I posted some links in the comment section of my blog yesterday on this topic, but as more comes out I thought that I’d put them in their own post, as this story is quickly becoming “the” story of the General Congregations. Two of the links at the end of this post are the same as the ones posted in the comment section, two are new.
What will the leaks and the seeming “reprimand” of the Americans mean for the conclave? It’s anyone’s guess, but the following posts have interesting analysis on what went down and why.
Sure to add to the conjectures, speculations, and gossip is this morning’s news that Cardinal Dolan will continue his daily updates from Rome on SiriusXM’s Catholic Channel. He also taped his radio show yesterday after the “silencing.” Does this mean he’s publicly disobeying? No – his radio show and his daily updates are not press conferences, nor are they attempts to squeeze information out of him about the General Congregations. Dolan sees his radio show as an extension of his vocation to shepherd his people and keep them informed about the Church. We can argue about whether or not it’s a good idea to continue to do them. But he’s doing it. And I think it’s telling.
Like Father Robert Barron has to said before- our story is being told. But it’s not being told by us; it’s being told by a culture who either doesn’t know us or doesn’t like us. That’s also true in this case. The stories are going to be written every day. Who is going to be directing the narrative? Cardinal Dolan clearly wants to make sure the leadership of the Church is.
Don’t get me wrong — these conversations have to be secret. The secrecy of the General Congregations and the Conclave are vital and sacred and are not something to be dismissed because “this is the 21st century and we have a right to know what’s happening.” No, we really don’t. We have a right to know who our shepherd is at the end of this.
But I do think there’s a difference between healthy secrecy and unconditional, indiscriminate secrecy. Should we know everything that’s happening in those meetings? Nope. Can we know something that is happening — from someone other than Father Lombardi? I don’t see why not.
The world is craving to know what the Church is doing. How often does that happen? Cardinal Dolan has decided to capitalize on that. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
John Allen, as usual, has a great take on it (one of the few times I’ll encourage people to read the NCReporter): A Brief “Prague Spring” at the North American College
And Sister Mary Ann Walsh from the USCCB has her side of the story (she’s the director of media relations): The Papal Transition: No More Cardinal Interviews
How modern technology is affecting all of this, using Sister Mary Ann’s emails as proof: Like it Or Not, the Vatican Has Entered the Digital Age
And Father John Hollowell’s take on the leak the Curia and the Americans: The Reason the Cardinals Have Been Silenced