…but let me throw this out there for your consideration.
After thinking about the declaration concerning the public ministry of the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Rev. Fr. Marciel Maciel Degollado, I had an idea this weekend out in the fresh air of the Tuscan countryside. (I added that last part to rub it in a bit.)
Consider the major players in the game. This case has continued into the pontificate of Pope Benedict. The Prefect of the CDF is now an American cardinal. The way that Rev. Fr. Marciel Maciel Degollado was treated was really pretty gentle, all in all. At the same time, while EVERY PRIEST IN THE WORLD could be invited to do penance, few are publicly invited to do so. Thus, little doubt is left in our minds about what this is all about.
Still, perhaps this is also a signal from the CDF to the USA about the draconian measures that have sometimes been applied to priests who are merely accused of certain things. The CDF’s statment certainly communicates something serious, but it leaves the man a measure of his dignity.
Maybe you have a different take?