March 20, 2005

Parallel Legal Systems II

Here's a classic instance of completely ignoring Catholic Law, an editorial attacking a bishop for denying a notorious gay bar owner right to a Catholic burial.

To our knowledge, McCusker never has been accused of doing anything illegal. If Bishop Brom has information to the contrary, he should step forward with it.

McCusker was doing illegal things, but he did not violate secular law, but Catholic law. In this instance Bishop Brom is not a citizen who must report to someone else this illegality but a high judicial official who must render a decision in accordance with the law.

The legal code of the Catholic Church defines, among other things, who can be buried in a Catholic cemetery. Bishop Robert Brom is charged, as part of his duties, to enforce that legal code. What happens when he does his job? Know Nothings from the San Diego Union-Tribune call it intolerance and seem to think he enjoys doing this for fun.

This is the sort of thing that leads to laxity in applying the rules and a return to the "spirit of love and tolerance" of the recent past that gave us the pedophilia priest scandal. Pedophiles were to be shuffled around and sent back to ministry elsewhere instead of put into remote monasteries where they could contemplate their sins and spend the rest of their years in prayer and penance far away from children.

We all know where that led us, a horrible scandal that consumed the US church and destroyed so many lives. No doubt the Union-Tribune editorialized against episcopal laxity that succored priestly pedophilia as frequently as most other papers if not more but when the bishops actually do something and start tightening up legal enforcement of the rules, the instantly swap back to licentious scolds who want the bishop to just sit back and let the good times roll.

Posted by TMLutas at March 20, 2005 08:59 AM