Tuesday, September 16, 2003

From the CinJustAnn listserv: Meetings and bishops and scurrying about.......

a bit of wisdom from Robert Waldrop this morning in the email box. He's the keeper of the Catholic Social Teachings website in the sidebar, and the founder of the CW house in Oklahoma City. He isn't always very politic, but he's reliably thoughtful.

Well, the liberals had their meeting with the leaders of the US bishops, and now the conservatives have had their meeting. ....... I would have liked to have been a fly on that wall. Anyway, I wonder if those of us who are Catholic Workers, agrarians, distributists, etc. should ask for a meeting. What would we say to the bishops?

In any event, I salute Peggy Noonan for telling the bishops they should ask the cleaning maids at the Hilton Hotel across the street where they lived, and then go live in such a neighborhood. She's right. Our bishops need a good dose of holy and evangleical poverty. It can cure a lot of spiritual ills.

Upon second thought, I don't think I would be in favor of a meeting between the bishops and Catholic Workers and agrarians and etc. it would require people to travel to Washington DC from all over the country, and that is a waste of time and energy.

Maybe this sounds a bit luddite but I think there is entirely too much running hither and yon in the Catholic Church in America these days. The bishops are always running off to Washington, or to Rome, or to meetings in other places. Collegiality is a fine thing, but it seems to me they are so busy being collegial that they forget their primary spiritual and canonical duty is to their own diocese. If the dioceses of the US were healthy, then the Church in America would be healthy. If the Church in America is having problems, and it is, that can only mean there are big problems in the dioceses. If we want the church to get better, then the dioceses need to get better.

So maybe once again its the Little Way that we need to embrace. Perhaps our leaders should stop flying all over the world all of the time being such big and important leaders and spend more time at home being pastors.

Maybe they (and we) could also stop worrying quite so much about what the great and important bureaucrats of our Church, who are not the Ordinaries of anywhere, think about us, and just go about living the Gospel right where we are put?

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