Sometime back California bishops had opposed death penalty. Now Ohio bishops oppose death penalty.
Do Ohio bishops want Ohio to end up like Mexico? Why bishops ignore the dangers of not having death penalty? The bishops have eyes but they do not see. They have ears but do not hear. Death penalty is according to the tradition of the church. Christianity is not opposed to death penalty.
Pope Benedict XVI may be opposed to death penalty but sometimes popes have been wrong. One pope was declared a heretic in 681.
Justice is a virtue. Justice demands suitable punishment for crimes. In some cases it is death penalty.
Prudence is a virtue. Allowing dangerous criminals to live is not prudent.
The church is opposed to abortion. Ohio bishops can direct their zeal and energy to have a legislation that will punish parents and doctors who abort foetuses who have resulted from marital acts and there is no danger to motherâ€™s life. There is excommunication for abortion but that has not been effective. Prayers and vigils in defence of unborn are not enough.
The bishops can also try for gun control in USA. They can ask for repeal of second amendment. That will make it hard to own guns and reduce murders. In USA it is easy to buy guns in spite of several checks and then go and shoot anyone anywhere. There are vested interests who oppose gun control. What are bishops for if they can not take on vested interests?
Sex scandals involving Catholic priests are making news with regularity. USA, Canada, Ireland, Spain, Holland, Germany, Austria and some other countries have reported sex scandals. Some scandals are cases of paedophilia. One case refers to a priest who was in Munich when the present pope Benedict XVI was then Joseph Ratzinger, archbishop of Munich.
Though the number of priests involved in scandals is around 5% it tarnishes the image of the whole church and causes crisis of faith. The question of continuing clerical celibacy comes up.
While there is no proposal of changing the rule of celibacy to Latin rite regional rites without clerical celibacy may be allowed. Dutch, English, Irish, German and such rites for Holland, England, Ireland, Germany and other countries may free the church from paedophilia and other scandals. These rites need to be restricted to their regions otherwise there will be problems with multiple jurisdictions.
Many cases of scandals are said to be of long time back. Some of them are more than 30 years old. It is not clear why the victims kept quiet for so long and all of a sudden they have come out in the open. It is not known how many priests will face prosecution. Some are too old. In some cases the statute of limitations has expired. In USA the church paid huge sums to victims.
There may be more scandals to be revealed. Lessons are to be learnt from these scandals and steps should be taken to prevent them in future.
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Apostolic Administrators are appointed when the bishop is unable to carry on in the diocese. The person appointed as Apostolic Administrator is not supposed to have any other diocese under him. For many years, following the ouster of the Portuguese, when Archbishop of Goa and Patriarch of East Indies was in Portugal, Raul Gonsalves was the Apostolic Administrator.
Since Benedict XVI became pope many bishops who are transferred to other dioceses or promoted as archbishops are appointed as Apostolic Administrators where they were bishops. This is not a good sign. Thomas Dabre after becoming Bishop of Poona is the Apostolic Administrator of Vasai.
When a bishop is transferred or promoted a new bishop must be appointed or diocesan consultors or curia must elect an administrator or Vicar Capitular. A bishop being Apostolic Administrator of another diocese reminds me of Pre-Reformation days when many bishops had two or more dioceses under them. In some cases those appointed as bishops were not consecrated for years.
The practice of one bishop having two or more dioceses under him must stop.