The last few years have established that a Catholic bishop can be removed from office because of misconduct—unless he enjoys the favor of Pope Francis. Two journalists have illustrated the point this week:
For Catholic World Report, Christopher Altieri looks into the astonishing saga of Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, formerly of the Oran diocese, who is now imprisoned in Argentina for sexual abuse. A secular court found him guilty, but an ecclesiastical tribunal has reached no conclusion and, incredibly, the canon lawyer who defended Zanchetta is now investigating his accusers—with the approval of the Vatican, on an assignment “direct from the Holy Father.”
After listing the steps that Pope Francis had already taken to protect Zanchetta (bringing him to Rome to avoid questions in Argentina, creating a new Vatican post for him, etc.), Altieri writes:
One supposes Pope Francis is not really intent on ruining the psychological and spiritual health of the clergy in Orán, Argentina. One supposes Francis does not care to destroy what little confidence in his own leadership may remain among the faithful of that place. One supposes Francis does not intend to make a mockery of law, government, and common sense.
But it’s getting more and more difficult to suppose.
Then at the National Catholic Register, Edward Pentin compares the Vatican’s treatment of two prelates: Bishop Daniel Fernandez Torrez, who was removed from the Diocese of Arecibo, Puerto Rico; and Bishop Richard Stika, who remains at the helm in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Bishop Fernandez has protested his removal, calling it “totally unjust,” and since March has been seeking a meeting with Pope Francis and an explanation for his removal— neither of which he has been granted. His only known offense is disagreement with other bishops in Puerto Rico, notably Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan. Ironically, Archbishop Gonzalez was himself asked to resign several years ago, because of complaints that included—you guessed it—a failure to act against priests accused of abuse. But Gonzalez remains in office and Fernandez is out.
And Bishop Stika is still in Knoxville, despite a series of serious complaints about, among things, his handling of abuse cases. A Vatican investigation of his leadership was conducted, and the results reported to Rome, but to date no action has been taken. Perhaps, for all we know, no action should be taken. But we know what complaints were lodged against Bishop Stika, whereas we still don’t know the nature of complaints against Bishop Fernandez.
Looking at the obvious disparities in the Vatican’s handling of disciplinary cases involving bishops, one prelate in Rome (who unfortunately chose to speak anonymously) told Pentin: “I fear that decisions depend very much upon who are the friends of the accused bishop and how much they have the ear of the Pope.”
. The above comes from a June 30 posting on CatholicCulture.org
Whatever happens it’s God’s will.
When Pope Francis was elected to take care of the abuse crisis in the Church, I don’t think they meant that he should take care of it by promoting it.
I wish the Catholic internet would obey the Church and the Lord.
This report is so disheartening but not surprising considering all the promotions and demotions of this papacy.
It is not a report. It is one person who knows absolutely nothing about it who read two other articles by people who know absolutely nothing about it.
If you read the articles in the links, you will see that they are comparing apples and oranges. You will also see bias.
This is why the Holy Spirit says “Mind your own business.”
Please don’t be so easily led.
Apples and oranges, I read both articles and find your generalizations incomprehensible. You would do well to document your charge of bias and the insinuation of ignorance by the authors. In particular, Edward Pentin’s article is thoughtfully written, citing a variety of sources close to the issues involved. If Pentin knows nothing then neither do his sources, which means you know more than them all. This I find difficult to believe.
I want to be nice even though you weren’t. I know nothing, You know nothing (I assume.) Altieri knows nothing. Pentin knows nothing. Lawler knows nothing.
Journalist are people who know nothing (or are supposed to act as if in order to be objective), found something out and are telling other people about it.
When a journalist finds something out, he does not state that these are facts. They give sources and the reader is allowed to accept or doubt the sources.
A journalist can write from personal experience but always notes that it is a personal witness.
There is almost always bias in any writing.
Op-eds are biased. That is the whole point of them. These are op-eds.
In which book of the Bible does the Holy Spirit say to mind your own business?
Here I thought that instructing the ignorant and admonishing the sinner were spiritual works of mercy. Can’t do those works of mercy if you mind your own business. But maybe Vatican II changed all that? We’re a new, non-judging church now that minds its own business?
1 Thess 4:11
Who am I? I have no respect for justice. I maim without killing. I break hearts and ruin lives. I am cruel and malicious and gather strength with age. The more I am quoted, the more I am believed. I flourish at every level of society. My victims are helpless. They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no name and no face. To track me down is impossible. The harder you try, the more elusive I become. I’m nobody’s friend. Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same. I topple governments and ruin marriages. I destroy careers and cause heartache and sleepless nights. I wreck churches and separate Christians. I spawn suspicion and generate grief, make innocent people cry on their pillows. Even my name hisses. I am gossip.