You don't hear them saying, Let's fall on our swords ...

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 30, 2005

It reads like a parody, but I swear it's not. John Allen interviews the newly-pallium'd quondam presidents on their new dignities and the new Pope, and they discuss Benedict XVI in terms of his electability as secretary of the Mishawaka High School student council:

National Catholic Reporter: What are your early impressions of Pope Benedict XVI?

Abp. Wilton Gregory: I made 13 trips to Rome during my tenure as president of the conference, and each time I met with then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, either individually or as part of a group. It was always the easiest meeting on the schedule. We would send ahead a list of the points we wanted to discuss, and he would come to the meetings with a folder. In it was the letter we had sent, his notes in response, and then his own list of points he wanted to raise. I always felt that there was nothing we couldn't bring up. He would not get offended or unhappy. Now he has a new responsibility, and he's rising to it. He's no longer a university professor, nor a doctrinal prefect, but the Holy Father, and that's bringing new dimensions of his character to the fore.

Abp. Joseph Fiorenza: Most lay people didn't know much about what he had done at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and among them I think the initial reaction was positive, simply because we had a new Holy Father. His first moments in the public eye were also important, because he came out smiling and connected well with the public. For the most part I think priests feel that way too. Some are cautious, wondering, 'What is this going to mean? Will there be a crackdown?' But even they tend to say, 'He's the pope now, let's give him a chance.' You don't hear them saying, 'Let's fall on our swords.' "

Note: We have it on unimpeachable authority that Pope Benedict himself is hugely impressed with the leadership of our bishops conference.

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  • Posted by: Fr. William - Jul. 04, 2005 5:45 PM ET USA

    Yes, sentimentalgent, such informative quotes from such eminent successors to the Apostles. I wonder how Abp. Gregory could be sent to Atlanta after his record at Belleville & as prez of the USCCB. These 2 archbishops might do well to re-read the NT, especially Acts & Saint Paul's letters to Timothy & to Titus. "For a bishop, as God's steward, must be blameless; must not be arrogant..." (Titus 1:7-ff). Let's pray for their ongoing conversion. Saint Josemaria Escriva, pray for us.

  • Posted by: SentimentalGent - Jul. 02, 2005 9:49 AM ET USA

    "In fact, we should keep in mind that they are Bishops, with the Authority they have, and give them proper respect for their positions." Novus Est, it's not a question of us having respect for the office of bishop. The real question is toward those who hold those holy offices who don't respect that dignity as being successors to the Apostles, who died for their Faith in Jesus Christ and His Church.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 02, 2005 12:36 AM ET USA

    Corruptio optimi, pessima est. That's why bishops who act in a manner contrary to their mission deserve to be castigated... mercilessly.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Jul. 01, 2005 4:37 PM ET USA

    In my opinion, Novus Est, yes. You are wrong.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 01, 2005 2:10 PM ET USA

    It is true that too much negativity toward our Bishops is a bad thing. In fact, we should keep in mind that they are Bishops, with the Authority they have, and give them proper respect for their positions. We must also be furious at the way things are now. However, I don't believe it's up to Unc. Di to give us that balance. It is the people viewing the site here that must take that into account personally when reading and responding to these OTR stories. Am I wrong?

  • Posted by: SentimentalGent - Jul. 01, 2005 11:47 AM ET USA

    The possibility of a "crackdown" is only considered when one is worried about being caught at doing something wrong. I would love to see a "crackdown" involving liturgical abuse. Two days ago I attended a morning Mass on the Solemnity of SS. Peter and Paul. It lasted about 17 minutes. Minimal penitential rite, no Gloria, no Creed, no intercessions. Went to an evening Mass at another church that same day. The pastor there follows the rubrics and prayers exactly and says the Mass so reverently.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 01, 2005 8:42 AM ET USA

    I suspect Diogenes will have something positive to say about the members of the USCCB, when there is something positive to report. Unfortunately we have a dearth of Chaputs, Burkes and Bruskiewiczs and a plethora of McCarricks, Mahonys, Weaklands and Dupres...

  • Posted by: - Jul. 01, 2005 8:37 AM ET USA

    Hollis, Hannah, I would usually agree, but note Fiorenza's comment about priests asking if there will be a "crackdown," and suggesting they'll "give him a chance" because he's now the Pope? These are severe danger signs. That they're worried about a crackdown means they're aware that they're over the line, and exist in certainty that they won't be called back into line. The biggest problem in AmChurch today? That dissidents are ensconced, and bishops won't call them to accountability.

  • Posted by: Hollis - Jul. 01, 2005 12:28 AM ET USA

    Ditto, hannah. Finding fault in everything dealing with the US bishops is not healthy. It's like when I use to read the Wanderer about 20 years ago. It was almost always right, but too much negative left me with a bad attitude that was not right. So I had to give up reading the Wanderer for the sake of keeping my faith. I'm glad I did. Now I'm getting the same here. Hope Uncle D. can find something positive to say one day. Hollis

  • Posted by: - Jun. 30, 2005 8:43 PM ET USA

    I don't mean to appear rude, but aren't there more important things going on in the Church to comment on?

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Jun. 30, 2005 7:40 PM ET USA

    Irregular bishops falling own their swords??? Diogenes, PULEASE!!! Lead not the orthodox flock into temptation!