The Quotable Skylstad

By Diogenes (articles ) | Dec 30, 2005

Highlights from USCCB President Bishop William Skylstad's address to the American College at Louvain (December 5, 2005):

  • "During these last years of crisis, we bishops have had to face an extraordinary moment in terms of the public image of the Church. Especially in 2002, I did not recognize the image of bishops presented to the public in so many depictions in the media. I did hear and read about things that surprised and even disappointed me."

  • "It has been a humbling experience to be cast in the glare of publicity as men who failed in our responsibility. And even if, in conscience, we are not sure that charge is a fair one, it has reminded us that we are the successors of men who, in their own time, were reviled for preaching the gospel, not respected for it."

  • "Christ is in the midst of our participative structures, as he said he would be wherever two or three are gathered in his name. They involve meetings of disciples who are known as Christ's disciples by their love for one another."

  • "And in the end, it is a pretense to think that the contributions of the faithful in some form or other have been and will have to be used to bring an end to diocesan litigation. All the funds of the Church belong to the community of faith. It is foolhardy to separate one pocket from the other."

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is an Equal Opportunity Employer (M/F/D/V). Interested persons should know that the USCCB offers "competitive starting salaries with excellent work environment and fringe benefit package including free parking. Close proximity to Metro (Red Line - Brookland/CU)."

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  • Posted by: Fr. William - Jan. 02, 2006 3:32 PM ET USA

    Thanks for the blog, Diogenes. And thanks for your comments, Ignacio & Altar Boy. Almighty God & His Church have called Bp. Skylstad to be a Successor to the Apostles. The bishop of Spokane, by his very own words, has not and is not acting in accord with God's call to him. In fact, by Bp. Skylstad's own pathetic testimony of self-absorbed relativism & secular humanism, one could petition the Holy Father to enact Canon 401-2 to minimize the damage that the USCCB president is doing.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 02, 2006 9:38 AM ET USA

    You are right on Leo 13. A prayer life might help the Bishops. We need to pray for them and the church.

  • Posted by: SentimentalGent - Dec. 31, 2005 7:36 PM ET USA

    After reading those comments, I felt like crying. I still do. Our poor, poor Catholic Church in America. I think we're at a juncture in the United States — We will either see a great revival of the True Faith, or the it will go the way of the Catholic Church in northern Africa. We need to pray and pray and pray. And then when we're finished praying, then we need to pray some more. Jesus, Mary, I love you. Save souls.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 31, 2005 1:23 PM ET USA

    Shades of Frank Griswold!

  • Posted by: Ignacio177 - Dec. 31, 2005 1:01 PM ET USA

    This type of discourse might fly in Spokane where the smartest man in town is the Gonzaga University basketball coach, but it will fail to takeoff in other parts of the English speaking world. Perhaps the good bishop could take rhetoric lessons from Coach Few.

  • Posted by: opraem - Dec. 31, 2005 2:14 AM ET USA

    after reading the bishop's comments, it is clear that their collective denial and self serving conduct for over 20 years allowed a sexual abuse problem to become a crisis. the bishops's continued failure to address the roots of the problem, their own corruption and inability to purge the pedophile enablers from their ranks, will continue to stumble from pr disaster to the court house and back again. and many of the laity will continue to be denied the true catholic faith.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 31, 2005 12:54 AM ET USA

    "In 2002, the then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said that “a bishop must do as Christ did: precede his flock, being the first to do what he calls others to do and, first of all, being the one who stands against the wolves who come to steal the sheep.” ( A quote from the recent Catholic Insight article written by Bishop Chaput-- who truly understands what it means to be a Bishop)

  • Posted by: - Dec. 30, 2005 8:58 PM ET USA

    OK, this made me laugh out loud: "disciples who are known as Christs's disciples by their love for one another." The very kind of deformed "love" for one another for which they are known is the root of the problem! And it certainly doesn't mark them as Christ's disciples.

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Dec. 30, 2005 8:47 PM ET USA

    These quotes are particularly sad as they are ALL found in ONE address. No wonder the Church in the US is in such a state. I wonder if there's other appropriate psychological terms that can be applied to explaining such blindness in addition to denial? I think there is a definate pattern establish by these folks which would get them fired from most other jobs: either by management or by the shareholders (you know, those with the "pockets"). Am not suprised that he's just figures!

  • Posted by: Stonewall - Dec. 30, 2005 6:39 PM ET USA

    Do you think the bishop may have inhaled too much incense?

  • Posted by: - Dec. 30, 2005 6:39 PM ET USA

    Puffed up speakers commonly relate personal stories with prefatory remarks such as "It has been a humbling experience." The Apostles were often reviled for preaching the Gospel. Sad to say, there are few American bishops who will ever receive the same treatment, for the same reason. Unfortunately many of them are the butt of well-deserved criticism from the most faithful of their flock because they act like they haven't a clue of what the Gospel is all about. This is not the sign of reform.

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Dec. 30, 2005 6:23 PM ET USA

    disgusting. if only they would be TRUE "successors of men who, in their own time, were reviled for preaching the Gospel..." me thinks they were reviled for something less noble then that. in fact, they're being reviled for NOT living the Gospel...what they're preaching is open to debate. Heaven help us. So, how does one separate "one pocket from the other?"

  • Posted by: - Dec. 30, 2005 4:55 PM ET USA

    "It has been a humbling experience to be cast in the glare of publicity as men who failed in our responsibility. And even if, in conscience, we are not sure that charge is a fair one, it has reminded us that we are the successors of men who, in their own time, were reviled for preaching the gospel, not respected for it." Wait a minute. Surely the Bishop is not equating shuffling sexual predators from one end of a diocese to another with the preaching of the gospel. Is he?

  • Posted by: - Dec. 30, 2005 4:22 PM ET USA

    The negative "image" is well deserved. These guys should not equate themselves with the martyrs. Each bishop needs to tend to his own flock, not rely on "deliberative structures" to do this work for him. My own two cents worth: the Church would be better off without this bureaucracy.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 30, 2005 3:54 PM ET USA

    These are very troubling statements. In one instance he denies, on behalf of all bishops, responsibility for the widespread sex abuse committed by clergy under his control then likens the well-deserved criticism of the their perfidy to the suffering and martyrdom endured by the Apostles. As if that isn’t enough, he then says that we shouldn’t object to the bishops stealing from the collection basket to pay hush money to homosexual lovers or pay settlement awards to victims of clergy sex abuse.