Bishop Thomas Daily of Brooklyn is defending himself in a lawsuit against the diocese by claiming that he doesn’t work for the diocese. Specifically, the bishop is claiming that he can’t be a co-defendant in a lawsuit that includes the diocese and several other officials, because of a state law designed to protect unpaid officers and directors of non-profits from legal liability. The bishop’s lawyer claims that Daily is unpaid and therefore can’t be sued.
I think that’s a bit disingenuous. The bishop may not get a paycheck every week, but he certainly receives benefits—room and board and all his other expenses. And I’m not sure if this is still true elsewhere, but the Archdiocese of Boston is a corporation sole in the name of the Archbishop; i.e. legally the bishop is the diocese.
I guess the theology of the Church’s hierarchy and the role of the bishop in the local Church can get set aside when legal matters arise. Just like a lot of Catholics do, elements of the faith get put in a box to be brought when convenient.