Fr Myron Pereira at UCA News offers a devastating commentary on bishops, starting with a tidbit of history that invites some reflection:
For a long time, for centuries in fact, the Catholic Church was one of the few institutions where a young man, with no family connections and little money, could rise to eminence on the basis of intelligence, shrewdness and ambition alone.
Today a man has other options out of whatever remnants of a caste system are to be found in the world’s cultures. So if Catholic clergy were once smart, shrewd, and ambitious, what are they now?
Has the Catholic Church hierarchy lost its clout? Disturbing as this is, it is not surprising. Under John Paul II, any senior priest who showed any independence of thought and action was summarily passed over for promotion in favor of those who were compliant and docile. As a result, we have a timid hierarchy, shy of taking a public stand and eager to show its obsequiousness to the government.
Many of the same Catholics who cheer for the “Darwinian solution” to their problems with their liberal sisters and brothers might consider that not only are today’s bishops and favored clergy selected for mouse-like qualities, but that they are unlikely to be able to adjust on the fly: harsh and critical of the Temple Police’s political opponents and gentle with loyalists. More likely whenever some issue or person is in doubt, the matter will be handled quietly, if at all. And most everybody, maybe even the bishops themselves, will be in doubt as to what actually happened.
And so we have a generation of leaders formed as seminary faculty and on tribunals. Not in the trenches where most people of faith actually operate.