I disagree with John Allen. If you take an objective look at the relationship between the Vatican and Catholic priests and conclude that the Vatican isn't their boss, you'd be mistaken. I recall the Vatican fired Bishop Morris from Australia for raising the issue of women's ordination as a possible response to a shortage of priests in his diocese. And the list is long of other "boss" like actions such as the censure of priests like Fr. Roy Bourgeois for his support of women priests, and the condemnation of theologians and priests in Austria, Ireland, and Germany who challenge official church teaching on women priests. Judge Mosman may not be familiar with theVatican's inner workings, but John Allen surely is. Come on, John, don't try to shop this judgement as the reality in our church to ordinary Catholics. We know better! Bridget Mary Meehan, arcwp, www.arcwp.org, firstname.lastname@example.org
John Allen's writes:
..."Now, however, we have an American judge with no dog in Catholic fights -- for the record, Mosman is a Mormon -- who took an objective look at the relationship between the Vatican and Catholic priests and concluded that the Vatican isn't their boss.
In a flash, Mosman might have done more to explain Catholic ecclesiology to the outside world than a whole rafter of paid church spokespersons has accomplished since, well, the dawn of time.
In terms of church politics, the ruling could also act as a firebreak against attempted micro-management from Rome. In the future, if somebody in the Vatican tries to push a priest around, he'd be well advised to reply: "Didn't you guys swear to an American judge that I don't work for you?"