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Please leave suggestions for dialogue on my secretary's voicemail

By Fr. Paul Mankowski, S.J. (articles ) | May 15, 2003

The National Catholic Reporter's Tom Roberts reflects on the low morale of priests and solicits the advice of Fr. Robert J. Silva, president of the National Federation of Priests Councils:

How to get beyond this awful moment? In a conversation over breakfast, Silva said he believes that priests and bishops throughout the country really need to engage in a structured dialogue if trust and confidence is ever going to be restored. ...

Finally, and perhaps the most daunting task, said Silva, is that the church has to find a way to balance its obligations to be pastoral with the demands civil law is now placing on it. "We are not and cannot experience ourselves as a corporation or business institution. We are church."

Two questions.

1) If you were a priest concerned to shift the focus of churchmen away from corporate models of management to a more ecclesial pursuit of prayer, devotion, and moral probity, would you turn to something called the National Federation of Priests Councils?

2) Unless you were the one controlling the microphone switches, would you voluntarily submit to "structured dialogue"?

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