So … when the Vatican says it won’t ordain any bishops for a country until an investigation is complete, is it something like an “episcopal interdict?” Cardinal Marc Ouellet, head of the Congregation for Bishops, has communicated his office will not fill three vacancies in Scotland dioceses. And despite Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s sensational resignation on conclave eve, the investigation continues. Cardinal Ouellet’s office “also wants evidence on the allegations of a ‘gay mafia’, sexual bullying and open sexual relationships in seminaries made in a recent book by a serving priest in Lanarkshire, Father Matthew Despard.”
This could get interesting.
I still think there should be a more explicit connection between the faith witness of an archdiocese or diocese and its status as a red hat see. A scandal-ridden bishop taints his diocese. There should not be red hats for Boston, Philadelphia, or Edinburgh. Or any other archdiocese touched by serious cover-up of criminal clergy. At least not for another round or two of appointments. Additionally, the premiere see of a region should shift to another city. Keep an archbishop in Philadelphia, for example, by all means, because of its size and standing. But the metropolitan should be in Pittsburgh or Hartford of elsewhere.
Even if Pope Francis doesn’t take my suggestion and shake up the hierarchy, it does look good that Rome is getting serious about the cover-up of sex abuse. We’ll see how this plays out in places like Newark.