Just how independent would this committee be?

Just how independent would this committee be?

By Phil Lawler  | Aug 10, 2018

Bishop Robert Barron has added his own proposal to the mounting pile. He proposes that the US bishops “petition the Holy Father to form a team, made up mostly of faithful lay Catholics skilled in forensic investigation, and to empower them to have access to all of the relevant documentation and financial records.” That’s a step in the right direction; at least he recognizes that the bishops must submit to outside investigators if they want to restore their credibility. Nevertheless…

First, the Barron proposal—a variation on the theme originally introduced by Bishop Scharfenberger has two serious practical problems, as I’ve noted before:

  1. Who names the members of this panel? If they’re chosen by the body of bishops—the group they’re investigating—how independent can they be?
  2. How could this group be assured of the bishops’ cooperation? There’s only one precedent, and it’s not encouraging. Ask Governor Keating.

But Bishop Barron introduces another difficulty in putting forward his proposal:

So lots of commentators—left, center, and right—have chimed in to say that the real cause of the McCarrick disaster is, take your pick, the ignoring of Humanae vitae, priestly celibacy, rampant homosexuality in the Church, the mistreatment of homosexuals, the sexual revolution, etc. Mind you, I’m not saying for a moment that these aren’t important considerations and that some of the suggestions might not have real merit. But I am saying that launching into a consideration of these matters that we have been debating for decades and that will certainly not admit of an easy adjudication amounts right now to a distraction.

A distraction from what? If one of those matters really is the fundamental cause, then it must be discussed. Bishop Barron’s list of “distractions” could, unfortunately, be taken as a list of subjects that would be taken off the table before the independent committee began its work.

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3 comments on “Just how independent would this committee be?

  1. A half a dozen Ivy League Opus Dei modernists who spend very little time in Catholic institutions ought to be able to figure it out and clean things up, right?

  2. Father Martin will be appointed to the commission to keep things clear of focusing on homosexualism too much. Obviously, someone from Harvard Law in Opus Dei who can speak JP2 theology of the body lingo. At least one unattractive modernist spinster theology of the body sexpert Velma type. Has to be a charismatic on the panel. A couple of psychologists. A seminary professor. At least one advocate of women’s ordination or crusader against celibacy. In keeping with Land O’Lakes there should be a Rockefeller Foundation puppet and glad-handing masonic initiate. A liberal modernist who blames it all on conservative JP2 and clericalism.

  3. With all due respect for the bishop and his office, it is NOT a “distraction” to point out that the Sexual Revolution, the infiltration of the clergy and seminaries by predatory homosexuals during the years of the gay movement in the 1970s, and the modernist heresy with its liberal situation ethics, have all contributed to the current criminal crisis in the Church. How is it a “distraction” to point out some of the major causes of this serious problem afflicting the priesthood and compromising the mission of the Church? When the major problem in the Church is the Lavender mafia criminal networks and predatory homosexualism, how can you address the crisis and not talk about predatory homosexuals pretending to be priests? This no time for modernist bishops to get squeamish and bashful about this problem. You had a bishop groping and trying to bugger seminarians (who was then made a cardinal). What kind of problem do you call that? It’s not just clericalism or excessive secrecy by diocesan bureaucrats.

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