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Rebellion at Boise

Not where you would have expected a rebellion to surface:

The Reverend Thomas Faucher, pastor of the Catholic St. Mary’s Church in Boise, has an opinion piece in the Idaho Statesman today calling for the resignation of Pope Benedict.

It is brief but carefully reasoned, and based around the idea that the church is in a period of crisis and needs a younger and stronger leader:

“It is my opinion, for what it is worth, that 10 years ago many American bishops should have been retired. They might be nice people; they just made terrible errors in administrative judgment. I think the same thing should happen today throughout Europe. I think it would be best if Pope Benedict were to retire. He may be a saintly man, but he is much too old to lead the church through this mess. We need a strong leader who will call the church to humility and penance for our past.”

A good many high Catholic leaders have circled wagons around the Vatican in recent weeks. In Portland, Archbishop John Vlazny killed his subscription to the Oregonian (and urged other Catholics to do likewise) after the paper criticized the church’s handling of its sex scandals and the pope’s role. But that would be what’s expected as an organizational imperative. Faucher’s statement runs against the organizational grain. How many others think something like what he has written, but decided not to stick their necks out?

This blog doesn’t much get into matters of interior church doctrine or governance; the feeling here is that those generally are matters for the various congregations to settle internally, and outsider views don’t matter a lot. The current Catholic scandals, and responses to them, do seem to be spilling over beyond the church’s own boundaries, and what happens next could have an effect on many people who aren’t, as well as are, Catholics.

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