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An excellent question. It forces us to ask whether we have ever imagined that in praying for our shepherds we were thereby paying tribute to their rectitude and decency. Think of the faithful whose priests, over, say, the last 30 years, have invited them to pray for John Paul our pope, or for Benedict our pope …
- “… and for Rembert our bishop”—who used $450,000 of his flock's contributions to buy the silence of his partner in sodomy.
- “… and for Lawrence our bishop”—who throttled a male prostitute who was in the act of fellating him.
- “… and for Thomas our bishop”—who struck a pedestrian with his Buick and drove off leaving him to die.
- “… and for Patrick our bishop”—who outfitted his catamite with a beeper to summon him for sex.
- “… and for Theodore our bishop”—who slept with priests and seminarians and fondled boys.
- “… and for Robert our bishop”—who gave $30 million in no-bid construction contracts to a tri-athlete and “special friend” and paid out $100,000 in another settlement with an unhappy (male) roommate.
- “… and for Donald our bishop”—who turned up at the hospital beaten to a pulp and claimed he fell down the stairs.
- “… and for Daniel our bishop”—who had a screaming spat with an angry rent-boy in his driveway.
- “… and for Joseph our bishop”—who tweeted “Nighty-night, baby” to a chum and claimed he was texting his sister.
Now that you mention it, Your Eminence, “Francis our pope” fits into the roster with hardly any trouble at all.
Published with permission from CatholicCulture.org.