The first rule of catholic ethics is the ends NEVER justify the means. OK, if you disagree, please stop reading, we can not have a discussion. You will get upset. I will give no credence to anything you say, nor will I entertain it.
Are you still there? For those who disagree, at best you have some utilitarian notions, at worst your worship of authority (in these matters) is fascistic. Those who disagree with the prime ethical directive fall into a Nuremberg defense. Obeying orders is sinful/criminal if the obedience does evil. Civil courts and police do not allow people to go scot free when people plead that my friend made me do it.
The internet has some communication and information that one can acquire. I used a search engine for 'Richard Lennon' 'news'. One item came up as 'catholic blogs'. They mostly dealt with St. Peter's and Lennon. St. Peter's was found disobedient, and is equivalent [to them] as gravely wrong. The diversity of these 'blogs' was virtually zero. The catholic universe they surveyed was quite narrow. They were of a stripe of conservatism that gave primacy to episcopal authority, some in catty and combative defense. I have to wonder what the parameters of 'catholic blogging' were. Certainly, it is not indicative of the breadth of catholic opinion. I could not find an opinion that was near mine, nor anything between mine and theirs.
Some Catholics believe we are to model our lives after Christ Jesus, and attempt to do His Will. Some Catholics believe we should obey our bishop. Somehow, I have an inkling if our bishop was in the mold of Oscar Romero, Joseph Bernardin, or Dom Helder Camara their support would not be rock steady.
A few quote St. Ignatius of Antioch, they probably would shy away from St. John Chrysostom. At times catholic bishops were in a minority of christian bishops. There were arians, nestorians and other heretics. Now if one's bishop becomes an unitarian or a pelagian, or invents his own theology are we required to profess his errors? Here in Cleveland the bishop is not a party of those heresies. He is just a tyrant with skeletons (see just the flagrant Paul Shanley molester case a, b, c, d, e) in his closet. Those who oppose lennonism are taken to task for their motives, methods and past, but not a modicum of scrupulosity is directed towards Lennon.
The pope is infallible in matters of faith and morals, even this limited. The sisters taught us, that infallibility does not mean impeccable or all knowing. He is subject to arithmetic errors. Beyond that, theologians say, he may even believe heretical ideas, but the Holy Spirit prevents him from teaching these ideas. Since the promulgation of this doctrine, it has been invoked twice, both over Marian doctrine that was well established for centuries and believed by the mass of catholics.
The pope is bishop of Rome. The bishop is the chief teacher in his diocese. Local bishops do not share in petrine infallibility!
At times people have chosen their own bishops. Also, in the past, sovereign princes have chosen bishops and Rome has complied. Some were horrible choices. Truly moral, ethical, political, and sexual scandals happened. Was absolute fidelity to such scoundrels' will beneficial to one's soul? Certainly, you can not suggest that every, or any bishop, is sinless as Jesus and Mary? Bishop accountability is a good and necessary idea.
Now, in this current matter, some individuals expect us to obey Richard Lennon unreservedly. Their absolute tendency is not to examine the character or even the consistency of Lennon, nor the justice of his actions, nor the quality of his manner. Not one question of whether he has acted counter to the Gospel, canon or civil law, or the spirit of Jesus. Wow.
The bishop is supposed to be the chief pastor of the diocese. A pastor is to to hold his flock together. Jesus the Good Shepherd implores to seek the lost sheep. Lennon's words, and actions, are "Let them go." There are catholics mentioned in the local paper who are saddened by the closings, and some of them have received mailings from protestants to join their faith. Others, too, are proselytizing those Lennon rejected. Lennon is derelict in his chief office--the salvation of souls. Perhaps others are interested.
this church recognises the situation
Lennon is interested in the imposition of his will. Everything else is a farcical façade. What is his will? The concentration of money and parishes. Cleveland has the highest bishop's tax (diocesan assessment) in the country at 11 1/2 and 16 1/2 %. This is why some people are advocating 'boycotting the basket', and making specific, reserved and dedicated gifting to parish use alone. The drying up of chancery income is something he will notice. Pleas and protests he ignores, and hires cordons of police to make sure his will is done. He is implementing the elimination of national and personal parishes that are permitted, and encouraged by canon law.
There is a base meanness in him, where he exalts himself above others. He in private becomes furious when questioned. No one has knowledge, or rights he cannot trod upon. Lennon and his flunkies have given contradictory and changing statements of rationale for his great 'reconfiguration' of the diocese. Lennongrad is shaping up horribly. The latest directive, if applied, will have the minimum parish at 2500 people. That means another round of closings. Several parishes and many parishioners have appealed to Rome over the current reductions: please deliver us from Lennon.