Parties seen as cause of Vatican move against Cistercian community in Rome
The Cistercian community in Rome that has been suppressed by the Vatican order had a reputation for hosting lavish parties, according to an Agence France Presse report.
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#1 May 31, 2011
This is a great example of the press not having a clue about how to report on religion: You've got a cool headline, so why bother digging any farther?
But read this article by John Allen, the Rome correspondent for the [US] National Catholic Reporter: http://ncronline.org/blogs/all-things-catholi...
Allen is one of the most insightful observers around. Here are some salient excerpts from his article:
"[R]umors began to swirl that something wasn't quite right. Some critics charged that [the abbot] seemed more interested in cozying up to social elites than in the traditional disciplines of the monastic life, while others raised questions about money management, especially given that the monks ran a successful boutique and hotel, apparently without clear accounting of the revenue flows. More darkly, there were rumors of "inappropriate relationships" carried on by some of the monks, understood to be code for some sort of sexual misconduct....
"As is its practice, the Vatican hasn't provided a public explanation; in typically euphemistic argot, officials say only there were "numerous allegations of conduct incompatible with the vowed life." The gist is that there were real problems at the abbey, in terms of both financial accountability and personal morality....
"The suppression is part of a pattern under Benedict XVI, which began with crackdowns against high-profile clerics ... The overall impression is that this is a pope weary of scandal, doing what he can to clean house."
In other words, this is substantially more serious than just a bunch of monks throwing parties.
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