Don’t give your bishop a dime of charity
By Marc Thiessen March 6, 2019 | 6:52pm | Updated
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On Ash Wednesday, the holy season of Lent began — and so did the annual fundraising drives by many of the nation’s Catholic bishops. Don’t give them a dime.
Last fall, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops was supposed to vote on a resolution to create a special commission to investigate bishops who cover up sexual abuse. At the last minute, Pope Francis barred the bishops from holding the vote.
But it isn’t clear the resolution would have passed. The bishops did vote on a nonbinding resolution that would have urged the pope “to release all the documentation that can be released consistent with canon and civil law regarding the misconduct of Archbishop [Theodore] McCarrick.” As they debated the wording, the National Catholic Register reports, “they could not even agree on the inclusion of the word ‘soon.’ ”
Even the watered-down resolution was rejected 137-83, with three bishops abstaining. Want to know how your bishop voted? You can’t. When I asked the US Conference of Catholic Bishops for the roll call, a spokesman replied, “Sorry, the votes are anonymous, so we don’t know who voted for what.” That’s their idea of transparency.
The situation in Rome is no better. This year, Francis reportedly informed Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley that he would not authorize a full-fledged probe into the McCarrick coverup.
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When your pastor hands you an envelope, hand it back empty — or better yet, send your bishop a letter explaining that he will get no financial support until the conspiracy of silence is ended and corrupt bishops are held accountable.
I offer this advice with a heavy heart, because I am, and will always remain, a faithful Catholic. I will never leave the church for one simple reason: I will not let Judas separate me from Jesus. But let’s be clear: There are Judases in the ranks of today’s successors of the apostles. They covered up or ignored sexual misconduct and moved around predator priests — and continue to do so. They made secret payouts to victims while requiring them to sign confidentiality agreements. They were told about McCarrick’s serial abuses and did nothing — in many cases because McCarrick helped them rise to powerful positions.
The church isn’t a democracy, nor should it be. It exists to spread the views of its founder, not its followers. But that doesn’t mean that the laity must tolerate the bishops who have overlooked, ignored or covered up abuse. We must demand every bishop who did so be held to account and removed from office. Clearly the outcry of the victims is not enough. We have to vote with our pocketbooks.
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Sadly, I have to agree.
The laity mist hold the leadership accountable.
These scandals and the cover ups have cost the organization Church any moral authority.
I doubt it can be saved.
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