Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Like I was saying...

From Catholic World News' always-trenchant Diogenes:

Just about 10 years after the Bishop of Dallas agreed to step down quietly in the aftermath of a horrendous sex-abuse scandal,... ...and 7 years after the Vatican appointed a coadjutor to succeed him,... ...and 4 years after the coadjutor-- tired of waiting, frustrated by his isolation--- requested and received a transfer to a diocese where he could actually do something,... ... and 7 months after the bishop finally submitted his resignation, as required by canon law, upon reaching his 75th birthday,.... The Pope has accepted the resignation of Bishop Charles Grahmann. Which just goes to show: a bishop can't resist pressure from the Vatican forever. For a decade, maybe. But not forever.

So, as I keep asking quietly over here in my corner: why do these things take so ^&@##$* long?

Suppose you heard about an executive who winked at rampant cheating of customers, and then was kept on by his company in that same job for ten years, just so he could retire without embarrassment. Would you think that company well-run? Would you do business with them? Would you want to work for them?

Most of us would say No to all those questions. We'd want to do business with and work for a firm that held its employees to high standards, and that moved swiftly to remove employees who had violated those standards -- all the more swiftly when the employees were highly placed and enjoying a greater degree of trust.

The Church has to confront the reality of that expectation, and move at the speed the world expects on such occasions, if it wants to start recovering its horribly tattered reputation. I don't say that Bishop Grahmann should have been tossed onto the streets, but might there not have been an opening somewhere in the hierarchy where he could have been shunted off to, in such a way to send a message? Didn't Lesotho, Nepal, or Kiritimati need a papal nuncio, for instance?