I Am The Bishop

I am the Bishop, the moral authority,
The good of my flock is my highest priority
Unless (or until) there’s a Shepherd accused,
And a lamb from my flock is among the abused.

I am the Bishop; to me they will come,
Both Shepherd and Sheep (because people are dumb)
I’m trusted to do what is just, what is right,
To head off a scandal, and keep things from sight.

I am the Bishop; the power is mine,
The law is of earth, but the issue’s divine
It’s morally righteous to hide the report,
And to fight and appeal when they take us to court.

I am the Bishop. The transcripts disclosed
I created a smokescreen when duly deposed;
I watched for my shepherds, and helped them escape
From those cruel allegations of beatings and rape.

I am the Bishop—Archbishop, New York;
I won’t admit shame, like in Dublin or Cork,
Here, cases are fewer, convictions are less—
It’s to me, not the cops, to whom Shepherds confess!

I am the Bishop, so I can forgive—
They’ll surely be punished, but not while they live.
The civil authorities think it’s a scam
But I am the Bishop; I don’t give a damn

I am the Bishop; I’ll sink straight to Hell,
With most of my Shepherds beside me, as well,
Where Satan’s the judge; no one grants an appeal…
But I am the Bishop. I know it’s not real.

A very depressing editorial in the New York Times today speaks of Bishop Egan, the moral authority who did his job protecting his abusive priests.

In the end it was not the power of repentance or compassion that compelled the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., to release more than 12,000 pages of documents relating to lawsuits alleging decades of sexual abuse of children by its priests.

It was a court order.

That immoral, secular court stepped in when the Bishop’s Christian conscience failed to motivate him.

The most moving portion compares Egan’s [lack of] response to the clear message (to some, still inadequate, but that may simply be a reflection of the enormity of the sins involved) delivered in Ireland under similar circumstances:

Absent in those pages is a sense of understanding of the true scope of the tragedy. Compare Bishop Egan’s words with those of the archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, who, after the release of a recent report detailing years of abuse and cover-ups in Ireland, said:

“The sexual abuse of a child is and always was a crime in civil law; it is and always was a crime in canon law; it is and always was grievously sinful. One of the most heartbreaking aspects of the report is that while church leaders — bishops and religious superiors — failed, almost every parent who came to the diocese to report abuse clearly understood the awfulness of what was involved.”

Bishop Egan, with institutional pride, looks at the relatively low rate of proven abuse cases as a sort of perverse accomplishment.

“It’s marvelous,” he said, “when you think of the hundreds and hundreds of priests and how very few have even been accused, and how very few have even come close to having anyone prove anything.”

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