We don’t have church police

We don’t have church police

After the Vatican refused to receive a letter from an Arizona prosecutor seeking help in getting two fugitive priests returned from Ireland and Mexico, the acting administrator of   the Phoenix diocese has said he will try to order them back, but doesn’t think it will do any good.

The prosecutor said he is still pursuing the priests through civil extradition, but that begs the question of why it’s so important to get the Church to bring them back. Granted it may seem easier to just have them ordered back, but the Church is not like the military. A bishop can tell a priest to do something, but he doesn’t have church police at his command to enforce the order. I mean these guys are already accused of abusing kids and then running away. Disobeying an order to return to stand trial isn’t much of a leap.

  • We used to have ‘church police’—and church prisons. We have church law, but little to enforce it, ever since the Enlightenment. Most people don’t really mind, but it was pretty silly to send a letter to the Vatican.

  • I’m not sure, but I don’t think the US has an extradition treaty with the Vatican. In any case, none of these priests are believed to be in the Vatican. They’re in Mexico and Ireland.