part 3 of 3:
First of all, people want to know that their children are safe in the church. Second, they want to know that bishops are no longer covering up instances of exploitation. Third, they want to know that bishops are held accountable just like everyone else in the church if they fail in their responsibilities and also if they abuse.
To date, the bishops have spoken of doing these things, but they have not taken any concrete actions. A friend of mine asked, “Why isn’t Cardinal Wuerl on administrative leave pending an investigation into what he did or didn’t do? That would have happened to every single priest in a similar situation.” I told him the truth: “Bishops are not subject to the same rules as priests or laity in the church.”
However, Cardinal Wuerl could voluntarily agree to put himself on administrative leave and call for an investigation. He could invite the Vatican to investigate his situation. So could all of the prelates involved in the McCarrick and Pennsylvania scandals. But they won’t. The reason they won’t is because bishops want to maintain their power and do not believe they have to answer to anyone except the Holy Father. They will not do the right thing for the church and step aside to allow an independent investigation.
Again, as a priest, I certainly believe in the power of prayer. however, I am sick and tired of hearing bishops use prayer as a spiritual weapon to get themselves out of a tough spot. Furthermore, no one believes or trusts them anymore anyway. The only way back from the abyss is action.
The People of God certainly believe in the value of prayer and penance. However, what we all want is for people in power to be held accountable when they fail. To that end, there need to be bishops who willingly submit their resignations and that includes the whole lot of them. Wuerl, O’Malley, Tobin, Dolan, etc. All of them. Their credibility is gone. These guys are old, and have no time to earn back that credibility. Step aside, men, and do what is best for the church. If you do not, I hope the Holy Father will do for us what you will not.
The priest adds, in a follow-up conversation
The two things that should happen probably won’t: 1) dealing with the disproportionate number of homosexuals in the clergy and, 2)bishops actually getting fired. Neither will happen for the same reason — because they are the same people, and they have connections, and are protected. Unfortunately, I just don’t see any real change coming. The real wildcard is Francis. So far he has been quite the disappointment.