And there was a classic example of it last week, strangely comment-free on Cath News (censorship at work?!), in the story about payouts for sex abuse cases by the Maitland-Newcastle diocese.
Bishop Wright, you will recall, is one of Australia's youngest bishops. He is a bishop who does not want the Extraordinary Form in his diocese. He seems set to close down the use of overseas priests in his diocese, despite strong lay support for them. And now he is refusing to tell the laity of his diocese just how much money has been paid out in the abuse scandal, and how many cases of it there have been in the diocese.
Australia's sex abuse epicentre: how about some transparency and accountability for a change?
Bishop Wright of Maitland-Newcastle, in his bio on the diocesan website, claims a commitment to 'collaborative decision-making' and 'co-responsibility'.
A couple of weeks back he even supported a Royal Commission to inquire into sex abuse.
Yet in the media last week he declined to confirm reports that the diocese had paid out more than $15m to settle around 100 sex abuse claims perpetrated by ten priests (in 1970, back when the abuses were being perpetrated, there were a toal of 114 diocesan priests there, and another 20 religious priests, so this is a startlingly high proportion of the clergy).
Instead he is quoted as saying 'it is not in anyone's best interest to make known the total number of settlements or the amount involved'.
And therein lies the case for a Royal Commission!
How bad is it really?
Presumably the reason the bishop doesn't want to confirm the number is that it is an underestimate - indeed, I've seen a figure of 400 cases for Melbourne, though how credible that is given the Church's continuing reluctance to come clean is hard to judge.
Regardless, it is not in the least evident to me at least that making some information public at this point will have any impact on the number and size of claims.
First, the existence of many cases is well-known - it is pretty well inevitable that some unscrupulous minority will attempt to take advantage of the situation, but hard to see that information on the number of claims in itself will help them do this.
And in terms of the size of claims, well The Australian is reporting, on the basis of information provided to them by lawyers acting for victims, a settlement of a $2m for a single case, all conducted entirely in secrecy! If that isn't true, then making that clear should help the Church not hinder it.
The reality is that the inner circle of lawyers and victims groups do talk to each other, and inevitably have a good sense of what is possible.
In fact the only ones being kept in the dark here and treated like... - are the laity.
Why we should be told what the cost is
Yet as a result of the financial pressures resulting from these cases, assets build up by our contributions that provide services for Catholics are being sold off. These payouts are impacting very directly on the laity indeed.
In Newcastle for example, the Australian reports that Bishop Bill Wright admitted that 'the costs "were a factor" in a 2010 decision to sell a number of aged-care facilities operated by the diocese across the Hunter region.'
Are abuse claims also the cause of Canberra-Goulburn's financial problems for example? Or was it is rather fraud and other malfeasance? Or just a case of past profligacy and mismanagement?
Personally, I think we have a right to know, and to be consulted over the choices that are being made.