The crisis ripping apart the Church isn’t a result of misconduct by priests. If these cases had been handled in a timely, transparent fashion, it would have been avoided. As Cardinal Dolan points out in his column (CNY, Aug. 30), the cause is the decades-long dereliction of duty by the hierarchy who chose secrecy over honesty, and allowed this problem to mushroom into a scandal which continues to rock the faithful in the U.S., Ireland, Australia, Colombia, etc. As a lifelong Catholic now in his 70s who loves the Church, the pain, disappointment and sense of betrayal I feel is deeper than I can express, and is shared by every Catholic I know. No rote declarations of contrition by bishops and cardinals can restore trust and begin the process of healing.
I would suggest that as a gesture of humility and remorse, the American bishops as a body submit their resignations to the Pope. Even if he declines them, a declaration of responsibility has been made.
I weep for my Church and pray the Holy Spirit will show us the way forward.