So why is Law still a bishop?
Some of my readers seem to think that Law’s continuance as a bishop shows JPII to be the locus of evil in the universe.
Anyway, as I’ve said before, I think JPII is still attempting to put the US bishops in the position of carrying the crosses they tried to lay on the shoulders of innocents. It’s a risk (though not, I think, a risk for more innocent children), but a risk rather that the bishops will simply not learn and go on trying to shirk their burden. Law’s testimony is depressing, but remember that it’s months old. Some sources have indicated that in the intervening period, he seems to be learning some responsibility and taking up his cross. Others are not so hopeful. Right now, I’m in “Charity hopeth all things” mode. Other bishops strike me as less responsive. In any case, it’s a pastoral strategy by John Paul to try to form bishops who are serious about carrying the cross. (And one, it seems to me, that calls for laity to hold bishops accountable.) There’s no guarantee it will work, but it’s nobly attempted. Particularly since, as Richard John Neuhaus points out, it’s not like there’s a second string team of bishops waiting in the wings. Throw them all out and replace them with new ones and you will have… a bunch of bishops who are just as clueless about their office as the ones we have now.
Nor is it set in stone. There may still well come a time when it is obvious to Rome that some bishop is just flat refusing to bear his cross and learn his office. Such a bishop will go, I think. What I don’t think is that the Holy Father’s policy is prima facie evidence that he is the locus of evil in the universe.