What Do I Want?

A number of people seem to think my personal preference and delight would be for bad bishops to go on exactly as they have forever. They seem to have gotten this idea because I have been saying, “Like it or not, the Holy Father (who is neither a fool nor wicked) insists on leaving non-criminal bishops in office, and we had better try to understand his thinking if we are going to think in accord with the way things are and not the way we wish they were.”

To clarify: I, like you, prefer things done as easily and efficiently as possible. I very much empathize with the idea of just booting out any bishop who reassigned, covered up, is in denial of same, etc. My natural feelings of repugnance toward them are as strong as yours (and even stronger when they layered on top of this the gross hypocrisy of pretending to be the Voice of Reform, etc.). Like you, I think it shocking, inefficient, an affront to victims, etc. that these guys are left in place.

But: the universe is failing to meet with my demands and since that universe is ruled by a sovereign God (and his Church is governed by a Holy Pope), I am trying to consider the possibility that there may be more than mere efficiency at stake here. To that end, I note that the Cross is terribly inefficient. Jesus had many good years ahead of him, but was instead brutally murdered and (to add insult to injury) replaced by a gaggle of apostles not notable for bravery, intelligence, or fidelity. Indeed, the leader had actually denied him three times and would go on to other moments of conspicuous failure in his office. Still, it seemed to be what Christ insisted on.

I note a similar pattern here. Our bishops are not great men, but it appears that they are still being compelled to do their office in the hope that they might become, if not great, then at least men. As I say, it’s still a gamble, but it appears to be one the Holy Father thinks is worth it. I’m willing to pray that God accomplishes whatever mysterious design he intends to accomplish through the train wreck. I’d prefer he be more efficient, but he does not appear to think my advice valuable.