Most of the US bishops are finishing up their retreat today. I’ve had them in mind and prayer. I’ve also had in mind a discussion I once had with their defenders. My comment involved something like a question: why do bishops meet in hotels? Isn’t there some retreat house somewhere? Simple meals. Privacy. Focus. Less ritzy. Too many bishops, my friend said: only hotels can handle their number.
I confess I’ve attended church workshops in hotels. I’ve even been on committees for them. Hotels are nice. Sometimes committee people even get some nice perks like swimming pools. I’ve also been to conferences on college campuses and even retreat houses. I prefer these.
Mundelein houses two-hundred seminarians. Maybe if they went two beds to a room for auxiliaries, who knows? Maybe USCCB meetings would work for early January and mid-summer. Maybe regional bishops at a smaller place.
To be honest, I have far less interest in this stuff today than I did thirty years ago. Last century, I was a lot more idealistic. I probably thought I had positive suggestions for people other than myself. Bishops in hotels with high attendance versus retreats in seminaries with slightly lower percentages: that kind of thing doesn’t look too good for the Catholic 1%.
No more suggestions. Just saying.