I guess they’re in for life.
I see the pope has refused to accept the resignations of two Irish bishops, prompting much outcry on both sides of the Atlantic. Bishops Field and Walsh have been in ecclesiastical limbo for the past eight months. But now what? They have a poisoned relationship with their archbishop. The pope heads to a nearby island next month and there’s a good likelihood Cardinal Newman will get overshadowed. Nobody doubts the Vatican exercises control over local bishops, so the lesson in this affair seems less than penetrable.
A pithy comment has surfaced on a few blogs today:
Good luck re-evangelizing Europe.
That, sadly, might cover it.
Not that I don’t agree with them in principle, but I don’t think reading the SNAP press releases will shed much light on this. We can predict the anger and dismay. There might be a future when sex abuse victims might acclaim, “Our heroes: the pope and bishops.” Accepting the resignations of these two bishops wasn’t going to make that day today. What we have instead is a clear signal from Rome that they’re in charge. And for better or worse, that implies a deeper responsibility for present and future cover-ups even more than it has in the past.
I hope they think they’re really ready for that one.