Which brings me to another issue
As is my custom, I manage to torque off some people for thinking the Pope has a sound theological reason for not firing bishops (“You keep making excuses for these guys!”) and I also manage to torque off people because I refuse to make excuses for these guys (witness my recent arguments with Gerard Serafin in the comments boxes).
What could possibly be going on in my addled head? Basically this: I really do think the bishops are being left in office to bear their cross and experience purgation for their sins in the hope that they will finally figure out what it means to be a bishop. I view it as my duty to extend forgiveness to them and to hope for them, but not to pretend that things are suddenly fine or to overlook their obvious refusals to take responsibility for their actions. Hence my criticisms of Mahony’s mendacities, among others. If he chooses to do something reprehensible (like exploit the piety of his Hispanic flock) then that mendacity should be criticized and he should feel the heat. Heat is, after all, part of what Purgatory is all about. But he should not be despaired of, or hated (as some of my readers appear to think).
Well there, that should piss off everybody! I’m insufficiently Pollyanna for the “bishops can do no wrong” crowd and I don’t want the heads of JPII and the American episcopacy on pikestaffs either, to the dismay of the “Destroy them All!” crowd. Perhaps you folks can get together and start your own blog in opposition to mine! It would be an interesting read, I reckon.