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Tue Jul 6, 2021, 03:35 PM

Why hasn't Pope Francis apologized in Canada? Ask the bishops

It's easy to view the Catholic Church as a strict, obvious chain of command. While the church is hardly a democracy, authority is distributed in complicated ways. The pope is authoritative, but he respects the autonomy of local bishops. Without a collective invitation, the pope will not invite himself to a country out of respect for those bishops.

In other words, unless the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops requests the pope to come to Canada, no amount of political or moral pressure will get the pope on a plane. And since the bishops have not been unanimous when it comes to wanting a papal apology in Canada, the conference has stalled the process. The Canadian bishops may not always say this publicly, but it's not a secret in the church.

While several bishops have said they want a papal apology in Canada, and some have even tried to make it happen independent of unity within the conference, other bishops often appeal to flimsy excuses to deflect the fact that they have not, as a conference, extended the invitation. For example, in a recent CBC interview with Rosemary Barton, the archbishop of Toronto, Cardinal Thomas Collins, cited two major difficulties: the pope's age, and the complexities involved in high profile papal journeys.

These may indeed be difficulties, but they aren't insurmountable.

Interesting take. Not sure what I feel about it. But here it is

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