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Posted by Dan on April 19, 2012 at 12:10 AM

Back in the 1970's, ABC affiliates produced the now defunct WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS, which used to air on Saturday Afternoon's. The late Jim McKay, who was the announcer would open the broadcast describing the show as celebrating "The Thrill of Victory, and the Agony of Defeat", and those who were defeated clearly showed on those who lost in their particular competition.

Yesterday's news conference in which Bishop Richard Lennon officially announced that he would not appeal the decrees of the Congregation for the Clergy to the Apostolic Signatura was a clear sign of this agony of defeat, and it showed on Bishop Lennon's face.

What was most compelling to this blogger, is that the Bishop of Cleveland stated not once, but twice, that he would "not speculate....I'm not going down that path, because I don't want to be talking out of both sides of my mouth!" EXCUSE ME, Bishop Lennon....EXCUSE ME!!! This is precisely what you have been doing for the past three years, and we have letters to prove this!

The reality of the matter is this Bishop Lennon: 1. You tout yourself as a self-trained canonist, yet, any person who has rigorously studied canon law, whether or not they are degreed, will tell you that a Decree must, for validity, contain a particular style along with proper canonical citations, etc. The leters you sent out three years ago, although they contain semblances of a decree, were in fact, just that...letters. 2. That being said, the boorish Massachusetts arrogance contained within you is simply reprehensible! You have needlessly berated members of the media and the Christian Faithful, using bully tactics in a futile attempt to convince the Cleveland community that you followed proper canonical procedure, when in fact, you did not. This also includes the reality that not one person in Cleveland or beyond, believes for a second, that YOU requested the Apostolic Visitation last Summer. This was well in the works for over a year beacuse YOU were cognizant back then that there were numerous letters, faxes and phone calls reaching Rome regarding your heavy-handed tactics. No person, with even a shred of integrity would ever insist on their work being inspected, and if you're authentically proficient in canon law as you claim to be, there is no such provision in canon law that provides any bishop to request an Apostolic Visitation on his own initiative. 3. It's time for you to admit your dishonesty, your destruction of Catholic identity in Cleveland, and the gross lack of morale in the Chancery Office, which was the principal cause of many terminating their employment with the Diocese, some having been at the Chancery for well over 25 years.

In the final analysis, you need to come to a realization that no bishop is above the law- be it canonical or civil; that while a bishop has full and immediate authority in his Diocese, he does not have the right to abuse the flock entrusted to his care, nor does he have the right to threaten his priests who seek legitimate answers to legitimate questions.

Yesterday's news conference was a clear indication that your were defeated by Rome, and the agony of this defeat was clearly visible. It's clearly the time for you to say "I'm sorry" and move on from Cleveland.

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