Monday, January 30, 2006


For the five of you who read this from outside the Chicago area, apologies for the extended local rant. But things like this aren't just happening in Chicago--we wouldn't have three dioceses in bankruptcy right now if clerical sex-abuse were an isolated problem.

My point: We Catholics can no longer afford to have the church run by an ordained-only boys' club. It doesn't make sense financially, it doesn't make sense theologically. I've got nothing against the office of bishop, but I am against ecclesiastical tyrants. Our church would be much better off if bishops were supported by and even responsible to a local church council that included lay people with varying expertise as well as the ordained, religious, and lay pastoral ministers.

There's plenty of precedent in church history for this kind of arrangement, but we're never going to get it as long as laypeople keep writing their checks and wringing their hands instead of demanding real structures of oversight and accountability--and not just another "advisory" board. The baptized deserve no less.


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