Over at dotCommonweal, blogger Margaret O'Brien Steinfels offers this short post:
Apropos of the decision of Bishop D’Arcy to absent himself from the Notre Dame Commencement, the following lament was heard from an old friend in the clergy: “As for Bishop D’Arcy and his decision and many similar actions by hierarchs, I wish some bishop would stand up on the floor of the (Bishops') Conference and say, “Brothers, once when bishops leveled penalties, the effect was to isolate the miscreant from society. Now the effect seems to be to isolate us. Before we take that as a sign of how close to perdition everyone else is, perhaps we should think about our own inadequacies in dealing with the world around us.”Now, if you've read my earlier posts on this issue, you know that I'm not supportive of ND's invitation to Obama. But that doesn't keep me from seeing some wisdom in Steinfels' friend's observation.
Without evaluating the bishops' statements and actions on any number of issues as right or wrong, it's certainly true that the voice of the Church no longer carries the weight it once did. That's not to suggest that the bishops should remain silent or hold back on what they believe to be the truth. It is to suggest, however; that they must be as sly as foxes in how their truth is communicated.
This is true for pastors, too.
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