The Archbishop of Denver has a good article in First Things concerning lawsuits against the Church in the context of what the Church is and is not. Excerpt:
Every bishop in the United States has a filial love for the Holy Father and a fraternal respect for his brother bishops. But these familylike words—filial, fraternal, brother—are not simply window dressing. They go to the heart of how the Catholic community understands and organizes itself—and, more important, to how the Church actually conducts herself, guided by her own theology and canon law.
The Church is much closer to a confederation of families than a modern corporation. And this has real, everyday results. In practice, the influence of the Holy See on the daily life of the Archdiocese of Denver is strong in matters of faith and morals. We’re deeply grateful for the leadership and wonderful teaching of the papacy. But in the operational decisions of our local Church, the Holy See’s influence is remote. In twenty-two years as a bishop, my problems have never included a controlling or intrusive Vatican.
Read the whole thing here: Suing the Church