This latest episcopal misadventure has sort of a Mahony in February vibe. Or Bishop Bill, if you prefer. Given that Roberto Gonzalez Nieves is not a cardinal, but more than an Outback bishop, I suspect this will go less successfully for his 2014 Confirmation calendar than the Frequently Scheduled One. Perhaps slightly better than the Australian discussion (not promotion) of ordination.
Archbishop Gonzalez’s supposed transgression is covering up sexual predation and other offenses of his clergy. That’s somewhat John Myers material. The level of hierarchy is the same, so maybe this is a preview of the New Jersey prelate’s future. Will he try a cringe-worthy message to his people, who, so far, seem to have a supportive streak?
I beg of you, please, do not send letters to the Holy See with expressions of solidarity. There is only one thing to do in situations like these: Pray.
The Vatican wasn’t impressed with the leak of a February letter he wrote to Cardinal Marc Ouellet at the Congregation of Bishops. Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, didn’t comment on the situation (the Culture of Silence) but he did say the letter’s release was an “indiscretion.”
So let’s try to sum up this thing, aware that no mortal on this planet likely has the whole story. Accusations from a reporter, and the bishop says, “Go home.” A serious investigation leads to three pink slips, and the bishop says nothing. The Vatican accuses, and the bishop claims, “Innocent!” All independent of any kind of truth in the situation.