Thursday, November 20, 2008

Westminster Wish List

I have had a number of priest friends dropping round recently. One was Westminster priest, we were chatting about who might be good to replace Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, despite being "rabidly orthodox" and deeply pro-life this was his list, and interestingly these were the qualities a Middlesbrough priest ascribed to his own bishop.
When the Cardinal was our bishop, I thought he had most of these qualities:

Enjoys being a priest
Likes his priest
Supports his priests
Works with his priests
Is willing to spend time with his priests
Listens to his priests and answers their concerns
Cares about his priests
Realises his priests are his co-workers
Encourages vocations to the priesthood
Gives hope to his priests

We priests are easily satisfied.


Anonymous said...

And respects his priests

Anonymous said...

Important he respects the wishes of the Holy Father too!

Anonymous said...

A comment from outside - Is learned and able to hold his own with scholars outside his church- is politically wise and cautious but not afraid to take on the various secular pressure groups and political parties- is a man of prayer familar with the tradition of the ages - is utterly loyal to the Pope - and while thoroughly catholic knows something of and can get on with other Christians and Jews. A local Benedict indeed! Christianity in Britain needs a leader, who else can supply it?

Fr Ray Blake said...

The reason why I drew attention to Fr's orthodoxy etc was that that did not feature in his list, nor did spirituality or learning, merely his close identification with the presbyterate and priests.

Caring for his priests,was this priest's priority for a bishop.

Anonymous said...

As a mere lay person, I think we would wish for someone who is not afraid:

Not afraid to stick his neck out for the Truth, not afraid to stand alone, not afraid to defend The Church.

yes, I know... a tall order.

If someone were prepared to do that, he would find his priests automatically lining up behind him. And the rest of the wish-list would follow as well.

Volpius Leonius said...

Must be Orthodox
Must be willing to work with the Pope
Must stand up to secularism
Must act as well as talk

Volpius Leonius said...

"Caring for his priests,was this priest's priority for a bishop."

Seems a bit selfish to me, kind of like voting for a guy who promises to give you lots of freebies.

Anagnostis said...

To be a true apostle and father in Christ to all his people (not just the priests!).

Anonymous said...

I think I know which priest this is. He would understand that a Bishop functions with and through his priests, by serving them he serves his diocese.
The Risen Christ, Fr X would suggest functions through the College of Apostles, therefore by analogy the Bishop functions through his priests.

motuproprio said...

The sad fact is that whatever may have been his character in A&B, CMO'C has not managed many of these qualities in Westminster; however it seems to me your friend is asking for an abbot more than a bishop - of course Westminster has had one of those. Comparisons would be odious.

PeterHWright said...

Of course a diocesan bishop must be a caring father to his priests, and to all his flock. And if he was not firstly a man of prayer, he could not be so.

A modern bishop (God help him) with a high profile diocese must also be an inspiring leader, a politician, an administrator, a diplomat, be media "savvy", and oh so many things [in no particular order], not a position I would wish on any man.

Anonymous said...

Priests must be the real responsibility of a bishop.

Anonymous said...

When a Bishop doesn't like his clergy there is disaster in the diocese. Some of us are confronted by this daily.

GOR said...

It seems that candidates for the episcopacy - assuming they have the requisite scholastic credentials - are chosen mainly for their 'administrative abilities'.

On that basis Our Lord made the wrong choice in Peter to head the Church!

Granted, Peter had operated his own business - and it was a cooperative - but hardly the training ground for a top-level CEO, right?

So, who among the Apostles had the most 'administrative experience'...? Well, Matthew as a Tax Collector in his former life, certainly would have qualified.

But who was the 'administrator' for The Twelve...?

Judas! As he had "the care of the purse..."

Just saying...

Anonymous said...

Three outstanding catholic bishops of the past were not particularly popular with their priests. Manning, a recent convert from the C of E ,upset old fashioned seculars by giving them the title Father(hitherto used only by religious): Vaughan had a tremendous battle with the Jesuits in Manchester: Heenan's diocese (Liverpool) was called the "cruel see" and there were jokes about him being in the pay of removal men as priests were so often moved about. Yet they were supremely successful bishops and archbishops.

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