The U.S. bishops plan to conduct much of their November meeting in sessions from which the media are excluded.
The 275 bishops need time away from live television coverage to build relationships, said Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh. Post-meeting evaluations have shown that closed sessions were the highest-rated, he said.
We might hope that Bishop Wuerl uses the words "build relationships" in the opposite of their usual sense. After all, there's no problem in having the media looking on if you're swapping compliments and congratulations. The "relationships" that will benefit the Church are those that are "built" by loosening teeth, and lots of them. Closed sessions don't guarantee this kind of engagement, but they permit it. Scar-tissue Catholics look on bishops' meetings as the Poles looked on the Yalta Summit: the more smiles on the faces of the men emerging, the more certain that territory has been given away.
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Posted by: benedictusoblatus -
Nov. 16, 2005 6:30 PM ET USA
I don't want to to see or hear the bishops except when they are ready to spread and defend the Faith. Let their entire lives be in executive session for all I care. Many Catholics in America think the Holy Trinity is only the name of a parochial school. Until these men come to some appreciation of what it is IN REALITY to be a bishop I will have to continually remind myself that the sacraments derive their efficacy not from the fitness of the minister, but from God Who has created them.
Posted by: Canismater -
Nov. 15, 2005 5:12 PM ET USA
In regards to this whole thing...isn't it amazing how all those years and all that paper that made up the last generation of USCCB "nuclear free" documents have left them without compass or anchor? Now they know how the US part of their name feels.
Posted by: -
Nov. 14, 2005 8:38 PM ET USA
Let me sum it up about Bishops: From a news story today: .....Bush said he intends to discuss his own faith with Chinese President Hu Jintao while pressing for more religious freedom in China. Next Sunday, Bush will join worshipers at a government-sanctioned Protestant church in Beijing. Our shepherd, Cardinal Mahony, went to China and never mentioned his faith. persecution of Christians or the state of the Church in China. Tell us Rog, how does it feel to get out faithed by a politician.
Posted by: Pseudodionysius -
Nov. 14, 2005 6:07 PM ET USA
I also vote for keeping the media away. I will be praying to St Maximus Confessor, St Athanasius and others that several Bishops display some old school early Christian (East and West) street cred and laith the fraternal correctional smacketh down. Surely some in the room remember the first councils in which the prelates displayed their torture scars and those who apostasized faced excommunication. What timid sheep the shepherds have become.
Posted by: -
Nov. 14, 2005 2:14 PM ET USA
Then, let us pray for them in their 'closed' sessions. Pray that the Holy Spirit attend to them in full force -- sending tongues of fire, if necessary.
Posted by: -
Nov. 14, 2005 1:02 PM ET USA
I am strongly in favor of giving the bishops an opportunity to speak frankly among themselves in private, out of hearing of the media sharks. It is unreasonable to expect any serious business to be transacted while the cameras are whirring. That reduces the event to a media frenzy. We should give these guys an opportunity to do the right thing and listen to the Holy Spirit. That is their job as successors to the Apostle.
Posted by: Fr. William -
Nov. 14, 2005 12:56 PM ET USA
Amen, Diogenes. I recently spoke with one of the millennial bishops (unquestioned love for & obedience to the Holy Father & Magisterium; willing to die for the Church), and suggested that there be a Reform of the USCCB, called the MUSCCB: Millennial U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The analogy I drew upon is the Women Religious Superiors who have flourishing orders (habit; orthodox; etc.) & have formed their own group apart from the vocationally-contraceptive group that has dying orders.
Posted by: Eleazar -
Nov. 14, 2005 12:16 PM ET USA
Anyone remember the Second Vatican Council? Didn’t John XXIII say something about opening the windows of the Church? Oh, my bad, that applied to everyone else, not the leaders. I guess the Spirit of Vatican II must have something else on his calendar that week. There is a conspiracy of silence growing among the prelates of the American Catholic Church that clearly demonstrates, as if we need another demonstration, a lack of integrity, a lack of respect and a lack of love for the people of God.
Posted by: Canismater -
Nov. 14, 2005 12:03 PM ET USA
Up until now they've been able to dodge the influence of the Holy Spirit at many of their meetings, but wouldn't it be great if He was allowed one of the seats usually reserved to "observers"? Maybe they could also have their meetings away from other influences. Is there a monastery (instead of a monetary) available in the wilderness somewhere?