My ears pricked up when the good, grandmotherly bishop openly acknowledged that our hero is, in fact, a member of his flock.
But Bishop Burbidge did not say what I, for one, would have thought a zealous man of God would say.
We do not know James’ last name. We do, however, know the name of James’ lawyer.
Dear Bishop Burbidge, why, in God’s name, didn’t you say this?!
James, if you are listening, please hear me. Hopefully you already know our offer, which I have communicated to Mr. Noaker. It is this:
Please come with me to Rome to see Pope Francis. He and I want to hear your story ourselves.
Then, if you would like to speak directly to Father Ted,* we will arrange that. You can have family members with you, or not, as you choose. The Pope and I will sit with you when you confront Father Ted, if you choose.
We want Father Ted to apologize to you publicly, in St. Peter’s Basilica.
But it is all up to you. Just, please, come with me to Rome. The Holy Father and I want you to tell us what you think we ought to do.
…Instead of saying anything like this, the bishop spouted a laundry list of platitudes. Platitudes with which no one could possibly disagree. And which will have absolutely no immediate effect of any kind.