Bishop Vasa Won't Take It
UPDATE: See Dominic Bettinelli's critiques at Bettnet.
Bishop Vasa of the Baker Diocese announces
that he is, more or less, flushing the Dallas Charter down the toilet, which will certainly raise more than a few hackles, on both sides of the ecclesial divide. Few will be comfortable with the precedent it sets for spurning policies adapted by the Episcopal Conference. Vasa is a 'give 'em hell' renegade at heart, who has little but distaste for bureaucracy of any sort. He shoots from the hip, if nothing else. Despite the backlash he will no doubt receive, there is something about Vasa's approach which seems to harken back to a . . . well, genuinely apostolic
era of the episcopacy. I'll stick with the 'threefold harvest'.
As the Lord asked what the owner of the vineyard would do when he came back to his vineyard to find it ill-kept and unfruitful, so the Lord of our particular harvest will likewise ask each of us, who are tenants of His gracious gifts, what kind of harvest we have produced. I sincerely hope the Lord does not hold us accountable for the harvest of aborted babies that our country produces each year, or the harvest of abused children, or the harvest of pornography, or the harvest of more and more permissive judicial rulings, or the harvest of anti-life legislative actions.
I asked for and committed myself to seek a threefold harvest from and for the Diocese of Baker. The first is priestly and religious vocations from among our own young men and women to serve in the Diocese. The second is a harvest of evangelization, an evangelized Catholic laity and an evangelizing Catholic laity. The third is a harvest of Catholic adults imbued with a deep and solid understanding of the complete package of Catholic teaching as presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. As I explained at Mass, this does not mean that I have no passion for youth and child protection or for life issues or for CCD or for Catholic schools, but rather that I hope the promotion and pursuit of these three harvests will also, almost automatically, entail a fruitful harvest in all the others as well. I pray it is so.
As a result of this discrepancy between a new interpretation of the charter and our diocesan policy, the annual charter audit will undoubtedly find the Diocese of Baker, and me as bishop, 'Not in Compliance' and will issue a 'Required Action,' which I am prepared, at this point, to ignore. I say this not because I resist efforts to protect children, but rather precisely the opposite. There are a series of questions that I believe need to be answered before I could mandate such a diocesan-wide program of 'safe-environment training.
# posted by Jamie : 10:13 AM