About removing bishops

About removing bishops

Regarding the whole Dallas mess between Grahmann and Galante, I have a question: If a bishop refuses to step down—and he’s not violated any canon law or Church teaching—what can the Vatican do to force him out? Is it a violation of canon law to refuse to follow the order of the Pope to vacate his see? Can the Pope order a bishop to vacate his see on any pretext? Has it ever happened in the modern era? It’s not like we have a Vatican equivalent of the sheriffs’ deputies who will show up to evict a non-paying tenant.

This sheds new light on the complaints of the last year that the Pope refused to remove Cardinal Law or Bishop McCormack or some other bishop allegedly guilty of gross negligence and/or incompetence. Now, perhaps the rumors were true and Cardinal Law did offer his resignation and the Pope refused to accept it at first; that’s different. But what if McCormack, say, refuses to step down.

Maybe what we need is the Swiss Guard SWAT team that will go into the chancery in the dead of the night, remove the bishop into a black helicopter, change the locks, and be gone by morning. I can think of a few names to go to the top of that list.