Comment:  Again, when you read this, if you do not shake your head and feel a depth of sadness, there is something wrong. If I have asked once, I have asked 1,000 times-why is this kind of leadership considered "Catholic".  These hierarchs have lost their way....and hundreds of thousands follow....blindly!  Diane Dougherty
There doesn't seem to be much joy coming out of Ireland in recent times. In recent days the Irish Central website reports the Pope is considering some kind of wholesale cleanout of the Church in Ireland slashing the number of dioceses and replacing all the bishops [LINK]. American investigative journalist, Joe Rigert, has been following the situation in Ireland more than anyone and offers us today his latest thoughts on the tragedy.
"Young people of Ireland, I love you"...
Just a year after he became pope, John Paul II went to Ireland, a country he loved, a Roman Catholic country where the people followed his rigid Catholic doctrine and practiced a strict personal morality, which he would espouse for the next quarter of a century. And the people showed their love for him by turning out in huge numbers — one-third of the population, the Irish press estimated — to see and hear him. "Young people of Ireland, I love you," he told them.
Thirty-one years later, in 2010, the love affair came to an abrupt end when a new pope, Benedict XVI, rebuked the bishops of Ireland for covering up the sexual abuse by Irish priests of thousands of these same children for decades in parishes, orphanages and boarding schools. Many of them were being raped and molested even while John Paul II expressed his love for them.
Irish Central Article
There have been a rash of stories in recent days reporting on the dire situation in Ireland including the above article reporting that in some metropolitan areas Mass attendance has dropped to as low as 10%. A string on the Catholica Forum [LINK] provides links to other stories worth reading.
But wait a minute. Rebuked for a cover-up? As it turns out, a scathing Irish government report revealed that way back in the mid-1990s, when John Paul II was pope, his Vatican refused to support Irish church guidelines designed to protect children from sex abuse. Then, as recently as last year, under his successor Benedict, the Vatican encouraged the cover-up by suggesting that the bishops ignore their guidelines calling for abuse cases to be reported to authorities. The protection of the reputation of the church was more important than the protection of the children. The Irish minister of justice called the findings "truly scandalous".
So the question is whether the pope, in castigating the Irish bishops, knew that the Vatican had twice sanctioned their failure to protect the children. He should have known that he was in effect blaming them for doing the will of the papacy. The Irish prime minister had it right when he accused the Vatican of being dominated by a culture of "dysfunction, disconnection, elitism and narcissism". The years of the church being the government and the government being the church were over.
In almost a decade of research on sex abuse in the Catholic church, especially in Ireland, I am not surprised by the startling claim of dysfunction and disconnection at the top. I have seen examples of the twin indictment over and over. And I would add hypocrisy. Many of the bishops got away with sexual involvements, while their priests were blamed, just as the pope blamed his bishops. In Ireland, the government report on the Cloyne diocese noted that a leading practitioner of the big cover-up kissed and embraced a teenage boy, asking the boy if he loved him. That was Bishop John Magee, secretary for three popes. I also found allegations that another cover-up bishop, Brendan Comiskey, took solo vacations in Thailand where he stayed at a hotel used by young male prostitutes. Remember that the church has been trying to purge itself of homosexual priests, in the false assumption they are a cause of the sex-abuse problem.
The end is not in sight...
Ireland offers just a few of many examples of the twists and turns of church leadership as it tries to deal with the dysfunction from top to bottom. Pope Benedict blamed the devil for the epidemic of sex abuse but a later study sponsored by the American bishops blamed it on the sexual revolution of the 1960s. The pope condemned the use of condoms to combat AIDS but backtracked after that longstanding position was called morally indefensible. On another issue, he backed off from comments equating Islam with violence, expressing regret that this could have been offensive to Muslims (he didn't express regret for saying it). And he blamed faulty staff work for his decision lifting the excommunication of an English bishop who denied the scope of the Holocaust. Meantime, more and more cases of abuse and cover-up are being exposed in America and Europe. And more and more people are leaving the church that espouses a monopoly of the one true faith.
This is a church leadership in disarray, and the end is not in sight.

The list of Bishops, Theologians, and Priests standing up for Women's Ordination is getting broader by the day.  The following articles give updated worldwide information Diane Dougherty

---Cardinal Jose da Cruz Policarpo of Lisbon, Portugal has said there's "no fundamental theological obstacle" to the ordination of women as priests in the Catholic Church.

---300 Austrian priests issued a "Call to Disobedience" to promote priesthood for women and married men. The Austrian priests and deacons read aloud a public prayer for "church reform" in every Mass.

---Over 250 German speaking theologians called for end to celibacy and for women's ordination in the Roman Catholic Church..

---Over 150 Catholic priests have signed on to a letter in support of Maryknoll priest, Fr. Roy Bourgeois, who has been told to recant his support for women's ordination or be removed from the priesthood. The letter that affirms primacy of conscience was delivered, Friday, July 22nd, to Fr. Edward Dougherty, Superior General of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers in Maryknoll, NY.

---Bishop Markus Buchel, bishop of the diocese of St. Gall in Switzerland spoke out openly for women's ordination on Easter Sunday/2011 in an explosive statement in the St. Galler Pfarreiblatt [St. Gall Parish Paper]. He said:: "We must search for steps that lead there," "I could imagine that women's diaconate could be such a step."Regarding priesthood for women, Büchel said, "We can pray that the Holy Spirit enables us to read the signs of the times."

--- Bishop William Morris, from Australia, was forced to resign by the Vatican for wanting to discuss married priests and women priests as a possible response to the shortage of priests. The National Council of Priests of Australia released a statement in support of Bishop Morris.

----A male priest co-celebrated the ordination liturgy of Marta Soto, the first woman priest ordained in Latin America.

--- Women priests continue to grow. The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests will ordain 3 women in the first ordinations in Virginia on Sept. 10, 2011. 
-- The Vatican is in free fall. On July 20, 2011, Prime Minister of Ireland, Enda Kenny accused the Vatican of covering up child- sexual abuse allegations against clergy and of "downplaying" the "rape and torture of children" to uphold its reputation and referred to the "dysfunction, disconnection and elitism, the narcissism that dominates the culture of the Vatican to this day.”

Women priests are a holy shakeup that offer a renewed priestly ministry of living the Gospel of justice for all and justice for women in the church! Now our brothers in the Catholic clergy and hierarchy are joining us as companions on the journey.
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests is in the United States and Latin America.

Czechoslovakia’s Secret Church

Few knew that Rome knew married men and women were catechized and ordained in Eastern Europe during our time.This is a wonderful story of the Spirit moving to minister grace, love and forgiveness against all odds.  Like all of us who are being ordained  under the oppression of today's hierarchical leaders, they admit the ordinations are valid-but will not recognize them.  From what "Spirit" do these mandates rise?