Action Alert!

Silence of the bishops

By Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. ( articles - email ) | Feb 09, 2004

Fr. Rob Johansen discusses whether there is a "different 'level of communication'" among priests, as alleged by Amy Welborn. I think he misunderstands what Amy is talking about, but his response does include some very important truths.

Regarding the former, having lived with priests, I can testify to the fact that most priests talk about their brother priests and bishops in much more candid terms than they would with anyone else. The faults and failings are much more obvious to them and residual effects of a certain pedestal-raising clericalism don't apply to them. Plus, they also find it more prudent to not cause scandal to their parishioners and most lay friends by candidly discussing certain problems in the Church and so they turn to their brother priests for that.

Now, as to the latter, Fr. Rob is right on with regard to bishops. What we have seen in the past few years is clear evidence that most bishops won't criticize or fraternally correct one of their brother bishops. To be sure, there has been some mild criticism, but almost always after the fact, when everything had been made public. But has any bishop called for another bishop to resign by name and before his hand had already been forced? No.

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