I’ve never considered the argument as Tom Roberts puts it, but his comparison in a devastating take-down of Archbishops Dolan and Chaput’s anti-Catholic meme is well-considered:
When it comes to laity, there’s little tolerance for general sentiments of sorrow or ceremonies of general forgiveness. The church demands specificity, the sin must be named in order to receive absolution, we are taught, and egregious public scandal requires a public accountability.
We’ve seen none of that. No bishop has yet given a detailed report of his complicity in the scandal. No bishop has detailed, without being forced by public pressure or civil authorities, his personal culpability in the scandal. We’ve seen some moving reconciliation services, where bishops generally apologized for what was done to victims by priests; we’ve seen priests tossed unceremoniously and with little or no due process, to the sidelines; we’ve heard endless apologies for the fact that children were abused. But there’s been no full voluntary accounting for what the hierarchy did in the church’s name to hide predators, buy silence and re-victimize victims in sometimes vicious legal proceedings.
The bishops betrayed the community’s sacramental life, and no amount of pointing the finger at others will heal that breach.