I figured as much
Pete Vere basically sez Kevin Orlin Johnson (who I mistakenly took for a canonist) is wrong. Several other readers concur with Pete in email. One also notes, “The ridiculousness of Johnson’s statement can be further shown by the fact that in 1853, when Bedini supposedly wanted to remove all bishops, St. John Neumann was Bishop of Philadelphia.” For myself, I don’t know if the historicity of Bedini’s scorched earth recommendation is accurate or not. Given Johnson’s misreading of canon law, it’s also quite on the cards that Dr. Johnson misread the tale of Bedini. But even if it’s an accurate account of what Bedini really recommended, the idea of deposing St. John Neumann on the basis “Better the innocent be punished than that the guilty escape!” seems to argue rather well for my point that Johnson’s recommendation is, to put it mildly, draconian.