Men who are close to the people



In his latest shot across the ecclesial bow, Pope Francis took aim at the bourgeoisification of the institutional church. Addressing the Vatican legates around the world he told them they risked ridicule if they lived overly comfortable lives, What immediately comes to mind was the absolute disgust JP ll showed when  he went to Haiti and saw the papal rep living like a king among the squalor.

More interesting however than the warning against “the bourgeois style of life” was Francis’s comments on the role that the legates have in making recommendations for clergy who should be made bishops.It is universally accepted that John Paul ll as the Brits would say, “made a hames of this” .In short his episcopal choices were uninspired. The poor candidates appointed by the Polish pope were long on dogma and very short on pastoral ability, As the great ecclesiologist Richard McBrien often stated “these men answered to a minority of one-Rome.” Sadly the Catholic Church is still lumbered wit these men who are virtually tone deaf to the sensus fidelium. They are monologists  afraid of dialogue, utterly uninterested in what the Spirit may be say ing to the baptized.

Francis warned these ambassadors of appointing the “overly ambitious or those “who exhibited a “princely psychology and comfortable and tranquil life.

Which takes us back to the great papal legate Jean Jadot. high born of a wealthy belgian family, Jadot was a Vatican ll man who caught the spirit of a church engaged with the people. Pope Paul Vl told him to seek out the best pastoral men he could find.Boy did he ever.No grey monochromatic hacks here. Men like Raymond Hunthausen of Seattle who challenged America’s fascination with nuclear overkill,He called the Trident submarine “the Auschwitz of Puget Sound”, refused to pay taxes to support a foreign policy of mass nuclear murder. Leroy Matthieen of San Antonio was another great one, asking nuclear workers to leave their jobs.There were may more  whom Jadot placed at the head of dioceses.

In Canada we had some wonderful bishops who walked with their people  into history—Remi De Roo, Donal Chiasson,George Flahiff,Tom Fulton, Bernard Hubert, Alex Carter, Joe McNeil, Jim Hayes, Adolphe Proulx and many others,They made the Church credible. Those who followed , in general were not up to their predecessors.

Look to Francis to appoint men “who are close to the people …are mild-mannered, patient and merciful; that they love poverty … (and lead) simple and austere lives,. Be careful that they are not ambitious, that they do not seek the episcopate.Those that want the episcopate … no, that’s not right.”


1 Comment »

  1. 1
    Molly Sutkaitis Says:

    Thought this was interesting Molly

    Molly Sutkaitis177 Stephen Dr #110Toronto, ON M8Y 3N5416 239 1345 Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2013 11:34:23 -0400

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