Bishop Leonard Blair got some radio and CNS time this week, chatting about the LCWR:
If by dialogue they mean that the doctrines of the church are negotiable and the bishops represent one position and the LCWR presents another position, and somehow we find a middle ground about basic church teaching on faith and morals, then no, I don’t think that is the kind of dialogue that the Holy See would envision.
But if it’s a dialogue about how to have the LCWR really educate and help the sisters to appreciate and accept church teaching and to implement it in their discussions and try to hear some of the questions or concerns they have about these issues, then that would be the dialogue.
I’m not sure the LCWR and the CDF are quite on the same page. The LCWR has disputed the claims made against it. It would seem that before Bishop Blair can even be sure what the dialogue is about he should listen to his own flock first and suspend belief on the CDF’s claims here.
However, if this is about the occasional wayward sould who escorts women for abortions, that’s an argument built on the same lines as those who marginalize the episcopal witness for the moral mismanagement of cardinals such as Bernard Law and Anthony Bevilacqua. The ordination of women is not a matter of morality, nor faith in God. It is an administrative tradition, well-packed in history and especially metaphor. Permitting oneself to be swayed by the mewlings of sex addicts and declining to protect the innocent is under a direct condemnation of the Lord. Bishop Blair is correct that such a scandal does not remove the resposibility of the bishops to teach and serve in Christ’s name. Another model for serving, addressed to the apostles directly should be well-considered here.
This is a beef over administration. I can’t see the American sisters submitting to lies, if the bishops insist on turning this into a catechism lesson. Jesus didn’t found canonically-approved membership organizations. While helpful to facilitate communication, they don’t appear necessary to the tradition. Especially when the communication has been tarnished by gossip, innuendo, and misunderstanding. Many otherwise good bishops believed the lies of predator clergy. Raising the issue of their handling of sex abuse is definitely apt here. Are theu so sure they haven’t been hoodwinked again?
Listened to whole of Bishop Blair’s interview and was profoundly unimpressed. A classic clerical careerist, biding time before one last step up the ladder. The failure to admit that the doctrinal assessment was a grasping at straws, the inability to hear what the leadership of the LCWR are saying etc. all made sad listening. The question is not whether the sisters are prepared for dialog, but whether the Bishops and the CDF are. At the moment I have my doubts.
Off topic, it should be noted that the game of episcopal bingo continued today, with Bp Cordileone leaving after only 3 years in Oakland to become abp of San Francisco, Abp Niederauer having turned 75 thirteen months ago…
These folks luvvvvvvvvvv Crocodileone. Be sure and catch the loving comments about my parish (MHR):
Well, my friend in a very culturally diverse parish in the East Bay has told me that, while people were afraid he’d bring the hammer down on their parish, he carefully avoided doing so. But I would expect MHR to be in the cross-hairs by default at this point.
I suspect that the absolutely worst job in the Archdiocese of SF as of October 5th will be Pastor @ MHR. And the new one is very new!
He was handpicked by Abp Niederauer, Bp Justice and Msgr Jim Tarantino who was, at the time, MHR Administrator during the 7 month medical absence of the former pastor.
I wonder how many dark nights of the soul he will be having in the next 2 years?
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