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Not lapdogs. But will they heel?

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 14, 2003

A Boston Globe story about the tiff between Gov. Keating and Cardinal Mahony contains this nugget:

Rev. Thomas J. Reese, editor of America magazine, a Jesuit weekly, said any move to depose Keating would be very controversial because he was chosen for his independence. ''He was never supposed to be under the bishops' control,'' he said. ''That was the whole point.

''All he needs to do is apologize and get back to work. The positive aspect of this story is that it clearly shows that Bishop Gregory appointed a committee that people could trust. They're not lapdogs of the bishops.''

Father Reese reveals more than he intends, I think. Keating & Co. are supposed to be independent-- certainly not lapdogs-- but if they displease a powerful prelate they are expected to stop, apologize, and start again, chastened by the experience. They may not be under the bishops' control, but it's very very clear that the bishops aren't under their control.

Remember, this dispute began when Gov. Keating complained that Cardinal Mahony was not supplying the information he had requested. So the real question is not whether Keating is independent; it's whether Mahony will cough up the evidence.

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  • Posted by: - Jun. 14, 2003 12:09 PM ET USA

    This reminds me of the dispute between Mahony and Mother Angelica a few years ago when, as Mother said, Mahony downplayed the Real Presence of the Eucharist in a pastoral letter. Mother, who hands down is more valuable to the Church than Mahony ever will be, was cowed by the Cardinal's ire and threats. Keating won't be. As a layman there's nothing the bishops can do to him except fire him and prove that they are out of control and unaccountable. I hope they do fire him. The Board is a charade.

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