing buffet service also for himself during meals. It had its Domino effect at least on the new bishop of Chicago.
Thirdly, when youngsters called him over the phone from Milan he told them to address him as “Tu” in the singular, not “your holiness” etc. because the apostles never addressed Jesus with honorific titles but using ‘tu, you’. Why even the most elevated person like the President of US is called: “Mr. President” and not with any honorific adjective demeaning the equality of the person speaking to him. This must become a contagious habit with all lay people even when our bishops object to be addressed on an equal footing.
How many times even this scribe, the CCV and many others entreated Indian bishops, directly and indirectly, to give up willingly all honorific appellations like, “Eminence, Excellency, Your Grace” etc but not a single Indian bishop has ever reacted approvingly or positively, with the sole exception of Bishop Alex Dias of “Port Blare”. What is more he did it on his own while writing an article for the Holy week in the Indian Currents. In it he strongly forbad anyone to call him with any Constantenian royal titles since such stupid titles like “Rabbi, Father, Teacher” were forbidden by Jesus himself saying “You are all brothers only”. He insisted others to call him just “Alex” his pet name not even with a prefix “Bishop Alex”.
At that time, few years ago, this scribe took up the challenge to responded to him in another article, addressing him: “Dear Alex!” That article drew a lot of reader reaction praising Bishop Alex, but not a single reaction came from his Episcopal fraternity in India or abroad. That gave credibility to the Malayalam saying: “Oru pana chorine oru choru patham.”(It is enough to test one single grain of rice to see if the whole pot of rice is cooked well. The silence of the over 200 Indian bishops is howling proof, that the whole lot of Indian bishops, was hell bend on not giving up their Episcopal Constantinean honorific titles.
Nay, some bishops even stick on to or flaunt titles they don’t they deserve, calling themselves “Arch” bishops. Archbishop is one who has safragan dioceses strictly, but permitted also to those who have been in diplomatic service. Some got ‘Arch’ title through sheer pressure tactics. We don’t name their names here.
Ordinaries with capital ‘O’
As for Bishop Dias, I have never met him, but received longest letters ever from a bishop. He claimed, he knew me from the time I was editor of The New Leader from Chennai. He has also invited me more than once to visit him at Port Blare but could not oblige. So all bishops in India want to be Ordinaries with capital ‘O’(meaning extra-ordinary, not ordinary in the ordinay sense, as applied to the Cattle Class, the CCV’s reaction to Episcopal pomp and public exhibition. So no ‘Domino effect’ of the ‘high thinking and simple living’ of Francis may befall on Indian Bishops in the nearest future.
Here change can come only when the sleeping giant “Laity” wakes up en mass, to call bishops and cardinals, following the principle “Call a spade a spade!”: that is, “Dear younger or older brother.” Proof? When this scribe addressed, Allancherry: “My dear younger brother” he replied promptly and in a most exemplary manner to everyone’s edification.
Proliferating Me-too groups
‘Domino Effect’ is changing the cultural patterns of human behavior very fast or very slow in different areas. Other great examples are the public upsurge of “Me-too” groups of exploited women in politics and in the fields of entertainment like ‘Hollywood’ and ‘Bollywood’ where “Casting couches” were and still are price women folk has to pay to get a foot hold and rise as stars or heroins, in those respective fields.
What is radical solution?
To the exploited sections of Laity and women in particular, denied equality and trampled under foot by incorrigible over-lording men and clerical class, we have only one remedy to suggest: the war cry of the communist proletariat: “Workers of the world unite, for you have nothing to lose except your chains!” Only change the word ‘workers’ with appropriate names of the exploited, “Laity” for example in the case of churches to teach a lesson to the comfortable clerical class and “women” in the case of fair ladies, young and old!
As for the two reports below from the Vatican insider, especially the one in which a Chile Bishop makes a bunch of 15 priests resign, we have only one radical solution to suggest: Make all bishops and clerics around the world to resign to make the present hierarchical church a “classless, casteless, raceless society” and make them all belong to the “CATTLE CLASS” of Jesus born in a Cattleshed.
Another option is to make all give up organized religions. One wise crack has suggested and we put it on the face book: “Religion, it stops people from thinking, because they think all answers are in that one book, it impedes progress; it justifies crazy people. Flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative.”
If these two are unpalatable to some since they come from the CCV, please sagest a better name that reflects the life style of Jesus and his self-emptying to serve the last, least and lost! After all, is it not that counts most to anyone who wants to follow the example of that human being par excellence immortalized by descriptions like: “Ever lasting Man! Eternal Galelean, Behold the Man, Hound of heaven, Sweet Jesus meek and mind, Bitter Jesus rough and wild, the incomprehensible Nazareen etc.
Change from bottom
Since such a change will not come from the top to bottom, the only alternative is forcing change on the hierarchy by an outspoken laity who comes forward to courageously to call a spade a spade, to call our bishops as one’s “Younger or Elder brother” following the instruction of Jesus: “You shall not call anyone ‘Rabbi’, Father, or teacher’ since “you are all brothers only”
So let the ‘Domino Effect’ be allowed to play out, where the laity is encouraged to play the leadership role to build a humanity of brotherhood and collaboration, combining the plus points of both global and local = Glocal – to make this world a close-knit world of peace, prosperity and joy unalloyed. james kottoor, editor ccv.
