Blistering NRO pieces flames the recent USCCB meeting | 6/19/2019 | View all posts by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf →

Beware. This piece from NRO might provoke thoughts that require confession. I’m not kidding.

That said, this blistering entry by Declan Leary jabs a serious bruise. Themes: passing v. lasting – passivity and reaction v. activity v. proaction. Let’s see some of this with my emphases and comments.

Men - Suits - Conference - Hall - Baltimore

More than 200 men in black suits sit in a conference hall in a Baltimore hotel. On folding tables in front of them hundreds of pieces of paper are scattered and pitchers of water are placed at regular intervals. Two tables raised in the front are lined with people apparently in charge, each with a microphone. Everyone has a name tag, hung around his neck on a green lanyard. At a glance, you might think it’s a regional gathering of some professional association of paper salesmen, hotel managers, maybe even low-caliber lawyers. Only a careful look at their collars will show that these men are the apostolic shepherds, more or less, of the Catholic Church in the United States.

One steps up to a portable podium and offers a brief opening prayer. There is a pull-down projector screen behind him lit up with an image of the crucified Christ; one can’t help but think that a better setting might have some permanent reminders of why these men are here — or permanent anything, for that matter. Folding tables, a moving podium, a temporary stage (though why a stage is necessary at all in a gathering of bishops is beyond me), all in a neutral (not to mention, thoroughly secular) location, every exit neatly marked by red-lit signs — the bishops look ready to pick up and run at the first hint of trouble. Call it a sign of...
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