Sunday, June 19, 2011

A tale of two bishops

How an organization treats is employees can be instructive as to that organization's core values.

Especially if that organization is the Catholic Church.

That thought is occasioned by the treatment of the bishop of a place called Toowoomba in Australia. You've probably never heard of the place, or the bishop, but the story is worth knowing about. That's because this particular bishop, William Morris, has recently been fired.

People get fired all the time, although not usually bishops. It's not unheard of for someone to be hired for a job, turns out not to be very good at it, so they get rid of him. No big deal, right?

In this case, though, the bishop got fired for a thought crime, the crime of entertaining the idea that the church might be well served if it considered the idea of women or married priests.

UPDATE: Last night the Vatican confirmed the resignation of Catholic Bishop William Morris and released him from the governance of the Diocese of Toowoomba in an official statement from Pope Benedict XVI.

“Catholics stand with the Pope as the successor of Peter and his role is to strengthen his brothers and to defend the apostolic tradition, and it’s now Catholic teaching that women cannot be ordained priests. That’s not an optional belief; it’s now part of the Catholic package,” said Cardinal Pell.

So that's pretty clear: the church has said that it will not tolerate disagreement when it comes to its core principles and values. It doesn't care what people think, to be in the club you need to think whatever they tell you to think.

It's a private organization, they have the right to set their own membership standards.

But who doesn't get fired?

How about serial justice obstructer and aider and abettor of child molesters Bernard Law?

Also a bishop who climbed the greased pole to cardinal, but when things got too hot for him not only did they not fire him, they arranged a sinecure for him in Rome. A guy who by rights should be spending the rest of his days in a dank prison, wondering when the next assault would meet him, instead gets to live in luxury in a palace, apparently with the high regard of the congregation.

Well, given that his current boss told bishops that they'd better STFU about what they knew of child rape or risk being kicked out, I guess it isn't surprising.

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