Reading comprehension test

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 18, 2005

The Kansas City Star , introducing an interview (regrettably no longer available online) with that city's new coadjutor archbishop, finds an anonymous chancery official worried that the new man might not have "a spirit in the diocese of collaboration."

Question #1: How would you define a "spirit of collaboration" in the archdiocese that is home to the National Catholic Reporter?

Another concern, the Star tells us, "was whether Finn would be simply a conduit for the Vatican's statements on abortion, birth control, ordaining women, priestly celibacy and other matters rather than being a careful interpreter of those positions to the faithful..."

Question #2: How does a "careful interpreter" handle controversial Church teachings in the archdiocese that is home to the National Catholic Reporter?

Eventually-- once everyone has been instructed on how to think-- the Star lets the new man speak for himself. And now we can understand those conveniently anonymous people are worried. Coadjutor Bishop Robert Finn says:

I think there was a period when I, as a priest, was more reluctant to preach from the pulpit about things that would be viewed as controversial. I always thought, for example, that if I get up and speak about artificial contraception and its destructive effect on the unity of marriage and the purposes of marriage, that that's going to turn people off and drive people away. But, at a certain point, I was helped to realize that those who were trying to live that day in and day out deserved to hear it from me as a sign of support.

Question #2: Is the new archbishop going to be popular with the National Catholic Reporter?

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  • Posted by: - Jan. 19, 2005 9:16 PM ET USA

    Might it occur to unpathenhaunt that by simply presenting the statements of others, D is not passing judgement on them--to the alert reader, the statements themselves are self-condemning. I belive that D's readers are pretty alert, not familiar with being led around by their emotional noses, and are savvy enough to understand his use of rhetoric. Boy, is it clear that when D aims the laser of truth in pieces like this, he REALLY irritates those symathetic to the target!

  • Posted by: - Jan. 19, 2005 9:24 AM ET USA

    Good for Bishop Finn! He actually realizes that the truth sets us free, not the pandering to the crowd.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 18, 2005 9:35 PM ET USA

    Perhaps another question, Diogenes, is whether you purposefully address and seemingly seduce an audience that already agrees with you (perhaps adores you). Your judgment of others finds itself immeasurably immersed in your intention to persuade and encourage others. Why not act as a scholar and refrain from taking advantage of others' emotion, whether they happen to agree with you or not.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 18, 2005 6:46 PM ET USA

    I really like that "careful interpreter" part. What that means is that you must be careful that no real Church teaching gets through. We certainly don't want anyone to think we might actually be Catholic.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 18, 2005 5:08 PM ET USA

    << Question #2: Is the new archbishop going to be popular with the National Catholic Reporter?>> You gotta be kidding? Just the words -- "new coadjutor archbishop" drives those at the NCReporter into apoplexy and delusional rantings. In the eyes of the NCR magisterial elitists, all bishops must be appointed by the USCCB to be valid. When JPII appointed our new coadjutor bishop, he was not met by the diocese hierarchy with what I would call Christian charity.