In the simple world in which I live, a person is only worthy of respect if he can walk the walk besides talking the talk.
Talking in abstract is fairly easy if you are a tepid shepherd, and unless one is a pathological eunuch – like too many English bishops – the one or other word will certainly find its way to the press – or to the pulpit – without causing too many controversies.
But what happens when a bishop discovers that one of his own priests openly and publicly sabotages the Christian message he wants to send to his sheep? Will this bishop be brave enough to walk the walk, after he was able to talk the talk? In Baltimore, a priest had the insolence to read in public the bishop’s letter concerning so-called “gay marriages” (who aren’t “gay”, and aren’t marriages), and then vocally oppose the very Christian message he had just read.
Now, this is where men are separated from the boys: if Bishop Lori tolerates such a scandal is his own diocese without severely punishing – best of all, defrocking – the pro-homo priest, he will show he is just another boy able to talk the talk but unable to walk the walk. It cannot be, it seriously cannot be that a bishop allows one of his own pro-homo-priests to make a mockery of Catholicism without consequences. It undermines the credibility of the Church and of the priesthood, and destroys that of the Bishop.
Man or boy? The next weeks will tell.