The United States should be placed under interdict


Last year I worked with a corporation which experienced three safety events in the span of a month. There were no fatalities. Only one person required medical treatment, while the other two events were “near misses.” The company’s response was a nationwide TOTAL WORK STOPPAGE to reevaluate safety practices. While this was a costly move, it demonstrated their dedication to the safety of every person involved on their job sites. From a purely practical perspective, it is also cheaper to keep your workmen safe than paying for medical treatment and/or litigation.

I am grateful for Pope Francis’ invitation to all of the faithful to join him in prayer and fasting. However, I contend that interdiction would be a strong, appropriate response to the abuse crisis which has been plaguing the U.S. Church for decades. It is not seemly for a secular corporation to take more immediate and dramatic action to protect people from minor injuries than the Church takes to protect children from abuse.


Why should the faithful be punished for the sins of some of the members of the clergy?


I do get what you are saying but a safety measure in a workplace situation is a LOT different than a sexual abuse crisis in the Church. Could the Pope shut down the Church, ALL Catholic Churches until he met with every bishop in the world? DON’T THINK SO!!! BUT I honestly think that he actually does need to meet FACE TO FACE with every single Bishop ASAP. He needs to be one on one with them and seriously see what they know, don’t know or at least what they plan to do in their area. This is not a Oh the “big boss” is way over there so he won’t know what we the “little bosses” over here are doing. THE “BIG BOSS” the Pope needs to see face to face each and every man who is called and installed as a Bishop and tell it like it is. The Holy Spirit is guiding the Pope in matters of the Faith and the Church so I would honestly believe face to face meeting with every Bishop with all of the written evidence in front of him to refer to would definitely be a step in the right direction. He is the Shepherd that the Catholic Church is entrusted to. It all stops at his door. If “heads have to roll” , “offices have to be cleared” , clergy has to be laicized so be it! better to do that then to let the rot & filth continue in God’s Church. What’s better a smaller holier clergy in authority or a larger “who knows what in authority” all it is. This is the Catholic Church we are talking about, The Church founded by Jesus Christ that has stood for over 2000 years. It’s worth cleaning out and shaking things up if it makes it better for all who serve in Her and belong to Her.


What an awesome idea. Let’s also do a TOTAL WORK STOPPAGE on all the public schools. And a TOTAL WORK STOPPAGE on extracurriculars, like gymnastics and swimming and football and stuff. And a TOTAL WORK STOPPAGE on clubs, like Boy Scouts and stuff. And a TOTAL WORK STOPPAGE on all the other non-Catholic churches. And a TOTAL WORK STOPPAGE on every other institution I can’t think of, where predators put themselves in a position of respect and trust.


My thoughts exactly. Why deprive the Church in America from the sacramental graces it so desperately needs at this time? Why punish the people for the actions of some of the clergy? All interdict is likely to accomplish is either disobedience from those who would administer the sacraments anyway, or else to drive laity from the Church.

What we need right now is prayer, reparation, and real reform, not bold and uninformed assertions about what should be done.



@edward_george1 Father how often does the Pope meet with each and every Bishop in the world? How does the Pope get news of each and every Diocese in the world?


The Pope doesn’t have the authority to shut down the Church, does he? How on Earth (literally) could a human put a stop to God?


The Catholic Church is NOT like Starbucks shutting down all of it’s franchises to have retraining of all of its employees!


Bishops are required to make the ad limina visit to the Pope every five years. They tend to go in regional groups.



Thank You Father! Your answers are greatly appreciated.


Actually, under Canon Law, people, groups, even whole countries can be placed under interdict, which is where the sacraments are highly restricted or even not allowed to be performed. It’s a very severe penalty, and it’s rarely used now, except when certain people incur it automatically for certain offenses.



I am not sure of the feasibility of your suggestion, but obviously something more drastic has to take place. Any bishop or cardinal who behaved in a protective manner with these predatory priests should immediately resign or be removed from the U.S. Catholic episcopacy. The one that comes to mind who was mentioned negatively 12 times in the Pennsylvania report is Cardinal Wuerl of the Washington D.C. diocese. He should be gone by the week’s end if not sooner.


This question strikes me as similar to, “why should my ears experience the discomfort of a fire alarm when it isn’t even my floor that’s on fire?”

I’m not saying that U.S. Catholics are bad and should be punished. I’m saying that the magnitude and gravity of this scandal warrants a response that will get everyone’s attention.


I get what you’re driving at, OP, but what exactly do you want stopped?
Masses? The sacraments?
Last rites?

I can’t speak for anybody else, but I’m currently going through a very challenging season where I need to get to confession monthly, and I go to weekday Masses whenever I can. If I lose access to this, it will have very serious consequences for me.

It kinda sounds like a work stoppage in a hospital—okay, it might provide the staff time for extra training, but what about the patients with an ongoing need?


I think the entire United States needs an EXORCISM!


And once everyone’s attention has been gotten, they will respond in a way that is truly more harm done than good. This sort of thing worked in medieval Europe when society was still Catholic. In post-modern times, it would most likely drive people from the Church. I know of many people who leave for the local “feel-good” megachurch because the (fairly reasonable and decidedly minimal) requirements for faith formation or sacramental prep are just more than they want to put up with. So do you honestly think that placing the entire country under interdict will accomplish anything good?



Its a terrible idea. Especially considering that all of the priests most of the Bishops involved in the scandals are no longer in their positions.
To give people a sense on how bad a situation has to be for a interdict to even be considered, here is a story (not for the faint of heart) of the tar and feathering of a Catholic priest in West Texas in 1922. The Bishop of Dallas considered placing the parish under interdict but decided not to.


The Pope doesn’t micromanage the global Church…or at least he shouldn’t. I also don’t see how he could physically sit down with all 2500 or so ordinaries in the world? Or do you only mean in the USA?


That’s not a bad idea…


Would a church in a big city be chosen for an exorcism? Like in Mexico, they did not let the public in to see it, I don’t think. Maybe that would be a good idea.

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