[quote="BVM_1221, post:2, topic:180213"]
I don't care, as long as it is one who will DO SOMETHING to punish Priests who commit sexual crimes, and the Bishops who covered it up. As in...turn them over to the legal system after stripping them of all Church protections, positions, and privilages
There are four sins that cry to heaven:crying:
It is not the role of the pope to punish, but to guide. As the shepherd, his role is to guide the bishops to do what has to be done for the good of the Church. Popes do not see themselves as being executioners, but as shepherds and holy men.
Obviously, such crimes are far from holy. But they are only one issue that any pope has to deal with. We must always pray for a pope who can deal with the issues that are presented to him as best he can, not for a pope who will be an executioner. That is not his role.
As to stripping, the only "stripping" that a pope can do to these men is to laicize them, if they are diocesan priests. If they belong to a religious order, you can't even do that. Then, the only thing that the Church can do is to suspend their faculties outside of their religious houses. From that point on, what happens is up to the major superior and the council of the order. The pope cannot take away anyone's priestly powers, even through laicization. He does not have such authority or power. The Sacrament of Holy Orders is permanent. They will always be priests nor can the pope deny them absolutioin or require that any other priest deny them absolution. Once the absolution has been granted, neither the pope nor any Catholic can demand that they be denied the sacraments or full participation in the sacramental and spiritual life of the Church or any parish, especially the Eucharist, which is a privilege for all of us. They simply are reduced to living as lay people, but they remain inactive priests or bishops. There is already such a law in place. Bishops can request immediate laicization of diocesan priests involved in child abuse. Religious superiors can remove and suspend. They cannot request laicization, because religious have both Holy Orders and vows. The process is much more complex. However, both bishops and religious superiors are supposed to cooperate with civil authorities once they have informed the Vatican of the problem.
All that being said, it is one thing for the bishops to cooperate with civil authorities and to create systems to protect children and it is another to build a papacy around the role of an executioner, rather than a pastor and a leader.
Br. JR, OSF :)