Thursday, February 12, 2009

Kelly’s Cross, Prince Edward Island, Canada 5.7.1983: Clericalism and Insularity

Heard more s—t today about Gregory B. Since I’ve been here, I’ve have not heard a single good remark about him. All remarks, all from clerics, are of that entre nous variety of club chat which completely dismisses the person from consideration.

First remark: Fr. M. tells me that he once met some European clerics who told him a term (forgotten by M.) used in Europe for a Jew who “infiltrates” the church to wreak havoc from within. I pointed out that this remark, opprobrious enough on its own terms, is also anti-Semitic. Fr. M. didn’t seem to hear.

Second remark: a cleric-sociologist said that, when B. was a peritus at Vatican II, Cardinal McGuigan of blessed PEI memory once, at an intimate gathering, leaned back and said, “I give him about five years.” The sociologist-cleric seemed to revel in the fact that B. “left” the priesthood shortly after five years. I pointed out that B. was asked to leave, was driven out by Machiavellian measures that gave him no other choice. Didn’t seem to matter.

I’ve heard other remarks, but can’t recall them at the moment.

Weather intensely warm for these two busy days, and very hazy-humid, so must turn in early.

Class began. Predominantly Catholic, worried about some new “Family Life” program for the schools. The school system used to be, I understand, nominally public, but actually church-oriented. Consolidation has occurred in the past five years, and Catholics appear to fight it, of course—“our schools” don’t belong to us anymore. So the introduction of family life courses only exacerbates the situation, because “we” are sure “they” want to use this as a forum for Godless secularism.

Was told by some students that, a few years ago, the Roman Catholic and public hospitals in Charlottetown amalgamated. Prior to that time, the public hospital performed abortions and had a board to supervise this; the R.C. hospital didn’t. when amalgamation occurred, the Right to Life bunch created a hullabaloo, got anyone on their side to join the hospital board by paying $1.00, and now attend every hospital board meting to vote the “abortion board” down. Consequently, no abortions performed now.

I’m angry, as all this shows—am fed up with smug complacency; with a mask of piety concealing an interior of deceit, spite, authoritarianism; with the way priests here manipulate ignorance and gullibility and have nothing at all for those seeking learning.

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