As I just wrote, wouldn't it be grand, as the new pope talks about the supremacy of conscience in the Christian life and our obligation to follow our informed consciences, if the voices of lay Catholics speaking out of the depths of their consciences played a primary role in American Catholic public discourse? Instead, we see church leaders like Cardinal Dolan representing our church in the American public square as if no voice counts except the voice of a bishop or a pope.
Here are some insightful comments that appeared on this blog yesterday in response to the revelation that Cardinal Dolan sheltered funds in the Milwaukee archdiocese as abuse survivors made claims against the archdiocese--and that Dolan wrote for Vatican approval of his arrangement for the "improved protection" of those funds:
You had better believe that when Dolan petitioned for the transfers into trust (loaded word!), every diocesan bishop in the USA knew what he was doing and why he was doing it. And they voted him in as their USCCB president!
People who still believe that bishops have any moral authority are themselves devoid of moral sense.
Anybody else in the U.S. admitting this in writing would be looking at the better part of a decade in a Federal prison.
Seems a simple solution to me: charge him with fraud and throw him in jail. Same with priests who are convicted of abuse. Protect people from both these crimes.
About 2 years ago I woke up one morning after years of agonizing and decided that I could no longer participate in the church. I woke up and thought, I can no longer accept the moral authority of bishops, priests and pope that participated in, and hid the child sexual abuse. I do not see in the near future the role of women as being anything but subservient to men of the church.
I was done.
I was a life long catholic (56 years), 12 years of catholic schooling, lay minister and had been active in my parish.
I had been disillusioned for a long time. I have close friends and they choose to stay and fight.
I felt that to stay is to condone what went on and continues to go on.
The moral authority of Cardinal Dolan? Really? He is a disgrace. I am surprised that catholics are not rising up in protest against who is leading their church.
I was ashamed to call myself catholic and I felt powerless to change anything in the church.
No wonder catholics are leaving in droves.