“Whew! The Times Shot Itself in the Foot. So We Don’t Look Like Stonewalling Screwups as Much”

It’s not *that* complex Monsignor. Bishops lied to parents and victims and protected abusers for years. They should have the decency to volunteer to take an early retirement and go away (if the Pope is willing to let them) but, as far as I can tell, they don’t. Rather like Howell Raines. However, like the readership of the New York Times, my tribe of laymen isn’t all that upset. So just as people go on reading the Times when it is perfectly evident that their editorial standards are deeply compromised, so the vast bulk of laypeople go on neither rebuking their corrupt elders nor encouraging their good ones. As long as bishops affirm us in our okayness, don’t trouble us about our sex lives, and act as sacramental dispensing machines, we’re willing to overlook a few child rapes. What’s more important? That, or the episcopal affirmation of the popularity of men like William Jefferson Clinton and Ted Kennedy with the room temperature Catholic rank and file? Better a bishop who would never think to challenge Catholic enthusiasm for such men and their policies than a “domineering” bishop who “imposes his beliefs on the People of God” like Fabian Bruskewitz. We laypeople have our standards, you know!


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