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Essay question

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 06, 2003

Imagine that you are transported back in time, to speak with a saintly Catholic bishop who is heroically resisting pressure from a Communist regime. As this bishop discusses his future plans, what motivations do you think will be most important and least important in accounting for his conduct? How would he rank them?

  • his zeal for souls
  • his loyalty to the Church
  • his sense of justice
  • his fear of hell
  • the letter of the law
  • his ecclesiastical ambitions
  • his need for funds
  • his fear of adverse publicity
  • the prospect of immediate arrest

Now imagine that you are a student in a current-affairs class, asked to investigate the response of the American bishops in regard to gay rights, gay marriage, publicly pro-abortion Catholics, and prayer in public schools, and to determine, on the basis of the available evidence, what motivations have been most important and least important in accounting for the bishops' conduct.

Does your list look the same? Are your rankings turned upside down? Why?

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  • Posted by: - Nov. 11, 2003 10:27 AM ET USA

    But Diogenes, you are being so judgemental.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 10, 2003 3:54 PM ET USA

    JMJT+ The saintly bishop opposed the Communist regime because he loved as Jesus loved. The bishop's acts were born of his sense of justice, of the God-given dignity of every living soul to love and serve God. Not important at all were his personal ambitions, need for funds, fear of bad publicity or fear of arrest. American bishops have acted from personal ambition, fear of bad press and a misguided sense of justice. Sheep need shepherds as babies need their mothers. Mother of God, pray for us!

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