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So you want to criticize the Pope?

By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Mar 27, 2010

It's the responsibility of a diocesan bishop-- not the Pope-- to discipline priests under his jurisdiction who are guilty of misconduct.

It's the responsibility of the Pope, however, to remove and replace bishops who are manifestly unfit to handle their duties.

So if you want to criticize the Pope for his handling of the sex-abuse scandal, criticize him for failing to sack the bishops who have handled their responsibilities so badly. 

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  • Posted by: Gaudete802 - Apr. 03, 2010 10:40 AM ET USA

    The problem with this is that I believe that this action should be taken only after the bishops in question are forced to deal with the scandals and priests of their own dioceses. The best penance is to have to work through the very problem they caused. Removing them immediately simply let's them off the hook so to speak.

  • Posted by: koinonia - Apr. 01, 2010 10:39 AM ET USA

    Not infrequently, the bishops implicated in the mishandling the abuse cases had also built reputations as modernists. The bishops are chosen by the Holy Father so it is impossible to absolve the Holy Father from responsibility, at least to some extent, when evaluating the actions of those he appoints as bishops. It's not just the actions in themselves, but the disturbing hubris that has been exhibited by men whom the public expects to exhibit holiness. Thus the story takes on a life of its own.

  • Posted by: garedawg - Mar. 29, 2010 9:48 PM ET USA

    Can the Pope really fire a bishop? My understanding is that the Pope is not like the CEO of a big company; the bishops have considerable autonomy. Also, if the Pope does tell a bishop to step down and he decides to go into schism, then what?

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Mar. 29, 2010 6:57 PM ET USA

    And that goes for JP II also.

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Mar. 27, 2010 10:10 PM ET USA


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