A reader responds to Dreher and Me
The problem with how Dreher and NCR see this is that they are not looking at it in the historical context of the Church.
We can’t expect the Pope who is the Bishop of Bishops to take an immediate actions to investigate, adjudicate, and reform — but there’s a precedent for this in the form of delegated authority.
The Pope could appoint a “legate a latere” –that is a cardinal with the power to act in the name of the Pope in this area. We have Caesar’s legate in the person of Keating — who I believe is window-dressing, what we need now is the Peter’s legate.
The online Catholic Encyclopedia has a helpful entry on “legate”.
The current nuncio Abp Montalvo has a diplomatic mission and not delegated with the power to oversee the overseers, but he is properly called a legate.
I believe that given a choice between submission to Rome and submission to the Frank Keating Commission is a hard choice that American Catholics will have to face, but only if Rome acts as Rome should in this case and throws a red hat into the ring. Otherwise we will see the successors of the Apostles judged by… Excuse me, exactly who has laid hands on Frank Keating anyway?
So NCR’s point isn’t so much that Keating isn’t up to the job, but that Keating is the bishop’s man — a sort of Thomas Beckett in reverse. So we can hope that Keating has the moral courage of a Beckett to do the right thing which is precisely Dreher’s point.
Given a choice between no legate from Peter and a legate from Caesar with the madate to clean the Augean stables. I will
take the man and not the empty chair.