Monday, November 12, 2018

What's left of bishops' moral authority is on the line this week

From NCR-

Greetings from Baltimore! This morning, we are waiting for the address by the papal nuncio, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, as well as the presidential address of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo. After that, the bishops will be engaged in spiritual discernment for the rest of the day.

One of the main issues the bishops will be discerning is how to respond to the clergy sex abuse mess, which requires diagnosing how they got to this point. While there is general agreement on many aspects of what caused the crisis, there are two meta-narratives about causation that are not complementary. Some argue that the core problem is the spread of homosexuality among the clergy, which has been made possible because of lousy moral theology and weak episcopal leadership.

Proponents of this meta-narrative ignore both expert and common opinion. The 2011 John Jay study indicated homosexuality is not a risk factor. Common sense would tell you that priests had access to the boys' room and not the girls' room and that in many of the years surveyed, there were not yet even altar girls. Interestingly, if you consult the news articles published at the time the John Jay study was published in 2011 (for example, this article by Carol Zimmerman published by the bishops' own news service, CNS), even conservative bishops like Archbishops Robert Carlson, Timothy Dolan and Allen Vigneron affirmed the findings and did not question them. The people complaining about the report were SNAP and other victims' advocacy groups, and their complaint was not that the report let gays off the hook.

More here-

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