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Fr. John Bonavitacola A Letter from Fr. John

An Unexpected Journey

11-14-2018Fr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

The scheduled meeting of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops started off with a sniper attack from the Vatican. As you may have read, the Vatican insisted the US Bishops NOT vote on their proposals to deal with Bishop Accountability and the Investigation of the McCarrick Affair. Some have said that the Vatican pulled the rug out from under the Bishops. But that is way too kind. The Vatican bureaucratically castrated the US Bishops, at least those who still had some. And amazingly it seemed like many Bishops were ready to plow full steam ahead until the Vatican pulled a trump card. But was it really?

The US Bishops, or any country’s Bishops Conference does have its own jurisdiction and the right to make particular law. Obviously, an individual Bishop’s Conference can’t make universal law. But the Vatican insisted it wanted to wait until the February meeting of all the world’s head of Bishop’s Conferences to deal with the issue of clerical sexual abuse in a uniform way. But if the Vatican was concerned that what the US Bishops were legislating would conflict with universal norms or law they could easily have sent the Vatican’s top Canon Lawyers to advise the Bishops and make sure there would be no conflict or after the February Meeting they could always amend what the US enacted. What’s even more cynical is that the Vatican waited until Sunday afternoon to let Cardinal DiNardo, the USCCB President know of this directive.

Strange how in 2002 when the US Bishops legislated the Dallas Charter which deals with priests who abuse, the Vatican went right along and even was amenable to changes in the Code of Canon Law based on what the US Bishops had done. But when it came to the accountability of Bishops the Vatican clearly put the brakes on. At least now we know that the source of corruption is the Vatican officials. It seems like they have a lot to hide when it comes to protecting the malfeasance of Bishops and the appointment of McCarrick’s partners in crime who are currently Bishops of Dioceses.

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