The thing that binds the Church together, and makes it rather messy too, isn't a military type command structure, it is actually simply affection.
Some of you who comment on this blog suggest the Pope, or bishops, or priests should "put the boot in" as often as possible, sometimes that is absolutely unavoidable, but that can't be the norm in any organisation or society, least of all in the Church of Jesus Christ.
I was touched by this photograph, which is uncaptioned, of Archbishop Dolan of New York, presumably a young priest (presumably) at his ordination. It sums up the father/son relationship of bishop and priest which lies at the heart of the Church.
Archbishop Dolan has a difficult task, whilst many had great affection for Cardinal Egan, his predecessor, their were often tensions on at least a couple of occasions these became public and splits in the diocese between bishop and priests sapped morale. Rocco Palmo reports on initiatives the Archbishop is taking to build up relationships between himself and priests.
If the Year for Priests is to bear fruit one aspect that is crucial, is bishops trying to build bonds of affection between themselves and their priests, especially in today's Church were priests can so often be left feeling overwhelmed by diocesan bureaucracy.
I have a friend from a northern diocese who was so delighted when his new bishop made time to sink the best part of a bottle of scotch with him and a few other priests one evening - hard on the liver but soft on the heart. Vatican II seems to see that a bishops main priority is his relationship with his priests, I am sure for many bishops this can be a crucifixion, but "strengthening the brethren", imitating Christ the High Priest who spent most of his time eating with and talking to his Apostles can't be a bad thing for the Church.