The heart of the problem

The heart of the problem

In Bishop Daily’s deposition in the Paul Shanley case, we see the essence of so many problems in the Church today laid bare.

The lawyer for the plaintiff, Roderick MacLeish, asks the following question: “If the priest is making statements and they are inconsistent with the teachings of the Church and refuses to stop doing it, you said that one of things that could be done is to suspend him and prevent him from administering the sacraments; is that correct?”

Bishop Daily answers: “I would think that’s possible. But what I’m saying, you are asking the question if he refuses to stop doing it.”

Lawyer: “That’s right.”

Daily: “I would hope that he would be a priest, and if he were a good priest that he would stop doing it.”

Lawyer: “What if he doesn’t? What are the remedies?”

Daily’s lawyer objects, but Daily answers: “I could get a little crude and say send him to the back room but, I mean, he would certainly be talked to and talked to severely, I would think.”

Talk to severely? That’s it? That’s all you’ve got? So if a priest gets in the pulpit and tells his congregation that raping children is fine, you’ll talk to him? Okay, so we’ve given up the rack and burning at the stake, but isn’t there something less than that? How about excommunication? How about a public repudiation of the man?

This is why Ted Kennedy votes pro-abortion every chance he gets and still gets a smile and a handshake when he shows up at his parish in Hyannisport. This is why the second-most “Catholic” state in the country by population, Massachusetts, is also probably the most hard-line pro-abortion. This is why tens of thousands—millions?—of my peers have abandoned the Church and any pretense of living the Christian life despite their baptism. Because it doesn’t mean anything. The whole of Catholic teaching means nothing to some of these bishops. At least that’s all I can figure.

If the teachings of Christ meant something then a priest, a man who stands in persona Christi at Mass, a shepherd of the flock would die before allowing lies to be taught as truth. Christ died even for Hitler, He died for that evil man’s monstrous sins. But even if it were Mother Teresa alone who needed saving, Christ would have died for her comparatively benign sins. The Son of God would suffer so much. Yet, a bishop—a shepherd standing in for the Shepherd—would give the man a tongue-lashing and let him go.

The worst thing Daily can think of for a priest who says boys seduce men and that it’s okay for them to have sex is a good talking to. He says that in “crude” terms, he’s taking him to the back room. God, no! Not the back room! That’s it. I’m so incredulous, I’m repeating myself. I’ll let you all digest that.