On Feb. 26, 2003, Bishop Banks of the Green Bay Diocese, having reached the age of 75, must submit his offer of resignation to the Pope. Based upon
the impressions of this writer and other Catholics, the following questions are
reflective of the true “legacy” Bishop Banks will leave to the people of
1. Bishops are supposed to be lead by the Holy Spirit. If this is true for Bishop
Banks, and other bishops, why did it take the secular press to persuade them
to take action to protect potential victims from sexual abuse by priests? And
why does Bishop Banks continue to be more concerned with the loss of a
guilty priest from ministry, than he is with the victims of their abuse, who for
the remainder of their lives will suffer the painful memory of it?
2. If a priest had true sorrow for his sins involving sexual abuse, wouldn’t he
have told his bishop, and expressed that sorrow to his victim(s) within a short
time after the abuse? Would not his confessor and bishop tell him to do this?
3. In society, it is not possible to have only one type of grave sin being
committed. There must already exist an environment that encourages and
contributes to many types of sins. Why then doesn’t Bishop Banks
acknowledge that these sexual abuse crimes are a sign that something is
seriously wrong in the priesthood, and take action to reform it?
4. Do Bishop Banks and other bishops, when they visit with the Pope, tell him
that they allow a priest-writer (Father Richard McBrien), who is very popular
with priests, to attack him and the Magisterium of the Church in the newspaper
of their diocese?
Is this the legacy of a truly holy bishop?
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Menasha, WI 54952