Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News

Another argument for reform in the Roman Curia

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Aug 01, 2014

Next time someone asks you why we need reform of the Roman Curia, you might point out that it took the Congregation for Divine Worship (CDW) nine years to decide that the Sign of Peace should be exchanged with dignity. How difficult is it to imagine an organization efficient enough to reach that conclusion in, say, nine days? Or nine minutes?

Notice, too, that the CDW said abusive practices should be eliminated. It might take another nine years before they are eliminated in the typical parish. And that assumes that local parish communities will be persuaded by the arguments advanced in the CDW statement. Which seems unlikely, since those arguments essentially repeat the points made by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.

So what is it, exactly, that the CDW accomplished on this issue, during these nine years?

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Adeodatus109 - Apr. 26, 2017 5:25 PM ET USA

    This institution is also used to abuse priests who don't "fit in" in the heterodox dioceses in America. Write on that scandal!

  • Posted by: piloni - Apr. 26, 2017 10:36 AM ET USA

    The answers to Phil's last questions are terrible indictments of our episcopacy. There are more questions. Here are a few. How can you scapegoat the guilty? (He really warned against "scapegoating the abusers?!") How can St. Luke's Institute still be operating? When will the bishops stop hiding behind "compliance with safe environment guidelines" and clean up their ranks?

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Apr. 26, 2017 2:52 AM ET USA

    Thanks for bringing this damning history to light.

  • Posted by: grateful1 - Apr. 25, 2017 11:43 PM ET USA

    Where does St. Luke's get its funding? It should be shuttered immediately.

  • Posted by: Tex132 - Apr. 25, 2017 8:51 PM ET USA

    And people wonder why so many victims of clergy abuse can't find peace. Large institutions cannot police themselves. Here's evidence of a systematic failure. To this day fifteen years after the Dallas Charter the Church is embroiled in legal actions across the entire state of Pennsylvania just to name one place. The Maria Goretti Network/MGN is a support network working WITH the Church to assist any victim of abuse, no matter who did it, in healing.

  • Posted by: timothy.op - Apr. 25, 2017 8:18 PM ET USA

    Having heard Msgr. Rossetti speak, I can say he certainly gives the impression of being both orthodox and sensible. There were undoubtedly tragic problems with St. Luke's leadership prior to his taking over, so I'm simply cautioning against guilt-by-association. Perhaps his quote about not scapegoating gays can be read in a way that doesn't deny the obvious role homosexuality played in the scandal. If so, the benefit of the doubt is still viable.

  • Posted by: aclune9083 - Aug. 05, 2014 11:18 PM ET USA

    It's been 10 years in our parish since the pastor told the people that passing the peace just prior to Communion was an inappropriate distraction from the central reality of the Eucharist. Even today, however, a few die-hards insist on making some kind of peace gesture to those around them or across the church. My point: people don't like change and don't like to be told what to do; and they don't like to change back. The change should never have been made in the first place.

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Aug. 05, 2014 8:33 PM ET USA

    Since Benedict XVI noted the abuse in 2005, it sounds like the problem is with the bishops in the field not the Vatican bureaucracy. The note from the CDW was afterall a reminder addressed to the Bishops.

  • Posted by: kathimcnamee11450 - Aug. 05, 2014 6:34 PM ET USA

    While we're at it, let's stop holding hands and raising hands like the protestants do at a tent revival. I'd like to see everyone covering all the thigh, shoulders, and chest flesh.. How about more decorum and reverence at the greatest form of worship on this earth

  • Posted by: koinonia - Aug. 05, 2014 8:09 AM ET USA

    One of the great challenges for effecting reform is that it is not so much the specifics of the abuses as the attitude and philosophical foundation for their introduction. A cavalier attitude about the liturgy replaced vigilance. In some ways the abuses have become more valued than the supernatural effects of the liturgy, and this really is a pretty natural outcome. It's challenging to withdraw the "all about me" and request uniformity from those who do not understand the mind of the Church.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Aug. 03, 2014 5:24 PM ET USA

    It is apparent to me that "institutional religion" is merely a springboard to heroic personal sanctity. But why wait until death?