It is difficult to read, but between the words "deeply" and "ashamed" is the following:
". . . sorry about the pedophile priests who preyed upon your children, but the Vatican has no intention of disciplining or removing bishops, cardinals, and other members of the church hierarchy who knew of or even facilitated the reprehensible acts of which we are so . . ."
I saw this political cartoon in my newspaper this morning, which touched upon a discussion I was having last Friday during lunch with a fellow parishioner.
The sex abuse scandal has not driven from the Church. On the contrary, it has made me seek, find and appreciate the good people - both clergy and laity - that are fellow Catholics and they have inspired me to be a better Catholic, or at least make all attempts to be so.
However, I am constantly challenged by the absolute lack of consequences for the bishops and cardinals who knew of the abuses and did their best to cover it all up. While I can find hope in the Pope's comment, for me it is simply not enough. Even removing one of these men and placing them as chaplain of a weather station north of the Arctic Circle would be enough for me, although defrocking would be preferable in some cases.
I applaud His Holiness' meeting with the victims, but as the Sacrament of Penance teaches us, it is not simply a matter of confessing one's sins, but there is also the measure of penance that must be done. I believe that for people like Cardinal Law and Cardinal Mahoney, there will be an accounting at the end, and for the sake of their souls I hope it is in Purgatory and not Hell - but it strikes me deeply as unjust that nothing happens to them during their tenure here on Earth.
Indeed, perhaps I can be so bold as to suggest that any lack of action is a sin of omission, since I see in these men utter hubris and by not imposing some penalty, the Pope only aids in promoting that aspect of their lives. I often tell my clients that they need to have "skin in the game", meaning that if they are not committed to their case, how can they expect the Judge to be? Unfortunately, the cardinal's skin here is Teflon.