Yesterday I received the following email from my friend the priest in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. He was responding to the situation his former boss, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, has gotten himself into by denouncing reports that he authorized payments to pedophile priests in order to induce them to voluntarily accept laicization.
Poor Tim--he is just free to say whatever comes into his head--unlike Milwaukee where he had good staff to counsel him, I'm not sure anyone has the courage to tell him the truth in New York.The story has made barely a ripple here. Most are fixated on the recall election which Scottie Walker appears poised to win unless there is a miraculous upset. If it is close, his margin of victory may have been the result of Tim's "endorsement" during his victory lap appearance here in April.
It has amazed me that many priests are supporting Walker--some of them virulently anti-union. I wonder whatever happened to Catholic social teaching here--or even the example of John Paul II whom many of them so adore? I wonder what they thought he did in Poland with Solidarity. Few know the history of the church's once strong stand in favor of organized labor here--especially Msgr. (later Bishop) Francis Haas who was a mediator in many strikes and had the affection of many working class men or women.
I wonder where they think the money came from to pay for their churches and salaries and now pensions except from well-paid industrial workers who were boosted into the middle class by union activism? But somehow Walker's union-busting and open alliance with Texas and New York multi-millionaires makes no difference to the clerics of today. Perhaps we are on the way to becoming again the out of touch Second Estate of pre-revolutionary France..openly aligning ourselves with the wealthy and powerful because they have the money to make or break us.