Wednesday, 31 October 2012

If the Bishop's were Executives, they'd have been fired long ago

Mulier Fortis and Countercultural Father report on Bishop Kieran Conry's latest outpourings that are, frankly, mystifying.

+ Conry casts aside recorded history to give his distorted take on things.

Elsewhere we have Bishops shutting churches in a style more akin to Chairman Mao than to a Prince of the Church.

For years they (their lordships) have trundled out tired and weary nuances that have weakened the faith of many and led them down the path of relativism.

Yet we, the poor old sheep in the pen, put up with it all ad infinitum.

If George Orwell was alive and writing Animal Farm today he would not be focusing on Communism but on the Catholic Church.

Just think, for one minute, of the track record of  the Bishops over the past forty or fifty years.

Catholic Schools are a disgrace, abortion on demand goes unheeded,  marriages and baptisms have nose dived, adoption by homosexuals accepted, foreign priests drafted to prop up parishes in a lazy attempt to maintain the status quo and the seminaries sniff out any candidates that might have a touch of sanctity about them.
In fact, the old Noel Coward joke could be adapted along the lines of:

 Bishop interviewing prospective seminarian: "Tell me, are you a homosexual?"

Prospective seminarian: "I'm sorry My Lord, I didn't realise it was an entry requirement"

In a business world, the Bishops would have received an appraisal interview 12 months into the job.
The object would be to identify weaknesses or flaws in performance and give firm guidance and objectives with the aim of helping the Bishop to become more proficient.

This is not be a spiritual exercise, it concerns management and administration matters.

How to plan effectively, how to overcome issues such as the lack of vocations, how to motivate your priests and how to inspire your flock by your words and deeds.

And then, at the end of year two and on the occasion of the second appraisal interview, if objectives had not been achieved, the Bishop should be told to go, and quickly.

That goes part of the way to ensuring a vibrant and strong Church.

The other part is, of course, the spiritual element.

NB - an apology. After experimenting with Disqus I have reverted (hopefully) to the original comments format. In the process it appears as if I've lost a great number of comments and responses, sorry.


  1. Glad you've reverted. It was a pain in the fundament and, being of the naif school, I couldn't get my head around the new system. People can always repost.
    I don't know why but whenever I see a picture of a certain bishop he seems to be wearing a loud check suit and spats. Must go to Specsavers.

  2. St Peter at Pearly Gates: "And what percentage of the people put into your care did you lead to Heaven?"

    Priest: " ... ... ..."

    (Fill in the gap).

  3. "If George Orwell was alive and writing Animal Farm today he would not be focusing on Communism but on the Catholic Church."

    You said it. This is something I think about, and often sarcastically quote often.

    Peace friend,
    Jason @ AMC

  4. Don't blame the bishops. Many of them were put in charge of dioceses because of their fidelity to the magesterium not their administrative accumen. Indeed, the old expression of a bishop that is better at blessing than budgeting is true.

    Each diocese is a multimillion dollar corporation that affects the lives of thousands or more and too often dioceses are put in the hands of men woefully Ill suited to managing people, public relations, or finances.

    The problem is the system itself. Each diocese is basically run like a medieval fief, with the bishop on top. though he has plenty of advisors and must consider the lay and clerical reaction to any of his moves, he still has final say in everything. "Whatever father wants" is not just a saying but an operating principle in the institutional church.

    Father gets whatever father wants regardless of how ill-advised, irresponsible, or downright stupid it is.

    Here in Boston we're still learning about how poorly Bernard Cardinal Law managed archdiocesan finances (in addition to his horrific and dishonest handling of abusive priests).

    Unbeknownst to the layity, over 18 years Law diverted upwards of $70-$80M in Christmas and Easter collections to the retired priest fund to pay for other archdiocesan costs. Law ran up a $110M defecit in the fund that took his successor 10 years of intense fundraising to erase.

    And in the aftermath, we have only the word of our current Cardinal (a good one) that the fund won't be similarly mishandled in the future.

    I'd rather have firm safeguards and a system of financial checks and balances (with lay involvement) to keep any future bishops from raiding the priest retirment fund than more promises.

    1. Sorry meant to write "Law diverted upwards of $70-$80M in Christmas and Easter collections FROM the retired priest fund"