Hiding behind decisions is a sign of weakness

This afternoon I am going to Dublin to attend the launch of Donal Dorr’s book, The Francis Agenda. I understand the book is published by Veritas.
That brings back to me memories of my own book of a few years ago, A Question of Conscience, which Veritas refused to stock in any of their shops. Of course they were fully entitled to do so; the shops belong to them, and they can sell, or refuse to sell, whatever they like. But what irritated me at the time was that nobody owned up to the decision not to stock the book. I know that they were challenged by a number of different people, but every question was batted away, and nobody admitted to making the decision, or gave any reason for it. All I am sure of is that at some level a decision was made; ‘We will not sell that book’. The book sold very well, so from a commercial point of view it would have made sense to stock it. So the reasons were other. Was it the bishops, who I understand are trustees of Veritas, who passed down the word? Was it the board of management? Or some overall manager? Nobody owned or explained it. But it was decided, and the decision applied to all their shops, not just the Dublin one.

The way in which the World Meeting of Families management dealt with the application from We Are Church for an exhibition stand was very similar. The application went in last February. It was never refused, just kept being put off despite repeated requests for information, until the time for getting a stand had expired. So we, the core group of We Are Church, are left without a stand, but with no clear refusal, no explanation, and no idea who made the decision. Was it Cardinal Farrell, Archbishop Martin, Brenda Drumm, or someone else. And why?

The same pattern in both examples. What is shows to me is a desperate lack of courage and honesty. I would respect an organisation that made a clear decision, and if the relevant person or people explained clearly why the decision was made. Even if I didn’t agree with the decision, at least I would know exactly where I stood in relation to it. But this hiding behind anonymity, and with no explanation, is pathetic. It is an example of the general malaise and lack of confident leadership in our Church. At least with the men of the past, McQuaid, Browne, Lucy, you would know where you stood. I think I would have more respect for them than for those leading our Church institutions today.