In the dotCommonweal discussion on “other Philadelphias,” a point was raised about Archbishop Justin Rigali being boxed in by the oath he gave in return for his red hat:
I [name and surname], Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, promise and swear to be faithful henceforth and forever, while I live, to Christ and his Gospel, being constantly obedient to the Holy Roman Apostolic Church, to Blessed Peter in the person of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, and of his canonically elected Successors; to maintain communion with the Catholic Church always, in word and deed; not to reveal to any one what is confided to me in secret, nor to divulge what may bring harm or dishonor to Holy Church; to carry out with great diligence and faithfulness those tasks to which I am called by my service to the Church, in accord with the norms of the law.
So help me Almighty God.
” … nor to divulge what may bring harm or dishonor …”
But nothing on taking action against harm or dishonor. Or, through inaction, causing harm and dishonor–not to mention directly causing harm and dishonor.
Maybe it’s time for the Vatican to rewrite this mealymouthed oath. Perhaps emphasizing that diligence and faithfulness to the flock do not go without saying. Or vowing.