Stephen White: We lay men and women should pray for our bishops and make sacrifices for them – not because they deserve it, but because they need our help.
A delegation from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will meet with Pope Francis today in the Vatican. Leading the delegation will be Cardinal DiNardo, the Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and president of the USCCB. He will be joined by the conference vice-president, Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles, and Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston. Their objective is, on paper at least, straightforward: enlist the Holy Father’s support for their three-part plan to address the ongoing crisis in the American Church.
This might seem like an easy pitch, but the rapid escalation of this crisis has made things far more complicated than they might otherwise have been. If Pope Francis was cool toward the American episcopate before this summer, he surely hasn’t warmed since. With the publication of Archbishop Viganò’s testimony, Pope Francis, and certainly his advisors, seem convinced that a large part of this current outrage is an ideologically motivated attempt to cripple this pontificate.
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