The news from the Twin Cities is stunning for the timing so close to last week’s announcement of bishop accountability. But the archdiocese is already paying the cost: literally through bankruptcy, morale-wise through horrific stories of misconduct and illegal activities, and on the front of evangelization–not to mention believers scandalized into the belief that the Church has left them.
With this story, I recommend ignoring the echo chambers of abuse allies and traditionalist Catholics.
The former suggest this is a small thing, and children remain in danger. Not quite. This is very big news. And thanks to lay people being urged to awareness and vigilance, children in our society have likely never been safer. This is certainly true in churches.
The latter characterize recent resignations as part of a de-Ratzingerization of the episcopacy. I find that to be a grave insult to the pope emeritus. Pope Benedict may have been unaware of the extent of cover-up in the episcopacy. But to associate bishops who have misbehaved or even engaged in criminal and immoral activity with him, as part of an ideology of Catholic retrenchment, is akin to throwing the other guy who wears white under the bus.
All people fall short of God’s glory. And they sin. Even bishops. Even faithful, orthodox, culturewarring Catholics. Liberal bishops have certainly blundered, too. Thing is, nearly all of those are retired or dead.
The best thing, I think, is to pray for these dioceses, their bishops, and their people. Breathe in relief or be concerned, as appropriate.