This is the actual cover of the current issue of Vermont Catholic magazine, the monthly publication put out by the Diocese of Burlington. No, really.
Less than a week after an almost-$18 million settlement with the remaining 26 plaintiffs (you know, all those children who were diddled by priests for decades while the Church pretended it didn't know what was going on?), they still put a photo of a young man kneeling in front of the Bishop on the cover of their magazine.
Two pages into the magazine there is a letter from Bishop Salvatore Matano discussing the recent settlement, and apologizing for the whole ugly mess that, to be fair, started long before he even took the position as bishop in Vermont. Toward the end, he asks God for forgiveness for any insensitivity which he may have shown during this process. Hey Sal, keep trying.
Sure we know that this photo is depicting the rite of ordination but does the editor of the Vermont Catholic understand irony?
Still, while it might come across as insensitive, it clearly wasn't intended to be... probably? Well, the Catholic Church has always been culturally and socially tone deaf. Why change that now? When you think about the things that have driven people away from the Church historically, it has been largely due to the institution's unwillingness to look outside itself. Birth control, same sex marriage, abortion, homosexuality, females in the clergy, celibate priests: in each case, the Church eschews change and progress, and instead turns inward losing more and more members along the way.
The image on this magazine cover is further demonstration this disconnect. Why, in the midst of a sex scandal, would you put a photo on the cover that evokes the very act for which the scandal is known? Certainly, someone had to make note of this...
Thanks Plaid Crew for the story!~