Well, the bishops certainly don’t appear to have been thinking about the declining number of priests in the United States. Or the closing schools and parishes. Or the loss of moral authority stemming from bishops covering up clergy sexual abuse. Or the indictment of a sitting bishop. Or the trial of a former office of clergy head. Or the attacks on theologians for acting like theologians. Or the backlash against criticism of U.S. nuns choosing to work with the poor and marginalized instead of promoting the bishops’ agendas. Or adjusting their own Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which some of their own members don’t follow and in which loopholes haven’t been tightened despite recommendations by their own review board. Or the right of individual conscience, which would be the ultimate religious freedom.
From Voice of the Faithful’s point of view, accountability for clergy sexual abuse, transparency in Church governance and finances, lack of transparency that promotes scandal, and acknowledgment of the laity’s particular charismata, were farthest from the bishops’ minds.
Here’s a look at some of the media reports about the recent USCCB meeting. Included in the list are the bishops’ National Review Board’s 10th-year report and recommendations regarding clergy sexual abuse—