The Archdiocese of Chicago’s Mundelein Seminary is beautiful. Set on 600 leafy acres, its buildings merge the aesthetics of the American Colonial Revival with the motifs of great Roman edifices. Its library is expansive. Its chapel is a gem. Mundelein is the kind of place that is hard to leave.
When their seven-day retreat at Mundelein ends Jan. 8, some of the U.S. bishops may be reluctant to leave the seminary. But if they are not eager to go home, it will not be because of the setting.
When they depart, many bishops will find their retreat was not an end to the siege under which they find themselves.
Once home, they will face the same questions, the same investigations, the same demand for answers that they left behind. And they will face the same impatience from Catholics across the country.
The president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, for example, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, will likely face questions about his dealings with the Vatican in the lead-up to the bishops’ meeting: he will be asked whether he knew earlier than he let on that the conference would not be permitted to vote on a reform package of policies that he championed.
Back in Houston, DiNardo will also face questions from county prosecutors who have accused the archdiocese of withholding evidence during a police investigation.
DiNardo will not be the only U.S. cardinal with problems when the retreat comes to an end.
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