Please read below reports on Chile sex
abuse in Vatican Inside
Abuses in Chile,newscandal
Bishop Suspends 15 priests
In the diocese of Rancagua Monsignor Goic, president of the episcopal commission for the prevention of abuse, did not investigate promptly and has now suspended more than 20 percent of his clergy
Chilean Bishop Alejandro Goic
Andrea Tornielli, Vatican City, in NCR, May 21st 2018
This yet another striking case helps to understand the reach of the phenomenon, which has become “a system”, and at the same time, tells of the shepherds’ inability to take adequate measures to combat it. It is a case that confirms the dramatic situation in which the Chilean Church has collapsed, whose episcopate in recent days has presented en bloc their resignation to Pope Francis so that he might be free to proceed as he best believes in renewing the hierarchies of the country.
Among the bishops who participated in the Vatican meetings summoned by the Pontiff, was the 78-year-old Bishop of Rancagua, Alejandro Goic, who – according to Il Sismografo – is currently the president of the Episcopal Commission for the Prevention of Sexual Abuse by the Clergy (Consejo nacional de prevención de abusos y acompañamiento a las víctimas). On his return to the diocese, in the city that rises about 80 kilometers from the Chilean capital Santiago, the prelate was forced to make a drastic decision, suspending from the ministry as many as 15 of his 68 priests (22 percent of the diocesan clergy), because suspected of being involved in a network of child abuse and exchange of pornographic material.
A few days ago, in the city of Rancagua the public learned about a parish priest forced to confess that he had sent pictures of himself naked to some young boys. Chilean TV, Canal 13, during a documented investigation, has suggested the existence of an organized group of diocesan priests, a network that calls itself “la famiglia“ (the family) with the “nonno” (grandfather)” at its top, followed by the “zie” (aunts) and “nipotiˮ (nephews), whose members would allegedly be involved in sexual trafficking through the web that also involves underage children.
Elisa Fernández, former coordinator of the diocesan youth ministry, has lead the accusation: the priests would involve young people between 15 and 19 years of age. Fernández assured she had witnessed the fact that priests in Rancagua were commenting on their sexual preferences for minors. A year and a half ago, Fernández had sent to Bishop Goic a list with the names of the priests involved, he however did not take any action.
For this reason, a few months ago, Fernández created a fake Facebook profile with which she pretended to be a 16-year-old boy named Pablo and contacted one of those priests, 54-year-old parish priest Luis Rubio Contreras. The priest fell into the trap and sent an erotic message and a picture of him completely naked to the alleged minor who contacted him. Don Contreras, interviewed by Canal 13, admitted: “I admit having done so, I know that it is horrible, but I can’t say more. It is a day of great sadness, I feel ashamed for what I have done”.
Following this episode, Bishop Goic first announced the decision to temporarily suspend the parish priest, to then suspend the other priests suspected of being affiliated to “the famigliaˮ, until the position of each is clarified. Elisa Fernández criticized the bishop for waiting so long before taking any action, even though she had met him four times to inform him about the existing network of abusers.
Monsignor Goic defended himself by declaring on Chilean TV13 that he “did not study to become a detective, but to be a pastor”. Then he explained that he had not prompt an in-depth investigation into Father Rubio because there had never been “a formal complaint” against him.
Abused in Chile, Pope receives another group
of victims of Karadima
The meetings in the Vatican from 1 to 3 June with five priests who have suffered abuses of power, and conscience and sexual abuse. The Vatican Press Office announces in a communiqué
Father Fernando Karadima leaves court
VATICAN CITY: New round of meetings of Pope Francis with the victims of Father Fernando Karadima, the serial abuser at the center of the scandal that discredited the Chilean Church, whose episcopate last week resigned en bloc, an event that has never happened in history.
"From 1 to 3 June – we read in a statement issued on the evening of Tuesday 22 May 2018 by the Vatican Press Office – the Holy Father will receive a second group of victims of the Rev. Fernando Karadima and other followers of the parish of the Sagrado Corazón de Providencia (“El Bosque”). They are five priests who were victims of abuse of power and conscience, and of sexual abuse. Together with them there will also be two priests who have assisted the victims in their legal and spiritual journey, and two laypersons involved in this suffering".
They will all be guests of the Holy Father at the Casa Santa Marta. "The great majority of these people attended the meetings in Chile during the special mission of H.E. Msgr. Charles Scicluna and of Msgr. Jordi Bertomeu, which took place in February this year. The others collaborated in the weeks following the visit”.
"With this new meeting, planned a month ago, -the statement continues – Pope Francis wishes to demonstrate his closeness to the abused priests, to accompany them in their suffering and to listen to their valuable opinion to improve the current measures for the prevention and countering of abuse in the Church."
“This concludes the first phase of meetings that the Holy Father wished to have with the victims of the abusive system established around a decade ago in the aforementioned parish. These priests and laypersons represent all the victims of the abuse in Chile but it is not excluded that similar initiatives may be repeated in the future".
The Holy See informs that "There will be various meetings during the weekend, which will take place in an atmosphere of trust and confidentiality", as already happened in recent weeks for the three most well-known victims of Karadima, Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and José Andrés Murillo. In the morning of Saturday 2 June, the Pope will celebrate a private Mass at the Casa Santa Marta; in the afternoon, there will be a group meeting followed by individual meetings.
"The Holy Father – concludes the note – continues to ask the faithful of Chile – and especially the faithful of the parishes where these priests carry out their pastoral mission – to accompany them with prayer and solidarity during these days.