Gospel according to the training manual

By Leila Marie Lawler (articles ) | Apr 01, 2006

The bishops have handed over their commission to a commission. What does a bishop do if not teach, admonish, and lead out of sin? Where would an example of sin be if not in the sex abuse scandal? Not that sex abuse by clergy of youth is the only sin, but surely these acts aren’t somehow to be counted outside the realm of sin!

It is not therefore a matter of inventing a "new program". The program already exists: it is the plan found in the Gospel and in the living Tradition, it is the same as ever. Ultimately, it has its center in Christ Himself, who is to be known, loved and imitated, so that in Him we may live the life of the Trinity, and with Him transform history until its fulfillment in the heavenly Jerusalem. This is a program which does not change with shifts of times and cultures, even though it takes account of time and culture for the sake of true dialogue and effective communication. This program for all times is our program for the Third Millennium. – Pope John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte

A search of the bishops' last reportreveals 45 instances of the word "training." Forty-six of the word "process." Five of the word "moral." Three of the word "sin." Zero of the word "commandments." Zero of the word "Gospel." Two of the name of Jesus Christ. Zero of the word "confession." Zero of "tradition" or "traditional." Two for "virtue," but they are actually the same mention, so that counts for one.

Beware, bishops of America. You have submitted your divine calling to the temptation of inventing a “new program,” which the faithful will in turn be tempted to see as a rejection in practice of “the plan found in the Gospel and in the living Tradition.”

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  • Posted by: Quadratus - Apr. 03, 2006 4:40 PM ET USA

    Bishops of America: Mene , Mene , Tekel , Parsin

  • Posted by: - Apr. 03, 2006 1:05 PM ET USA

    People love "programs" and "commissions" because you don't have to attach your own name to what comes out of them. You therefore avoid personal accountability, which can be uncomfortable. Just ask Bruskewitz if he's comfortable.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 03, 2006 6:39 AM ET USA

    I've just put together a comprehensive analysis of the sex abuse in the Church, based on both reports - it's mainly shiny graphs, so not to worry =o) http://closedcafeteria.blogspot.com/2006/04/priestly-sex-abuse-facts.html

  • Posted by: - Apr. 01, 2006 9:48 PM ET USA

    Democrats love programs. Bishops are Democrats. Ergo, Bishops love programs. In fact, programs are a huge cop-out --- an attempt to delegate episcopal responsibilities to sociologists and assorted "experts."

  • Posted by: - Apr. 01, 2006 4:01 PM ET USA

    Quite possibly the single most insightful comment I have heard regarding this woeful scandal.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Apr. 01, 2006 3:27 PM ET USA

    Bravo, Leila! If they can't aadmonish each other how can they admonish us??? And NOT by any means that the laity does not need to be admonished. Where is there a sheep strong enough to lead these shepherds? May Jesus have mercy on us!

  • Posted by: - Apr. 01, 2006 1:11 PM ET USA

    Process theology at its finest - courtesy of Alfred North Whitehead.

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Apr. 01, 2006 12:33 PM ET USA

    Just for the fun of it: did a "word count" after transfering the .pdf format to MS Word. The word cound was 23,781 for the whole document except Appendix B & C. Looks like, by Leila's count, "process" is the winner. (I got 52 instances, counting "processes" & "processing.") To bad "process" isn't "progress."