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Never too late for change
April 5th, 2016
By Rosemary K. Ring

Cardinal (Bernard) Law and Cardinal (George) Pell were both effectually granted diplomatic immunity by the Vatican at a time when they would have had to face civil authority in their own diocesan jurisdictions. This was seen by both the secular press and by the majority of the general public and victims organizations as an abdication of responsibility and lack of accountability, and also an admission of guilt in the court of public opinion and as an embarrassment to clergy and laity who were not part of the problem.

This message has apparently still not been fully evaluated in the 14 years since, The Boston Globe reports. Personal responsibility still matters indeed. In Cardinal Pell’s case, he was allowed to respond in a video interview to avoid having to return to Australia to face the charges there. The victims who came to Rome were very brave to challenge the status quo and demand a personal meeting. Pope Francis, in addition to surveying diocesan bishops and getting input from laity, might be well advised to heed the message that the people of God do not want to be told they are not as important to the future of our church as the magisterium is to it. It’s never too late to change, and the time is now.

Rosemary K. Ring

From April 7, 2016 issue of Catholic San Francisco.


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