• And they both desperately want to avoid exactly that.

    They remember what happened to Cardinal Bernard Law a decade ago. At the time, Law was one of the most powerful Cardinals in the US Catholic hierarchy, and (in the eyes of some/many/most in the USCCB) he might have ridden out the storm had he not been forced to testify in a secular setting about his ecclesiastical activities.

    They remember what happened in Philadelphia last year, where William Lynn, assistant to three Cardinals, was testified in his trial on charges of shuttling a pedophile from parish to parish.

    When Bishop Finn was indicted here in KC for failing to report suspicions of child abuse, he fought it right up until his case went to court. Then, at the last minute, his lawyers and the prosecution filed a stipulated set of facts (“We agree that this is the testimony that various witnesses would give in court, based on their depositions”) so that neither Finn nor others would have to testify. Finn pled not guilty, but the judge disagreed.

    Looking back now, it sure appears that Finn feared testifying more than being found guilty.