Drunk Driving Was Only Part of the Bishop's Problem

Worcester, Massachusetts, Bishop Robert McManus was arrested Saturday night at his family's vacation home in Naragansett, Rhode Island, on charges of drunken driving, leaving the scene of an accident, and refusing a chemical test."I made a terrible error in judgment by driving after having consumed alcohol with dinner, McManus said in a statement. There is no excuse for the mistake I made, only a commitment to make amends and accept the consequences of my action."That's all well and good...as far as it goes. I don't want to make more of this relatively straightforward DUI incident than necessary, but Bishop McManus's terrible error in judgment extended beyond driving while intoxicated. It also included his decision to flee the scene of the crime after, apparently, causing the accident by rear-ending the other driver's car. (A neighbor "noticed minor front end damage to McManuss dark-colored Honda Accord the following morning.")There are far bigger crimes and errors in judgment that occur in the church and the world every day, but it is at least somewhat troubling that neither Bishop McManus nor anyone on his staff seems to have grasped the extent of his errors in the immediate aftermath of his arrest.

Luke Hill is a writer and community organizer in Boston. He blogs at dotCommonweal and MassCommons. 

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