Bishop Vigano's testimony demands a fact-based answers. Yes, it appears he is opposed to some of what Pope Francis is doing and has some axes to grind. But pointing that out is not a sufficient response.
Speaking for myself (aware that mine is likely not the most important perspective), here is why I need a response:
- I have tried to lead my life according to the Church's teachings. My marriage is now separating. I intend to continue to live according to the Church's teachings, but it appears it will be a lonely road (as it is for many others in different circumstances). As I do, I would like to know that the Church's leaders are holding themselves accountable to the same standards.
- I am living in a city and working in and industry that regards Christianity with suspicion, and considers religious people well-meaning dupes. I would rather not give people additional reasons to consider me foolish. Absent answers, people will fill in their old stories. I may do so charitably; the rest of the world will not, nor will they hold themselves to the facts on offer. To them, we are a Church populated my sexual predators and enablers. While I know this isn't the truth, staying silent makes it more difficult to say so.
- I am raising two teenage daughters, and would like them to have the support of the Church as they grow in to adults. I want to be able to credibly tell them that the Church, while flawed, is an organization worth dedicating themselves to and has leaders worth following.
- I teach Confirmation class and do other things to support our parish's youth ministry. As I talk to them about chastity, it will be helpful if I know that the Church's leaders also believe in chastity and take these teaching seriously.
- I also help teach First Communion class. I want to be able to tell the parents that they are wise to bring their children to Church, and that we are trustworthy with them.
This isn't about liberal and conservative agendas. This is about supporting someone who is trying to serve God in a difficult time.
I suspect I am not alone.