The Vatican leaves the UN
by William Cleary
One surprise surpasses another these days in a seeming endless series of
church scandal shockers. The priest sex abuse stories still make news every
single day for those who watch the Abuse Tracker on the website of the National
Catholic Reporter (http://www.ncrnews.org/abuse).
Roman Catholics who might wonder if they belong to a church built on the
model of Jesus of Nazareth – for whom solidarity with humble people was a top
ppriority -- heard new upsetting news in May. We learned then that the Vatican
has sought the intervention of the U.S. State Department to declare Pope Benedict
XVI immune from testifying in a sexual abuse lawsuit filed in Texas. A church
official contacted the State Department May 20, asking it to notify a Houston
federal court of the pope's immunity as the head of a foreign state, according
to the defense motion made by Vatican attorneys. They requested at least a delay
on the matter.
Head of a foreign state? It's true: the "Holy See," or "Vatican
City," are the names given in the United Nations for our Church headquarters,
and it's supposedly a sovereign state sending ambassadors everywhere and receiving
them also like every UN state. It's all perfectly logical if you are aware of
the history behind it, but is it not time for a change, or is it too late? As
Hans Christian Anderson proved, sometimes a fable – or a parable – can clarify
what otherwise would seemeem inexplicable. Try this for size.
The Ugly Frogling
Once long ago, the global pond
Decided to unite
To help frog nations live in peace
not forever fight.
So on one large and central rock
Frog envoys would convene
To work for peace and harmony
keep the pond serene.
Then one day, as the delegates
Assumed their meeting mode,
They noticed that among the frogs
one gigantic toad.
They took offense. "What are you, Sir?"
"A FROG! A FROG! " he croaked.
"But frogs say RIBBIT!" they replied,
that he'd joked.
"I grew up as a frog!' he groaned,
"A frog home took me in
When I was just a pollywog
vaguely froggish skin!"
"Be wise!" the frogs said, "Don't you see
You are a gorgeous toad?
A life of false identity
such a thankless road!"
At last the toad began to see
How sensible their call,
And one dark night that massive toad
warts and all.
(The moral of this narrative:
"It's not too late to be
a church of humble words and ways
Other fables of Hans Christian Cleary can be found at www.clearyworks.com