The NY Times just figured out that Keating was the Mayor of Potemkinville. Me: I’m realizing I’m irritated with Keating for resigning. As things stand now, the most *political* influence a layperson can wield within the Church is to use whatever bully pulpit he has to praise God for good bishops and make life embarrassing for bad ones. Sorry, but that’s Real Life. (There are other forms of power the laity exercise, but I’m bracketing that for the moment.)
Some people have more prominent bully pulpits than others. A dogcatcher doesn’t have a very prominent pulpit. Frank Keating had the Plum Pulpit in the Land. Instead of staying the course and putting up with heat from Mahony, when the going got tough, Keating got out. Perhaps it’s understandable for a politico to avoid *too* much conflict with the Church. He’s got elections to worry about. But still, it was a golden opportunity for a layman to make life extremely uncomfortable for bad bishops and to praise and huzzah good ones and he threw it away. Maybe they should give the job to Amy Welborn.