I was thinking last night that the US bishops have spent a lot of time—no doubt impelled by lawyers and insurance companies—dealing with the legal and liability issues surrounding the Scandal. But what I haven’t seen is a real grappling with the spiritual issues. And by that I don’t mean a couple of reconciliation and healing services.
I mean I haven’t heard of the bishops, individually or corporately, attempting to root out and confront the spiritual foundations of the crisis of priests who violate their vows and commit heinous, sinful acts; their own failures to deal with it properly and, in fact, their actions to cover it up; and the laity’s loss of confidence in their priests and bishops.
Until they’ve come up with a realistic and well-founded plan to address the spiritual crisis in the Church with an appeal to the Holy Spirit based on the words and actions of Jesus Christ, we won’t see a true resolution to it—legal settlements and plea bargains, notwithstanding.