Meeting Of U.S. Bishops Reveals A Catholic Church Mired In Confusion [TheFederalist]

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  1. World Press

    World Press Active Member

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    Meeting Of U.S. Bishops Reveals A Catholic Church Mired In Confusion

    The Bishops In Their Labyrinth

    The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops met in Baltimore this week hoping to address the sex abuse crisis. Instead, they made things worse.

    By John Daniel Davidson
    NOVEMBER 16, 2018

    BALTIMORE, Maryland — The one thing the bishops of the American Catholic Church had to do this week at their biennial gathering was to make it clear to a watching world that they take the sexual abuse crisis seriously. They needed to convey that they understand the anger and outrage caused by the alleged sexual misdeeds of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, and by the abysmal response of many other bishops to similar allegations. They needed to take action—any action—to ensure that something like the McCarrick case never happens again.

    Somehow, they failed to do this.

    Not only did they fail, but they managed to convey nothing so much as confusion and impotence in the face of an unimaginably ham-fisted intervention by none other than Pope Francis himself. No sooner had the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops convened Monday morning in the swanky ballroom of the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel, than conference president Cardinal Daniel DiNardo announced that he’d received a letter from the Holy See the day before. It instructed them to delay consideration of two proposals that would have formed the basis for a substantive response to the sexual abuse crisis: a new code of conduct for bishops and the creation of a lay commission to investigate bishops accused of misconduct.

    The letter, which came from a powerful office in the Roman Curia called the Congregation for Bishops, explained that the Vatican wants the American bishops to wait until February, when Pope Francis will convene a synod about the sexual abuse crisis in Rome with the heads of bishops conferences from around the world. (It is a testament to Rome’s disconnection from the reality of events in the United States that the Holy See didn’t think this delay, announced in this way, would cause outrage and scandal among the laity in America.)

    The bombshell visibly upset many of the gathered bishops, most of whom had no idea such a directive from Rome was coming. After the church’s “summer of shame”—McCarrick, the Pennsylvania grand jury report, the Viganò letter, reports of abuse and harassment in seminaries—approving these two measures, while by no means a cure-all, was supposed to be a turning point for the U.S. church hierarchy. It was more or less the entire purpose of the conference.

    However, two American bishops in particular almost certainly must have known beforehand that an intervention from Rome was coming, because they were appointed by Francis to the Congregation for Bishops, which sent the letter. One is Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who stepped down as archbishop of Washington D.C. last month after the Pennsylvania grand jury report revealed his weak and inconsistent response to sexual abuse claims when he was bishop of Pittsburgh.

    The other is Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, a Francis ally who made headlines in September when he told a reporter that the pope shouldn’t get distracted by the letter from former high-level Vatican official Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò claiming that Francis knew for years about McCarrick but did nothing. “He’s got to get on with other things, of talking about the environment and protecting migrants and carrying on the work of the church,” Cupich said. “We’re not going to go down a rabbit hole on this.”

    Immediately after DiNardo made the announcement, Cupich rose to inform his brother bishops, “It is clear the Holy See is taking the abuse crisis seriously.”

    Except that it is not clear at all. Francis ignored requests from some U.S. prelates to cancel the synod on youth and instead hold a synod on bishops that addresses clergy sexual abuse and the accountability of bishops. Instead, Francis ordered the American bishops to attend a weeklong spiritual retreat in Chicago in January. He also refused DiNardo’s request for a papal representative to be sent to the conference in Baltimore. Perhaps Francis really is taking all this seriously, but he clearly doesn’t want the bishops to take action on their own.

    In the end, the bishops failed even to pass a resolution urging the Vatican to release documentation related to the McCarrick investigation. After hemming and hawing over the resolution’s wording, a few bishops began to grumble that the resolution was unnecessary and inappropriate. Cupich questioned what it would even mean to release documents and later told his fellow bishops to just trust that Francis will do the right thing: “The successor of Peter has said he’s going to be truthful about this, and it seems to me we need to take his word on it.” The McCarrick resolution failed by a vote of 85 to 137.

    Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth unwittingly summed up the entire conference when, complaining about the resolution, he said it “appears like we’re doing something when in fact we’re not.”


    Click here for the rest of the article:
    http://thefederalist.com/2018/11/16/the-bishops-in-their-labyrinth/
     
  2. Brigid

    Brigid New Member Anglican

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    As an ex-Catholic, I'm so glad I got out of there!
     
    Rev2104 and anglican74 like this.
  3. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I know!! What is going on over there
     
  4. Rev2104

    Rev2104 Active Member

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    As a former catholic I feel a profound sadness about this whole situation.

    I also feel so much more justified I left.
     
  5. Brigid

    Brigid New Member Anglican

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    It seems to go back to the corruption in the magisterium in early history. People's sinfulness is amazing!
     

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