Do They or Don’t They?

An exchange about priests getting promoted to bishop on a social media site:

Every good priest I know swears it’s the last thing on earth they desire. And they are rather vehement about hoping to avoid the burden.

From my experience even priests who long to be bishops swear it’s the last thing on earth they desire.

Makes sense to me.

In the mid-00s, a well-connected source from the Catholic blogosphere told me that close to two-thirds of the clergy approached by Rome were declining the proposed assignment. Depending on your assessment of the Vatican’s vetting process, that’s either bad news or a mixed bag. Somehow, I’d want to think the Holy Spirit is guiding choices and it’s all working out. Though I’ve gotten nervous at times.

It seems careerism was once more of a problem once you got the level of bishop. It’s been a long practice to move bishops up the line. It’s also been a long criticism on this site of that happening as a usual practice rather than an emergency situation.

One might think that in the olden days (at least) bishops were more skilled at their priesthood. It might make a little sense that men who were “recruited” into seminary by a bishop, had contact with their bishop during their formative years in school and early ministry, and who might have seen their bishop close up laboring in ministry–such a pastor might be admirable and worthy of imitation. That’s how it might be in a healthy church, right? Not a bad thing.

About catholicsensibility

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