Looks like bad news at the ad liminas

Looks like bad news at the ad liminas

Uh, oh. Remember when I said that the American bishops’ ad limina visits would be an opportunity for the Vatican to address what they see as the real problems in the Church in the US? I’m afraid we’re starting to see the picture. So far, Vatican officials are telling US bishops to “move beyond” the Scandal and focus on “pastoral and international” issues.

Okay, big caveat here. For one thing, this story comes from the US bishops’ official news agency and is based on what the US bishops told the reporter. In other words, it could be what the bishops want the Vatican to be telling them. On the other hand, based on previous statements by curial officials, it is probably true that Vatican officials are like US bishops in their view of the Scandal, which was summed up so well by Bishop Wilton Gregory: “It is history.” They want it to be in the past. They’ve done the studies, made their apologies, removed the perverts priests, and paid the settlements. Now they want to be done. Except they haven’t addressed the malfeasance of bishops or done the new and comprehensive visitation of seminaries or addressed the problem of chastity among priests and so on.

“We don’t want to concentrate only on sex abuse because our competence is wider. And I think that sex abuse should not hijack the ministry of the church for the next 50 years,” said one doctrinal official.

Why not? It hijacked the ministry of the Church for the last 50 years. And what’s this talk about “wider competence”? The fact is that until the bishops actually deal with the root causes of the Scandal, those cancers in the Church of which the Scandal was only a public manifestation, then moving on is ignoring reality. Now they want to bury their heads in the sand and pretend none of it happened. Sorry folks, but it’s not going to happen.

It will be interesting to observe the Pope’s public addresses to the US bishops and see whether any of this gets mentioned. Based on this article, I’m betting it won’t.

1 comment
  • Your “wider competence” is working only on borrowed time—get a narrow focus on fixing the seminaries, the discipline of priests, monitoring of finances,  “transparency”,  i.e. all the scandal-related issues—or face utter destruction.

    Consider it 50 years of pennance for the bishops.