Saturday 20 October 2018

Why laity must help choose bishops

Our Rome-appointed bishops have been playing the Vatican's game of Pass the Parcel, says Tim Pat Coogan

GIVEN the scale of what is happening in the Irish Catholic Church, debating the departure of five auxiliary bishops has all the rich, ripe irrelevance to the gravity of the situation as had Taoiseach Brian Cowen's axing of five junior ministers.

The only meaningful departure would be that of the Pope himself. As Cardinal Ratzinger he was probably the best informed man in the Vatican, being both Prefect of the powerful Congregation of the Faith and Dean of the College of Cardinals. These offices mean that he was privy to the ever swelling tide of reports on clerical sex abuse which poured into the Vatican during his tenure in office, from every diocese in the world.

Even non-Catholics are free to access the vast accounts of clerical abuse, available on the web, like a vast open sewer. But apparently the Pontiff has no intention of resigning. Instead, he intends to send us a letter. Presumably it will be prepared by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, as were Pope John Paul II's Irish speeches prepared by the then Bishop Daly.

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