Tuesday, January 25, 2011

At last!

A camel is horse designed by a ________.

At last the Bishop's Conference of England and Wales have launched some sort of follow up to the Papal Visit, at least I think that is what it is. So sad the euphoria and even the memory has been allowed to dim.

Since the Pope’s visit a great deal of reflection and prayer has gone into supporting the legacy, mindful that in his various speeches, homilies and addresses, the Holy Father very clearly presented to us all ‘Some Definite Purpose’, not just for 2011, but for many years ahead. His Holiness’s words collectively spell out our task as Home Missionaries labouring in the footsteps of Blessed Newman, St Bede, St Augustine and others, and all those who have gone before us with the sign of faith...
I know I sound nagging, disgruntled, whatever you like or dislike, when I mention the Bishops Conference, or Ecclesdon Square. The bishops themselves are for the most part good pastoral, often holy men of the Church, yes they can say or do stupid things, like all of us, but it is the machinery of the Conference that grinds so slowly and often not very ineffectively. I know some of the bishops themselves complain about how the collective decision making process gets in the way of them being effective pastors and they simply don't know how to shortcut it.

9 comments:

Sixupman said...

Perhaps it would be to the benefit of all if they abandoned collective reponsibility for individual responsibility - that is how it was!

Simple, really said...

"I know some of the bishops themselves complain about how the collective decision making process gets in the way of them being effective pastors and they simply don't know how to shortcut it."

It is quite simple, really. They do what Bishop Bruskewitz did some years ago in the USA. He more or less said that what the USA Conference of Catholic Bishops decided was irrelevant in his diocese. HE was the bishop of his diocese and He would govern it accordingly.

Cheryl Langton said...

Wasn't Bishop Bruskewitz moved out of his diocese pretty sharply after making those remarks?

videomaker said...

From the section on witnessing to our faith:

Every one of us has a story to share of when we have experienced God’s presence in our lives. It can be helpful to reflect and think about how we might share that experience with another person. It might have been or continues to be when we sit looking at the sea at sunset, or it could be a feeling of peace on a Christmas morning? It will be different for each one of us and these experiences are given not just for ourselves but are to be shared.

Is this what Catholic evangelism has been reduced to in the UK? If so, it'll likely be a long winter before anyone sees the second spring.

JARay said...

Bishop Bruskewitz is one of the most respected of all the bishops in the US, as far as I understand. He is well known for his robust portrayal of all things Catholic. He used to have, and probably still does have, a list of all organisations, on his diocesan website, whose members he has excommunicated. They include such well known organisations as "We are Church" and Freemasonry.

motuproprio said...

I assure you that Bishop Bruskewitz is still the (very active) Bishop of Lincoln. He is canonically absolutely correct.

Sharon said...

Wasn't Bishop Bruskewitz moved out of his diocese pretty sharply after making those remarks?

I don't think so. Bp Bruskewitz has been the bishop of the most vocation rich diocese in the USA since 1992.

This is what then Cardinal Ratzinger had to say about the problem of episcopal conferences:

The decisive new [Vatican II] emphasis on the role of the bishops is in reality restrained or actually risks being smothered by the insertion of bishops into Episcopal conferences that are ever more organized, often with burdensome bureaucratic structures. We must not forget that the Episcopal converences have no theological basis, they do not belong to the structure of the Church, as willed by Christ, that cannot be eliminated; they have only a practical, concrete function.”…the new Code of Canon Law, which prescribes the extent of the authority of the conferences, which cannot validly act “in the name of all the bishops unless each and every bishop has given his consent”. …The collective does not substitute for the persons of the bishops, who…are “the authentic teachers and instructors of the faith for the faithful entrusted to their care. Ratzinger confirms: :No Episcopal conference…has a teaching mission; its documents have no weight of their own save that of the consent given to them by the individual bishops.”

Why does the Prefect [Ratzinger] insist upon this point? “Because it is a matter of safeguarding the very nature of the Catholic Church, which is based on an Episcopal structure and not on a kind of federation of national churches. The national level is not an ecclesial dimension….It must once again become clear that in each diocese there is only one shepherd and teacher of the faith in communion with the other pastors and teachers and with the Vicar of Christ….

“It happens…that with some bishops there is a certain lack of a sense of individual responsibility and the delegation of his inalienable powers as shepherd and teacher to the structures of the local conferences…It happens then that the search for agreement between the different tendencies and the effort at mediation often yield flattened documents in which decisive positions (where they might be necessary) are weakened. "

The Ratzinger Report
Chapter Four
The problem of Episcopal conferences
Joseph Ratzinger with Vittorio Messori

GOR said...

Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, Oregon was just appointed Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Santa Rosa California. Last year he gave a talk on bishops’ responsibilities and the role of the bishops’ conference (USCCB here in the US). You can find it here: InsideCatholic.com | The Bishop and the Conference | Feature | Articles.

It’s well worth a read and clearly lays out the responsibilities of individual bishops and the role of bishops’ conferences. Those familiar with Bishop Fabian Bruskiewitz will not be surprised to learn that Bishop Vasa was a priest of Bishop Bruskiewitz’s diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska before becoming bishop of Baker, Oregon in 2000.

Ma Tucker said...

God will not be judging the Bishop's conference for it's pastoral care but each individual Bishop.