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executive session

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Nov 14, 2005

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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