While protecting the Church.
I saw a headline declaring, 'The new scandals concerns bishops and cardinals, not priests.'
The byline links to a CNA article by Ed Condon concerning the resignation of Honduran Bishop Juan José Pineda Fasquelle, accused of sexual/financial misconduct, which many knew about. To say these scandals involving bishops and cardinals is new because they don't involve priests is in some ways another enabling edit in the Catholic-guilt inducing practice of cover-up.
Bishops are priests.
It's a good article nonetheless, which raises innumerable questions and also gives one really, really good reason why offending bishops aren't kicked out of the Church:
While laicization clearly expels a bishop from the hierarchy, it effectively ends any oversight church authorities have over him. Contrary to popular conception, a laicized bishop does not cease being a bishop, sacramentally speaking. Once conferred, sacraments like baptism, ordination, and episcopal consecration cannot be undone. If Pineda were laicized and he went on to seek ministry in unauthorized settings, sacraments he administered, including priestly ordinations, would still be valid. The potential damage and confusion which could be done by a rogue bishop, outside of church control, is enough to make laicization highly unlikely. - CNA
The 'priest scandal' broke at the beginning of the Millenium, but it was brewing and enabled long before that. Cardinal Spellman has popped up in the news since the McCarrick scandal emerged - these guys go back back to the mid-20th century and before.
With the news that Hunthausen just died, I came across an interesting footnote regarding a former auxiliary in the archdiocese of St. Paul/Mpls, Bishop Lawrence Welsh, who had been consecrated in 1978 as Bishop of Spokane. When scandals surface concerning Welsh in 1986, apparently Archbishop Hunthausen had known Welsh and his 'problems', but Welsh remained in office. Welsh's career timeline takes us back to the 1970's - demonstrating how far back all of this denial and cover-up extends, as well as the protective sanctuary given to perpetrators by bishops and cardinals.
In 2002, at the height of the sexual abuse crisis, it emerged that police had informed him in 1986 about an investigation into the Bishop of Spokane, Lawrence Welsh in 1986. Police met with Hunthausen following an accusation that Welsh had attempted to strangle a male-prostitute during an encounter in Chicago that year. While Welsh admitted to the encounter, no further action was taken and he was allowed to continue in episcopal ministry. - CNA
Welsh remained in office until 1990 when he resigned after an arrest for drunk driving. The following year he was made auxiliary bishop of St. Paul/MPLS. This even after the 1986 incident involving a male prostitute:
On September 9, 1986 police officers of the Spokane Police Department were assigned to investigate charges that Welsh had tried to strangle a male prostitute in Chicago. The accuser also said that Welsh may have committed murder in the past. Welsh admitted to police that he picked up a drug addict and took him to his hotel room for counseling. On further questioning Bishop Welsh admitted to putting his hands all over the victim's body. - Source
Thus my point, it has always been a problem of bishops, and those bishops get promoted and those bishops pick and choose which policy to follow, and they ordain and consecrate and promote their favorites.
Why am I writing about this crap?
Because in and around the same time Welsh was made an auxiliary here in this archdiocese, I approached Bishop Bullock (1980-1987 auxiliary) with the hopes of having a Courage chapter erected in the archdiocese, and also confided to him my troubles concerning certain confessors in the diocese. Namely the gay priests who told me homosexual acts were not sinful. He feigned surprise and said he was not aware of gay priests in the archdiocese. Maybe it was 'mental reservation'? Maybe he had actually accepted one aspect mentioned in CDF documents that one doesn't label people like that. You know, you can't say gay. If only I had known to say SSA - maybe then ... nah, not even then.
Note bene Poodles: Don't get mad at me because this stuff bothers me - I write about it because writing helps me develop my thought - it helps me think things through. I use the blog to document and remember. This is a personal web log, a sort of diary - with public access. That said, these latest stories should really bother the Dubia Brothers as well as every career-minded cleric, but I think they all know about it, just like the rest of us. So I have a new slogan for Fr. Z's coffee mug-bumper sticker business:
"Fuck the dubia - fix the corruption."