Skip links

Maintenance vs. mission

Just when the Long Lent of 2002 was coming to a boil in March of that year, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy, took things from “boil” to “nuclear meltdown” during a press conference presenting John Paul II’s Holy Thursday letter to the priests of the world. Peppered with questions about the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the U.S., Castrillon peremptorily dismissed reporters’ queries, saying that the Pope had other things to worry about, like Middle East peace.

Sound familiar?

There have certainly been ham-handed (and worse) responses to the current crisis from some American bishops, including prominent figures who seem, incredibly, to be taking their cues from the Castrillon playbook. But this is not 2002. And while it isn’t often stressed in mainstream media reporting on the crisis, those with eyes to see, ears to hear, and no click-bait to concoct understand that there is a new resolve among a critical mass of U.S. bishops: a resolve to air out the McCarrick scandal; a resolve to see that bishops are held accountable for failures of pastoral and disciplinary leadership with wayward clergy; and a resolve to be seen to have “gotten it.”

Why? Because those bishops are disgusted with what has come to light in the past two months. And because they know that, unless the bishops get it right this time, and are perceived to be getting it right, their credibility is shot for the next generation and the New Evangelization will be severely damaged.

Read more at Catholic World Report. 

Share with Friends: