Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Bishop's Conferences

There are strong feelings in some quarters against national conferences of bishop's. On the ersatz progressive side it seems predicated on opposition to episcopal authority in general, the "I'm My Own Magisterium" syndrome, but since that applies to ones own ordinary as well, (it's always the local bishop who has to actually in the case of priestettes,) that's not really what I'm referencing.
Fr Ray Blake of St Mary Magdalen has a post on it, citing the conferences' lack of canonical status with supporting words from some obscure Bavarian theologian named Ratzinger.
The USCCB has certainly come in for as much flak over their toothless, timid, equivocating documents as for their single-minded, (some have said "simple-minded",) ones. (It is easy to be forthright and clear on some things -- all in favor of tasty luncheons, say "aye!" Raise your hand if you're against bad weather spoiling sporting events!)
And from what I've read of them, the Bishops of England and Wales make our boys look positively magisterial.
And it does seem to be true that on ... I was going to say "controversial," but that's not the right word, on UNPOPULAR, COUNTER-CULTURAL life-related issues, for there is no controversy among Catholics the non-pussy-footing statements came from individual bishops.
But as I understand it, the reasoning behind the creation of conferences was a sharing of resources. It doesn't seem to have happened, much, despite the bureaucracy erected to facilitate this, at least not in matters where what they do could be useful in the trenches. (Unless you count movie reviews, not a pressing need in my neck of the woods.)
I wish, for instance that the conference would provide leadership in establishing, since it is not feasible for each diocese to have one, for each... what do you call the conglomerate of suffragan dioceses that are all under one metropolitan? is that called a "province"? well, whatever that is, an institute of sacred music for each one. (And not under the leadership of a "liturgical musician" such as the diocesan official who gave me a blank look at the word "Propers.")
At MusicaSacra, a conversation about solo use of musical instruments morphed into the failure of the Faithful to take advantage of sacramental confession and the failure of [some] bishops and priest to preach penitence the way they should.
My point is... I don't really have a point. There is no connection, I'm just rambling.

But there was a line that struck me - There was a time our priests and bishops went to prison, torture and death for what they believed and said. Today they live in terror of losing a tax break.

No comments: