One of my readers want to know “Why now? Why not back in April?” Others were confidently announcing yesterday that Law was going to be kept in Rome by JPII to avoid subpoenas and other unpleasantness. WaPo says otherwise.
If my priest-friend’s analysis is right, this all fits the pattern necessary to grasp JPII’s thinking. The problem, pastorally, was that abusers were yanked away from the scene of the crime in the dead of night, thus depriving victims of the chance to face their abusers and vent their wrath (a prelude to forgiveness) and depriving abusers of the necessary experience of seeing the damage they have done (a prelude to serious contrition). JPII has, according to my priest, done precisely the opposite of this un-Christian secular CEO approach by forcing the bishops to remain at their post in the hope (not certainty) that the way of the Cross will bear its hard fruit. This being a prudential judgement, it’s been a case of watching to see how things develop, and I think it obvious that the Pope made the right decision in now removing Law. But I also think it very significant that he his now sending Law back to Boston, not shielding him.
My point is what it has always been: we will not understand this Pope if we don’t take seriously the reality that he is trying to think with the Tradition (including that hard fact of the Way of the Cross). If we try to apply CEO templates here, we will not understand him.