Hey, remember Salvatore Matano, former Catholic Bishop of Burlington? He got promoted to the bishopric of Rochester, New York last year, and he’s already making waves in his new parish even as the effects of his Vermont tenure continue to reverberate.
Matano is a classmate and friend of Cardinal Raymond Burke. Burke is well known for a certain rigid legalism during his tenure in St. Louis. In 2008, he was appointed prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the church’s highest canonical body, and would eventually become a member of the Congregation for Bishops. In this capacity, Burke had a hand in appointing his former classmate to Rochester.
Funny thing: Burke thrived under the legalistic papacy of Benedict, but was quickly tossed from the Congregation by Benny’s successor, Pope Francis.
Back to Our Pal Sal, whose Vermont tenure featured a stout defense against any and all claims in the clergy sex-abuse scandal. Foot-dragging, denial of responsibility, pleas of poverty… Sal used the entire playbook.
Well, now VPR’s Steve Zind reports another choice tidbit from the Matano Era. While Sal was still here, the Vatican issued a survey to gather input from the faithful and “encouraged bishops to disseminate it as widely as possible, including at the parish level.”
Instead, according the Concerned Catholics of Vermont, Our Pal grabbed the survey and filled it out himself. And is refusing to disclose the nature of his responses. CCOVT says:
Vermont Catholics have no notion what was reported to Rome about how we access the surveyed issues and, given no information about the consultation undertaken, we have no grounds for knowing whether the report was accurate.
The survey covered hot-button topics like birth control, divorce, and marriage equality, and was meant to gather the views of Catholics in advance of an “extraordinary synod of Bishops” next month.
Well, thanks to Matano, the views of Vermont Catholics are shut out of the process.
Meanwhile, in his new posting in Rochester, Matano is imposing regressive policies. The NCR:
Bishop Salvatore Matano, the new bishop of Rochester, N.Y., is in the process of ending a 40-year custom of permitting lay ministers to preach at Mass. Most are women commissioned to preach by the former bishop, Matthew Clark. All have advanced degrees in theology and all have served for many years in various diocesan leadership positions.
“Well, they might be tremendously gifted and qualified,” I can hear Matano saying, “but… but… they’re WOMEN! They have LADYPARTS! God forbid we should sully our pulpits with vaginal juices!”
Yeah, semen stains on the robes are fine, but we can’t let GIRLS in our clubhouse!
The National Catholic Reporter sees Matano’s elevation to Rochester as part of Benedict’s efforts to promote conservative doctrine. Let’s hope Francis is paying attention to Sal’s medieval policies, both in Vermont and in Rochester.