Over at the National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap), Michael Sean Winters attacked Bp. Tobin for saying that he (Tobin) is disappointed that Pope Francis hasn’t spoken enough about abortion.
Lastly, a note to the nuncio. Unless you want to spend the next few years defending Pope Francis in the face of such criticisms from bishops on your own, [!] the ternas for new appointments must include men who “get it,” men who understand what the Holy Father is trying to do, to change the conversation the church was having with the culture, a conversation the church was losing, and renew the proclamation of the Gospel by being more humble, less quick to condemn, more engaging with those with whom we may disagree a lot and, especially, by getting out of our sacristies (or our diocesan newspapers) and letting ourselves be re-evangelized by encountering the flesh of Jesus in the wounded flesh of our broken humanity. Pope Francis is achieving such a powerful response because he has captured the excitement of the Gospel. Bishop Tobin remains stuck in the tired and boring culture wars. Still, it is stunning to see such a clear, precise criticism of the pope by a bishop.
Okay, let’s think about this.
NSR wants lots and lots of collegiality and influence from below, right?
But, no! Apparently not.
NSR wants only the sort of bishops who will like and say YES to everything that Pope Francis says or does. No criticism is allowed for their new Dear Leader!
Were the Michael Sean Winters types in charge, the college of bishops around Pope Francis would look like a meeting of North Korea’s Communist Party.
No independent thoughts are allowed? No one should be appointed bishop unless he agrees with everything the Holy Father, the Supreme Pontiff, says or does!
Don’t worry, Michael Sean. Pope Francis is a big boy. This isn’t exactly his first rodeo. Francis has shown that he welcomes input.
You don’t have to protect Popes from criticism.
Goodness gracious! How do the guys at The Fishwrap walk straight into it like this? C’mon! You’re making this too easy!