Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How many bishops has Pope Benedict XVI persuaded to resign?

If the only news you read comes from popular commentators in the secular media, you might think that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning because he could not make any progress in fighting corruption within the Church. Those who follow Catholic news carefully know better.

In our news coverage yesterday we called attention to remarks by a member of the Vatican diplomatic corps, who credited Pope Benedict with a cleaning up the ranks of Catholic bishops. Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendia said that the Pope has quietly demanded the resignations of many bishops. The Spanish archbishop made this eye-opening claim:

This Pope has removed two or three bishops per month throughout the world because either the accounts in their dioceses were a mess or their discipline was a disaster.

Two or three bishops a month! That number seems impossibly high. There are thousands of bishops in the world, and every month brings a certain amount of turnover in their ranks. But most of the resignations reported by the Vatican press office come with convincing explanations: in most cases the bishop has reached the canonical retirement age of 75.


Catholic Culture

By Phil Lawler February 26, 2013