Thursday, August 29, 2013

Another bishop gone bad

Here's another delightful example of a Bishop who doesn't have a good grasp of the Church's teachings, and even if he did, he wouldn't be likely to think it his duty to support them.

The Bishop conflates two separate issues which the Church's moral teaching depends upon keeping separate: a inclination to sin, which involves no guilt; and giving in to that inclination, which does.

I can't help but think of the many defenses offered after Pope Francis' ill-considered remarks on the plane coming back from Rio's WYD, the infamous "Who am I to judge?" statement. Notice that the secular reporter prefaces his question with a reference to that very statement.

So here's the thing. The laity is constantly reminded that the Bishops are successors of the Apostles. At that point, the conversation is usually headed for some variant of "And so don't criticize your Bishops when they fail to uphold clear and firmly held teachings." That would sit better if the Bishops were subject to ANY discipline. In secular corporate terms, we have something like a team of regional Vice Presidents who are autonomous and above correction or removal if they start to go off the rails. Oh, you might be transferred to another Diocese, perhaps a less prestigious one, but that's the extent of it. I know, I know, the Church isn't a secular corporation. But is that really a good reason why it should be run with less accountability than a secular corporation?

Can someone explain to me why Bishops are allowed to wallow in error for years, while the laity in their dioceses are told to shut up because their Bishops will eventually reach mandatory retirement age after doing just a few more years — or decades — of damage to souls? (Roger Mahony comes to mind). If the Apostle your bishop chooses to model himself after is Judas, is there no recourse?