Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Society of Jesus Stung In Vati-Leaks

The other interesting document taken from the Holy See that has received no media attention – except in Holland – is the letter of accompaniment with which the superior general of the Jesuits, Adolfo Nicolás, sent to Benedict XVI a missive written by a wealthy Dutch couple, Hubert and Aldegonde Brenninkmeijer. The successor of Saint Ignatius, after recalling that the two are longstanding and generous benefactors of the Church and of the Society of Jesus, does not get into the content of their letter, but stresses that he "shares the concerns" that they wanted to manifest directly to the pope. A photocopy of the letter from Father Nicolás, in Italian, has been made public. But not that of the couple, released only in a somewhat shaky Italian translation. The content of the letter is clear nonetheless. It is a  tough act of accusation against the Vatican curia and the Catholic hierarchy in general. The rich Brenninkmeijers denounce the fact that money should play a central role in various offices of the curia, in some European dioceses, and in the patriarchate of Jerusalem. They accuse the pontifical council for the family of using gullible and acritical collaborators instead of employing personages who can and want to act in the sense of "aggiornamento" of Vatican II. They insinuate that in the most restricted circle around the pope, a considerable amount of power has been accumulated in a visible and tangible way, adding that they possess written proof in support of their charges. The Brenninkmeijers do not accuse anyone by name, except in one case. After maintaining that in Europe there are growing numbers of informed believers who are separating themselves from the hierarchical Church without, according to them, abandoning their faith, and after lamenting the lack of "non-fundamentalist" pastors able to guide the flock according to modern criteria, the two spouses manifest to the pope not only their own discouragement, but that of many laypeople, priests, religious, and bishops over the appointment of the new archbishop of Utrecht, Jacobus Eijk. This is what the two documents say. But no one has pointed out what happened shortly after the arrival of these letters. Willem Jacobus Eijk, 59, cultured but  "conservative" in both the theological-liturgical field and the field of morality, was appointed archbishop of Utrecht by Benedict XVI in December of 2007. The letter from Father Nicolás arrived at the Vatican on December 12, 2011, and was, as seen in the photocopy that has been released, seen and initialed by the pope on on December 14, 2011. So then, those same days were the final phase for the list of cardinals to be created at the consistory that was later announced on January 6, 2012. And among the natural candidates for the red hat was Archbishop Eijk, since Utrecht is a see of firmly established cardinalate tradition, and his predecessor, Adrianus Simonis, had already reached the age of 80. On January 6 of this year, in fact, Eijk's name was included among the churchmen who at the consistory of February 19 received the biretta, becoming the third-youngest cardinal of the sacred college. Therefore, the "concerns" in his regard expressed by the wealthy Brenninkmeijer couple and endorsed by the superior general of the Jesuits do not seem to have harmed in the least the conviction of pope Joseph Ratzinger that he has chosen the right person for the leadership of the most important diocese of the Church in Holland. If anything, they seem to have reinforced it.
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Maria said...

For some reason this post made me think of Gomer Pyle on the Andy Griffith Show. Anybody old enough to remember? Surprise, surprise, surprise.

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