What Happens When Bishops Ask a Secular Politician “Stop Me Before I Abuse Power Again”

He will, of course, apply a complete secular template to the situation (with one eye on pleasing the crowd so as to achieve future political aspirations) and be a little bit right and also disastrously wrong. In this case, the politico in question is Frank Keating, who along with various representatives of the Democratic Party at prayer, are supposed to somehow keep our bishops’ noses clean as part of a completely novel, toothless, yet powerful National Review board. So far, the exhalations of that board have consisted of things like Keating’s stupid call for Catholics to refuse to go to Mass and to not tithe if your diocese has mishandled funds.

The first suggestion is stupidity in chemical purity. Right, Gov. Stop worshiping God as a way to restrain sin! That’ll help. The second is more reasonable since bishops who think like CEOs will presumably act like CEOs when the funds stop rolling in. But, of course, the question then becomes, “How long? To what end?” If the payoffs are over in a place like, say, Milwaukee or Boston is there any particular point to diverting tithes somewhere else? Will this just wind up punishing some widows and orphans somewhere? It’s worth asking. And if the diocese has started to clean up its act, then what? Keep punishing them to make sure they get the message? When does reconciliation begin?

Anyway, given the composition of this panel I expect large amounts of folly and a certain amount of common sense to be spoken. But suggesting that Catholics boycott Mass is a helluva stupid way to start. Pathetic that this is what the bishops have come up with as a bizarre device to hold their feet to the fire because they are unwilling or unable to do their office without it.