a clear strong voice for strong clear clarity

By Diogenes (articles ) | Sep 27, 2005

Father Paul Lininger, OFM Conv, executive director for the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, writes to reassure the heads of American men's religious orders that he is hard at work, responding to the news that the Vatican might say that homosexuals don't belong in seminaries.

It is our hope to articulate the ever increasing danger of diminishment of the Church's public persona as well as elucidate the potential damage and harm such a document or statement would engender.

We're all concerned, I'm sure, about the "public persona" of the Catholic Church. And if there's damage or harm-- a nice distinction there-- by all means it should be elucidated. But could I gently suggest that someone who plans to "articulate" things should not write like this:

As a Conference representative of the many voices of male religious life, we have always done well to do what is ours to do in a less dramatic means such as the public domain where important elements of communication are lost by the pitting of one group against another.

For those readers who have not taken vows, here is a rough translation, in English:

We're working very hard, behind the scenes, to put the kibosh on this thing.

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  • Posted by: Fr. William - Sep. 28, 2005 4:22 PM ET USA

    Now that "Father" Lininger has shown his dissent to Church Teaching, & shown his support for homosexuals in religious life, may the Vatican suspend the priestly faculties of Lininger & suppress his order -- as well as take a detailed look at the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, for Lininger is its leader (exec.director)! Maybe the Conference needs to be disbanded, the conference room locked & the key thrown away. It's time for a Reform of the Reform for the Major Superiors themselves.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 28, 2005 7:31 AM ET USA

    "GOR" and "altar boy", you helped me start my day with a smile! Thanks!

  • Posted by: - Sep. 27, 2005 4:54 PM ET USA

    How strange! I had a Chinese fortune cookie last night that said exactly the same thing.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 27, 2005 1:20 PM ET USA

    Uncle Di, this is, like, waaaaaaay too heavy for poor old altar boy to comprehend. But thanks to you and CWN, I hope to achieve a deeper understanding of these sorts of issues and, thus, enhance my verbal and written articulation of my own malodorous thoughts. I do, however, want to articulate the ever-increasing danger of diminishment of the Church's public persona by the continued presence of Rev. Paul Lininger in the clerical ranks of Holy Mother Church. St. Francis, pray for us.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 27, 2005 12:20 PM ET USA

    Fr. Lininger - like some prior holders of his current position - seems to be afflicted by the Rowan Williams (of CofE fame) malady of circumspection. As a Telegraph editorial once noted, Williams' style was characterised by a colleague as "carefully judged unclarity". The editorial concluded that "the founder of Christianity spoke in simple parables, but then he was a carpenter by trade, not a theologian." So, what is the opposite of apophatic?

  • Posted by: - Sep. 27, 2005 10:32 AM ET USA

    Interesting choice of word - "persona" -- my knowledge of Greek is scant, but I do seem to remember something about the origins of the word "persona" having to do with the masks worn by players in Greek Tragedy. Perhaps the mask needs to be removed and the vale of tears put in its place.