I'm thrilled to see Bishop Oscar Romero receiving the attention and respect he deserves on the thirtieth anniversary of his death. I'm especially gratified to see at long last, the government of El Salvador sharing in that recognition.
Unfortunately, the likes of Bishop Romero are getting harder to find in the Roman Catholic Church. I write this as a regular mass-attending Roman Catholic and am simply disgusted by the Vatican's response to the continually unfolding scandals that are spreading across Europe, to the point where the official response is to smear the media reporting on the matter or this bit of tu quoque nonsense:
Earlier in the week, New York's archbishop, Timothy Dolan, used his blog to dismiss the New York Times' reports and defend the pontiff's record by arguing that authorities outside the church also are culpable. Stories about sexual abuse by priests were "fair" if "unending," he wrote. But he condemned the media for portraying child sexual abuse "as a tragedy unique to the church alone. That, of course, is malarkey."
Sadly, this latest everybody-is-responsible-so-nobody-is-to-blame defense is of a piece with a little-noticed section of Benedict's letter to the Irish church in which he seemed to blame the crisis, in part, on "new and serious challenges to the faith arising from the rapid transformation and secularization of Irish society."
Let me dumb this down for the hierarchy at the Vatican: you are hemorrhaging members of your flock. You are desperate to recruit new priests. Without parishioners, you have no church. You're men first and right now, you appear to be a bunch of weak man busily covering your glutei to protect yourselves. Shame on you.