Trading Control Panel for Shepherd’s Staff

A confluence of two stories today struck me. First, Pope Francis on the relationship between bishops and lay people in a talk Rocco labelled “Pastors, Not Pilots.” Read, please:

In reality, the laity who have an authentic Christian formation shouldn’t need a pilot-bishop, nor a monsignor-pilot, nor clerical input to assume their own tasks at every level, from the political and social spheres to the economy and the legislature! Instead, they need a Pastor-Bishop!

Compare to the news out of San Francisco cited by NCRep today on a second draft of a faculty handbook:

Written by a group of five high school theology teachers recruited by the archdiocese, the new document says in its preamble that the contents follow “the general structure of the Catechism” and “offer a short compendium of some important teachings.”

I hope the pro-labor contingent will find the effort satisfactory. It’s a good start to have workers, be they ministers, clergy, bishops, or whomever, to write their own guidelines and hold to them carefully.

That said, it is also beneficial to virtue to hold to orthopraxis when it comes to things like accusations. Secrecy, sleuthing, and stalking are not Christian virtues. They are employed by some Catholics, notably many who self-style as “faithful” and “orthodox.” But don’t be fooled. Whenever a stealth campaign against a believer is conducted and sprung as a surprise, it is neither faithful, Catholic, or at all godly. It is of the darkness.

I applaud Archbishop Cordileone’s approach to relinquish the pilot’s seat and trade control panel for shepherd staff. We’ve had too many bad models of bishop behavior in the past decade or two. It’s time for people to stick to their own jobs and not get over-involved in affairs better left to the experts.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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