We strongly disagree with the Bishop’s revolutionary process but have to credit him with a brilliant human plan in that he would get funding, much of the praise, and yet bear almost none of the hardship and blame. He has decided to play identity politics rather than preach the Gospel. Where there is political agitation there is always money (and leaks). The citizens of Indiana found out that there are Billionaires willing to enforce this agenda, Billionaires that are more powerful than their lawfully elected legislature. Now you may at first be excused for assuming his goodwill and that some of Gaydos’ Chancery staff cooked up this radical process and convinced him to sign off on it. However, anyone who has had dealings with either the Chancery or Catholic Schools especially in Jefferson City knows that even if there is a search committee the final candidate is often chosen by the Bishop himself and sometimes out of the blue, being someone unknown to the search committee. That’s along the lines of how the Diocese replaced one Superintendent of Schools with a couple, Sister Julie and Sister Elizabeth. He, more than anyone else, knows who is being hired, their past, and what their agenda is. There is no one else to blame for the hiring and behavior of these radical outsiders.
In recent years money ran short at the Diocese and many people were laid off permanently or not replaced when they retired. Things began to look tight even for retired priests. But then very large anonymous donations filled the gap. Roughly around that time things had progressed to the hiring of some radical staff and then to this current Diocesan involvement in identity politics. Despite intense pressure from parents Fr. Joe Corel and his staff have doubled down on their agenda. Ask your school principals and parish priests where things stand with the process if you don’t believe that. The Chancery leaders act as though they feel insulated from the consequences of the process, maybe because they believe they have the favor of the media and are also now more financially independent. This reminds us of how a sociopath operates because the parish priests have all of the responsibility and consequences of enrolling or not enrolling transgender students but probably little of the public adulation or funding. They have to face their upset parishioners and parents in the event of enrollment or the threat of media shaming in the event of denying enrollment. The Chancery staff are expendable to Gaydos or the new Bishop, a time worn corporate method to quell a public uproar. But as for Bishop Gaydos he can either celebrate his victory, or if he fails, he can retire next year as planned. He’ll have a nice full coffer either way. His so-called mostly rural Diocese must have seemed like a good place to quietly start this revolution. It’s no accident that the New York Times praises him.
Priests here will talk of just making it to retirement before the collapse of this Diocese becomes apparent, a collapse which could and should make another full article. Ask Fr. Joe Corel about our 3 seminarians. There are so many retired priests and priests near retirement, see them here, that threats coupled with promises of funding their retirement would be an easy way to win the silence of a chunk of clergy. That means that the burden of this struggle will fall on the smaller number of active clergy with more years remaining in service, men so afraid that many refuse to speak of it.
Church politics is enough to make a normal person vomit and as inane, petty, and irrelevant as it seems it’s important here because the real cannon fodder are the children, parents, and teachers who will have to face this issue on a very personal level. All of you are being cut off at the knees by your leader whether you realize it or not. This will be tough for everyone in the schools no matter which side of the agenda you are on. Though most Catholic School parents are not to be found at Mass on Sunday they must find something in Catholic Schools worth paying for. The question is, do you all value the faith or that atmosphere enough to try to stop it’s destruction before you switch to public school, or in the See City the Lutheran School, or maybe Lighthouse Academy or some other option? The only bright light for the Church that might come out of this process would be an increase in home schooling or the rumored new independent Catholic school because the hierarchy could use some competition. But that’s still no reason to give up because those options would be a major improvement for individual families and preferable to what the Bishop plans for the kids, but still only a remnant of what was and probably not an option for every parent.
Whether or not a big political donor can get away with helping the Chancery to run the schools into the ground remains to be seen but you don’t have to help fund their agenda. These things have been stopped before with persistent effort. Parents and priests who think they can wait this out should think ahead a year, do you think that Bishop Gaydos, Archbishop Carlson, or Papal Nuncio Christophe Pierre don’t have the power to suggest a successor with the same agenda, arriving with things set in order and not having to bear the blame? He could simply fire some of the Chancery staff and publicly wring his hands while changing nothing, damage already done. That’s the Process.