(These words are intended for the U.S. bishops alone.)
Dear Bishops of the USCCB:
Don't you dare talk to us laity until we are able to meet with our friends in our own church property to examine your conduct in our individual dioceses. Do not speak to us until we grant you permission. We are forming, with the aid of our elected representatives to state and federal government, a formal commission to examine Canon Law on the hierarchy, as well as collecting from the Magisterium all the teachings of the Catholic church on how bishops, archbishops and cardinals are to behave, with a catalog of your rights matched with the responsibilities you are called upon to perform. Your public conduct, and as much of your private conduct of which we become aware, will be measured against these norms. When we have finished, we will let you know which of you may be allowed to remain in your bishoprics. Until then, sit down and be quiet. You are now on probation.
Don't you dare lecture us on gay marriages, contraception, liturgical rubrics or world peace until you are first held accountable for your abominable disregard of children raped by priests and your continued stonewalling on telling the truth about molesters still at large. Don't you dare presume you have any rights to speak to our representatives in government : whether local, state or federal. We elected them. We did not elect you. From your conduct in handling the issue of sexual abuse of minors by clergy and by your complicity in covering it up, we never would have nor ever will.
When you are courageous enough to talk with us face-to-face in our church halls, we'll tell you a thing or two about those who prey on children and about their superiors who aided and abetted them : and still do. Morality? You and your fellow bishops? You are worse than Rush Limbaugh lecturing us on drugs, or Bill Bennett calling gambling a sin. You and your fellow bishops cowering in sycophantic fear before cocky Curial cardinals have no moral authority left. First, accountability. Then justice. You are in the real world now. In the real world, only real women and men are allowed to lead, only the qualified are allowed to teach, only the humble have the charisma of integrity.
We wish that we could bring you before a court of law as was the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. He was adjudged guilty of deeming himself above the law willfully and defiantly. Yet his reprobate conduct does not begin to approach yours. He was removed from office as unfit to serve. So should you be.
If you don't like the tone of this letter, resign. Stand down. Go read and meditate on the Gospels. Try to live what Jesus asks of you. We do. You may already have forgotten. We have not. You allowed priests to rape our children. You covered it up. You are still held to accountability and justice.