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There Are Only 2 Things an American Bishop Can Say Now…

Last week a young Catholic woman asked me what our bishops are likely to do. “They’ll meet in November,” I began—and she interrupted with a shout: “In November??!!” She could not believe that, in the midst of this crisis, Church leaders would be content to wait several weeks before doing… anything. I share her frustration. I think Ezekiel shares it, too.

I said above that the time for statements has passed, but that was a slight exaggeration. There are two sorts of statements that a bishop could issue to catch my attention and earn my respect:

  1. “I recognize that I have betrayed my people and irreparably damaged my credibility as a pastor of souls and a teacher of the faith. I resign.”
  2. “I have done my best, despite my failings, to fulfill my episcopal duties. But my colleagues, [here supply names], have betrayed their people and irreparably damaged their credibility as pastors of souls and teachers of the faith. I call upon them to resign.

New statements, new policies, new committees, new procedures cannot resolve this problem. If our bishops cannot institute serious reform, then we need new bishops.

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