the old covenant

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Sep 12, 2007

In a legal brief that probably will not be nailed to the door of the cathedral, lawyers for the Orange, California diocese are asking a court to seal testimony by Bishop Tod Brown.

The Los Angeles Times plays the story straight, but can't resist a reference back to Bishop Brown's grandstanding PR gesture policy statement "Covenant with the Faithful, which is still displayed-- albeit not quite so prominently as before-- on the diocesan web site.

The move to keep the bishop's deposition private appears to conflict with a promise Brown and his diocese made years ago to comfort their followers and quiet their critics as Catholic churches everywhere were stung by sex scandals.

It "appears to conflict." Nicely understated, that.

The pledge, posted on the diocese's website and known as the "Covenant With the Faithful," states that Brown and his brother bishops "will be open, honest and forthright in our public statements to the media and consistent and transparent in our communications with the Catholics of our Diocese."

Or at least that's what the Covenant "appears" to say. But there are subtleties here: nuances of interpretation that we couldn't expect the lay faithful to understand. You can't fit everything on a cathedral door, you know.

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