An article in today’s LA Times recounts how the Pope is not accepting the resignation of two bishops implicated in decades of sexual abuse cover up in Ireland. It is infuriating, but not surprising, in light of my “gang” theory of politics and loyalty.
First and foremost, the pope must not cede any sovereignty to a secular government, so the Church continues to fight any prosecution. The Pope will NEVER say, “Here, government, I’m turning over two of my people for you to punish appropriately because I CAN’T do it internally.” So the Church continues its external obstruction to civil justice.
Internally, it shows the most loyalty to those who stick by the institution regardless of behavior. The Bishops enter a sham resignation and when the Pope, complicit in this theater of absurd self-protection, denies them. The Bishops can now simply say, “See, we tried to discipline ourselves, but the Pope won’t let us.” Then the Bishops receive the most ironic “punishment” given the events of the last few decades, as they are shuffled into new ministries with new responsibilities. Oh my, the torture and agony of such brutal punishment!!
The RC Church, via the Pope, is demonstrating remarkable resolve in protecting the political institutions of the Church, in lieu of protecting truth, justice, Christian principle (whatever that means) or the abused members of the institution.
Pathetic!… but par for the course. If you’re one of those Catholics staying in the institution to reform it from inside, I invite you to leave this shameful organization and build a life in the company of people actually interested in justice and truth.