I know why I don’t watch the USCCB meeting on tv. This bit from CNS headlined their page today:
In his talk opening the Nov. 15-18 fall general assembly of the USCCB, the cardinal devoted much of his time to reviewing the debate over health care reform earlier this year and the “wound to the church’s unity” caused by differences over the final legislation.
Cardinal George said “developments since the passage of the legislation” have confirmed that “our analysis of what the law itself says was correct and our moral judgments are secure.”
He did not specify what those developments were.
Of course not. The bishops got spanked politically on insurance reform. Rather than acknowledge there were honest differences of opinion in a legal assessment, the USCCB prez complains about church unity.
Differences of opinion do not constitute a problem for unity. It’s how differences are handled that make for damage to the horizontal aspects of a faith community.
Cardinal George has already shown himself less than willing to listen to lay experts he appointed or endorsed in his own diocese to counsel him on matters of clerical sex abuse. He has opened himself to questions about matters more grave than mere opinion–allowing a sex predator a few months’ access in a parish.
The bishops are not stupid. But they live in a society in which lay people are more competent in more areas than they are. The danger to unity is when people–including cardinals–make more of their role in society and the Church than reality suggests.
As for the recent questions about suitable leadership … Cardinal George would still be of concern to me.