When will the Holy See devise a means of dealing with bishops who ignore the Dallas Charter, that they created themselves and promised to abide by? Perhaps now.
At Morning Briefing, NCR links to a report in the Asbury Park Press, that Bishop David O'Connell of Trenton was not given any heads up by Newark Archbishop John Myers that a priest who had been convicted of child molestation was coming to the Trenton diocese and would be working around children. Nor did Fugee tell anyone. If Abp Myers wishes to ignore the Dallas Charter, shame on him. But, he certainly has no right to spread his indifference into neighboring dioceses, so that the stench of complicity spreads. If I were the Bishop of Trenton - and I think we can all agree that it is a good thing I am not! - I would be furious at Abp Myers. The average person in the pew does know about the procedures by which a priest can or should move between dioceses. People who think their children are in danger are not likely to paint their anger in narrow strokes. And, these kinds of incidents will continue until Rome comes up with a means on punishing bishops like Myers who have violated the Dallas Charter so that the whole bench gets the lesson: You pledged your word that you would enforce the Dallas Charter. If you decline to do so, you should be removed from your see. The dignity of the episcopacy is not protected by keeping incompetents or worse on their cathedras. Quite the contrary. If Papa Francesco wants to do something to increase the dignity of the episcopacy, he will ask Myers and Bishop Robert Finn for their resignations.
Looking for comments?
We've suspended comments on NCRonline.org for a while. If you missed that announcement, learn more about our decision here.