This is punishment?

This is punishment?

For the crime of running down a man and leaving him to die in the street, Bishop Thomas O’Brien has been ordered to do community service, including man a help line for people who want him to visit their sick and dying relatives. This is punishment? This is what a priest is supposed to do anyway. He’s administering the sacraments.

What’s slightly more disturbing is that his brother bishops have done even less to censure him. He was allowed to retire in good standing and retains all the privileges of his office as bishop emeritus. He’s a convicted felon! Does the Church have nothing to say about that? And even if he wasn’t convicted of this crime, what about all he did to allow perverts to molest kids? What about other bishops in the same position? Have any of them suffered any canonical penalty, any censure by the Church? Not Weakland, Law, Dupre, O’Connell, Ziemann, and on and on.

I know that ultimate justice comes from God and that mercy is a virtue, but for mercy to be given a judgment has to be given first. We haven’t seen even that yet. What lesson about justice is the Church teaching us by this omission?

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli

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