A “Say the Black, Do the Red” sighting.
A few days ago I posted about an entry on the blog of H.E. Most Rev. Chris Coyne, auxiliary in Indianapolis. I guess that that entry helped bring a lot of traffic to H.E.’s blog, which was part of my purpose. Just as I gave him high supporting marks, I had hoped that you too would give him support. Some people were less than supportive it seems. There are those out there who think that just because the internet provides a fog of anonymity and distance, they can write less than kind comments. That’s the way it goes. I describe this blog as a fusion of the Baroque salon and the Wild West saloon.
In any event, Bp. Coyne posted some follow-up comments, imbued with both patience and commonsense, while being in no way timid. I was taken by this paragraph. My emphases and comments:
 I am also very concerned about some of the “unnecessary roughness” being heaped on the clergy collectively. [Oh? Are some people hard on clergy? I remember the phrase “Sacerdos sacerdoti lupissimus!“] There are many priests and bishops out there who make every effort to celebrate the Church’s liturgy as the Church desires it to be celebrated. They preside with reverence and dignity, they preach well, and they strive to make the liturgy not about them but about Christ. We must encourage them in their work and their willingness to be humble enough to be a servant of the liturgy. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?] We should also thank them as often as we can. [Bis!] In addition, I know of no bishop who is unwilling to address the need for better celebration of the Church’s liturgy within their diocese. It is just very complicated. A bishop can encourage his priests to “say the black and do the red,” to celebrate according to the Church’s rites, and to develop better preaching skills, he can hold all kinds of liturgical conferences and workshops for his priests, but the minute guys get back to their parishes, they can do what they want. [Welllll…. yes, of course, Your Excellency. If you say so.] In truly egregious situations of liturgical malpractice, the bishop will have to step in and do something, but the question is “what?” And that’s where it gets difficult especially in this time of fewer clergy to cover many parishes. Some would say it is better to have a few truly good shepherds than to allow for the flock to be lead astray by the “hired hand.” That’s all well and good until there is no one available to celebrate the sacraments in any form in the parish because a priest’s faculties have been suspended because he plays with the rubrics. As you can see, it is a difficult balancing act.
That’s right, of course. While we must not let the perfect be the enemy of the good, at the same time we shouldn’t simply let things slide. It is a hard set of objectives to balance, given time, energy, numbers.
I thank God that we have good faithful bishops. I thank God I am not one and never will be. Two reasons why I will go to the wall for bishops I respect.
WDTPRS Kudos to Bp. Coyne.
He raises a very good point. I imagine one or two of you will have an opinion.