Pope Francis has been talking a great deal about "careerism" amongst clergy, Chiesa suggests he should look no further that the College of Cardinal to begin a reform. Most Cardinals once ordained Bishop are then moved, or promoted, from one See to another, eventually ending up in a Metropolitan Cardinalatial See, like Westminster or New York, it places careerism at the heart of the Church. The solution Magister concludes is abolish the connection between certain Sees and the "red hat". Some Cardinals can have as many as four dioceses under their fascia.
As holy as individual Cardinals might be, the appearance of "promotion" or of ambition being rewarded amongst the episcopacy, is plainly contrary to the Gospel. It creates a certain culture within the Church that is outside of the perview of the Gospel. It also creates a circle of the ambitious, a "magic circle" if you will.
Nicea saw the movement of Bishops from one See to another as a grave sin. The Fathers saw such moves as adulerous, as bishops like, Christ, are the bridegroom of their Churches, hence even the great Augustine remained Bishop of obscure Hippo all his life.
The role of a Bishop in the Church is not one of power but of service and relationships, primarily of being a spiritual Father, of being the mystical spouse, the Shepherd, the teacher, the guide. Today, more than ever a Bishop cannot rule by imposed authority but by his own fidelity. As in a marriage trust is essential, of the many crisis in the Church today one of the most significant is perhaps the breakdown in trust in the heirarchy. One of the reasons I suspect is that many bishops look outside their dioceses for "success" rather than in it.
One is more likely to become a Cardinal not by serving the poor and needy within one's own patch, not by huge numbers of converts, full seminaries, orthodox catechetical programmes, or even outstanding personal holiness but by heading prestigious committees in the National Episcopal Conference
Magister quotes the great Cardinal Gantin
"On his appointment, the bishop must be a father and a pastor for the people of God. One is always a father. Once a bishop is appointed to a particular see, he must generally and in principle stay there for ever. Let that be clear. The relationship between a bishop and a diocese is also depicted as a marriage and a marriage, according to the spirit of the Gospel, is indissoluble. The new bishop must not make other personal plans. There may well be serious reasons, very serious reasons for a decision by the authorities that the bishop go from one family, so to speak, to another. In making this decision, the authorities take numerous factors into consideration. They do not include an eventual desire by a bishop to change see."Of course what can be said about Bishops being moved to more prestigious diocese can also be said about Parish Priests.