Bishops in Baltimore

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by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  •  November 19, 2018   

Bishop McKnight: The laity are necessary to help us get out of this mess

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The bishops gathered in Baltimore were told by younger bishops that they must allow the laity to assist them in redressing the crisis of homoclericalism.

The push by some bishops to investigate themselves was offset Tuesday by Bp. Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City, Missouri, who spoke up for greater lay involvement.

"The one overarching thing I want all of us to remember is, of course, the necessity of the laity in helping us get out of this mess," McKnight said. "I think we all believe that. We all talk about it. But unfortunately, in concrete structures, we don't actually do it."

The first scandal was caused by certain bishops allowing notorious homosexual predator Abp. Theodore McCarrick to be promoted in spite of his well-known homosexual predation of vulnerable adults. The second scandal involved the fact no bishop had yet claimed responsibility for turning a blind eye, which McKnight said is evidence that the bishops can't police themselves.

On Friday, McKnight wrote, "At the time of this writing, there has not been one bishop, archbishop or cardinal in either the Holy See or the United States who has come forward on his own to repent publicly of his sins of omission or commission with regard to Archbishop McCarrick's series of promotions over decades."

The bishop expanded his push for laity in holding hierarchy accountable by conducting trustworthy and transparent investigations coupled with developing meaningful sanctions of predator bishops.

"The laity are the only ones who can keep the hierarchy accountable and get us out of the mess we bishops got ourselves into," emphasized McKnight. "My singular focus throughout the Baltimore meeting was to advocate and push for greater public involvement of the laity at all levels of the Church."

Watch the panel discuss the battle between younger and older bishops in The Download—Bishops in Baltimore.


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