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By Janet E. Smith, Ph.D., Crisis Magazine, Feb. 4, 2021

Janet E. Smith, Ph.D., is a retired professor of moral theology.

Janet SmithThere are many different kinds of bishops. The basically good bishops lead morally upright lives, are faithful to the magisterium, and are dedicated to service.

There are numerous varieties of bad bishops: those sexually active with females or males; those who cover up for priests who engage in immoral behavior; those living luxurious lives and robbing the poor; those who teach against the Gospel because it is too demanding; those who care more about power than justice; those who sideline priests who report corrupt bishops or priests; and those who are too weak to do anything about the corruption of their fellow bishops and their priests. Worst of all, and more common than we think, are those who don’t believe in God or the Gospel—those who have infiltrated the Church to work against the Gospel while enjoying the “perks” (some of which are deplorably immoral) the episcopacy provides. It is truly painful to produce this list. …