Friday, January 12, 2007

A check on new bishops

Adam Deville, a Ph.D. candidate at the Sheptytsky Institute for Eastern Christian Studies in Ottawa writes a piece for the Ottawa Citizen, A check on new bishops.

Adam is a friend of the NLM and raises a subject bound to stir some controversy. I can't say I agree with all of Adam's proposals, nor with the way Rome seems to be portrayed at times, but nonetheless he raises an issue which many faithful Catholics have raised in consternation and confusion: improving the process by which bishops are selected to ensure good, faithful Catholic men are put into those positions.

Very often we have seen men raised to the episcopacy who we question how they arrived there at all, let alone made it to the final list of candidates. We should like to see more Burke's, Finn's and Bruskewitz's. So why don't we? Not all of this is the fault of Rome. A man could be orthodox but cave under the pressure of leadership and fail to be as assertive as may need be, allowing the status quo to reign. This can be a difficult issue to avoid. But other selections seem more avoidable.

There is indeed an issue somewhere. Perhaps the middle ground lay in a reform of the appropriate congregations, the nuncio's, and the establishment of a quiet advisory panel in various language or national groups of known Catholic bishops, priests and laity -- known and proven in their orthodoxy (men like those bishops named above) -- who can be polled behind the scenes as the short list of candidates.

Even this has its flaws. Something needs to be reformed however.

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