For Fishwrap, El Pueblo knows best!

Over at the National Schismatic Reporter, Michael Sean Winters has a supremely naïve piece (for which I hope he was paid by the word).  Winters lays out a grand plan for Pope Francis to reform the Roman Curia and why.

Aside from the fact that MSW has no clue whatsoever about procedures in the Roman Curia, here is one  naive assertion about how thing ought to be under this kinder, compassionate Pope:

As mentioned at the beginning, the most important change that appears to be needed at the curia is a change of heart. Already, the new pope seems willing to teach by example. Will his simplicity of personal style be mimicked by his new associates and will that simplicity carry over to their style of thinking, their manner of approaching problems? For example, you may agree or disagree with the decisions made by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith regarding any given theologian, but the whole process of examining theological texts should be re-worked, to introduce greater openness and accountability. [Good grief… if only he knew thing one about the procedure presently followed in the CDF!] You may like the appointment of culture warrior bishops or, like me, think it is a horrible development in the life of the Church, but why do Metropolitans and their suffragan bishops – and indeed the local clergy – no longer play any role in drawing up ternas for vacant sees? [They do still play a role, though perhaps not as much as they did once.] Wide consultation yields better information and, usually, a more balanced perspective. But, this kind of change is not intended only to yield more information, it is designed to end the sense among some nuncios and among those who work at the Congregation for Bishops that “they know best.”

Note the plea about “more information” at the local level.  El Pueblo knows best!

MSW calls for what was done under apostolic delegates such as Archbp. Jadot.

That yielded a culture of protectors of child abusers.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. robtbrown says:

    Actually, there is more consultation now than back in the good old days when Cardinal Bernardin was almost singlehandedly appointing bishops. It is disinformation sponsored by people like Winters that the nomination of liberal bishops then was a democratic process with heavy popular consultation.

    It is also liberal disinformation that liberal bishops are more pastoral. Cardinal Bernardin’s turn as ordinary of Chicago produced drops in mass attendance that ran as high as 30%, with the accompanying drop off in collections.

    It’s well known that there was a meeting involving Bernardin, Laghi, and JPII. Bernardin was pushing for his man Abp Kelly to be named to New York. Laghi wanted O’Connor. Of course, O’Connor was named, and that was the beginning of the end of the Bernardin influence in the US.

    In fact, while saying publicly in Chicago that he was “cancer free”, Cardinal Bernardin was making trips to Rome to try to name his successor. Rome knew that time was not on Bernardin’s side.

  2. disco says:

    I don’t really care how the sausage is made as long as whatever bishops we do get are hated by the Fishwrap.

  3. How correct you are, Fr. Z!

    The Jadot-era U.S. episcopacy was filled, it was said in the 1970s and 80s, with a “kinder,” “gentler,” and more “pastoral” type of hierarch who cared for his sheep because these hierarchs eschewed the trappings of earthly power.

    Weren’t they supposed to replace all of those Spellmans, Krols, Codys, and MacIntyres who, it was said at the time, could care less about their sheep because they reveled in the trappings of earthly power?

    How often does the much-touted “reform” end in greater system problems? Just consider the Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian denominations today. Their founders would shake their heads in disbelief.

  4. Priam1184 says:


    I guess these things need to be spoken of from time to time, but by publishing that piece an heretical periodical on your blog alone you are probably increasing its readership tenfold. Let the dead bury their dead… [I am sure that at your blog you make all the right choices.]

  5. catholicmidwest says:

    If people operate under criteria other than the true mission of the Church, whether those have one flavor or another, “greater system problems” (as you refer to them) will occur. That said, people are very interesting creatures, who often operate with mixed motives, and even the apostles knew this. As long as we look to Christ, and stay diligent, I think that the Church will be fine. In fact, we have a bit of a guarantee that it will survive somewhere at all times.

  6. Gregg the Obscure says:

    I would applaud the appointment of “culture warrior bishops” (assuming he means bishops who are relentelessly pro-family, pro-life and pro-human dignity). I hope and pray we’ll get by with the bishops we’ve got who hobnob with Joe Biden et al.

  7. Johnno says:

    Next we can get a secular consus of opinion to help rewrite the Bible and tell us what it really means!

  8. Scott W. says:

    I guess these things need to be spoken of from time to time, but by publishing that piece an heretical periodical on your blog alone you are probably increasing its readership tenfold. Let the dead bury their dead…

    Principle of Double Effect. In general, we ought to correct ignorance and error in the public record, even it it risks wider readership of the offending piece.

  9. anna 6 says:

    Fr. Z.
    The popular perception of the Roman curia to the outside world is one of dysfunction, infighting, corruption and careerism. In your experience working in the curia, do you think that this corresponds with reality?

    Is it naive of one to acknowledge that some reorganization and constant reform is necessary, however a wholesale indictment of vatican structures is unfair?

    Do you think that too much was made of this prior to the conclave?

    If not now, would you kindly address this question in a general way some time in the future?
    Many thanks!

  10. BLB Oregon says:

    –“I don’t really care how the sausage is made as long as whatever bishops we do get are hated by the Fishwrap.”–

    Actually, of the best bishops they say, “Well, he does wonderful work over in this area, BUT….” meaning in the case of this particular crowd that he does a great job defending the poor but for some reason (they cannot fathom why!) he still in no way approximates a Democrat. Like Bl. Pope John Paul II, a good bishop tells all the truth and defends all the truth, and so in spite of the “early hopes” on all sides he eventually makes any of those who have sold their baptisms in favor of a secular “philosophy” or some personal agenda do plenty of squirming!

  11. Imrahil says:

    I’m not so sure whether we would need culture warrior bishops. I mean, I’d personally find one refreshing. But obviously we have none at present, after Bp Mixa of Augsburg was mobbed out of office. Which might lead to the idea that we might for a reason have none at present. Indeed the idea that a bishop should set up a rather head-of-state-outside-the-US style in the “more conciliating, less disuniting” manner (as President Johannes Rau said) does have its appeal as well. Of course, though, with the question: is society sufficiently tranquil for this? or is Hannibal at the gates?

    But one thing seems clear to me.

    Whether or not it is by the bishop, the culture war must be fought, and it cannot but be fought with a leader. Also, the culture war the Church has to lead is sufficiently important to be cared for by persons of episcopal rank, even if the diocesan bishops cannot do it for fear of disuniting.

    Of course, the diocesan bishops must support the culture war at least silently and upon explicit being questioned.

  12. Boniface says:

    “Culture warrior bishops” – like who? Ambrose? Chrysostom? Polycarp? Or perhaps Fishwrap thinks we should be conformed to the age.

  13. Allan S. says:

    I think we need to challenge this abuse of language and reason that leads people to automatically appeal to “balance” and “compromise”. What is it, exactly, that is virtuous about either? Did Jesus “balance” things before he knocked over the tables in the temple? Are the Gospels full of “compromises” Our Lord made with the local authorities (E.g. “OK, stone her a little then.”?)

    We are the one, true Church founded by Our Lord with a mission to convert all nations and preach the Good News. We do NOT “compromise” with evil, nor seek a “balance” between the world or its prince, and He who is Truth.

    If the ways of the world are evil and offensive to God, we need Bishops who have the spine to say so, not run around trying to find “compromise” or make back-room deals. The Catholic Church is and always has been the most hated, counter-cultural force for Truth and Justice that the world has ever known, and continues to be so long after all the other countries, and temporal powers crumble into dust.

    “Culture Warriors”. I like it. A definite must for any Bishop I would hope….

  14. winoblue1 says:

    Quote: “Wide consultation yields better information and, usually, a more balanced perspective. ”

    We don’t need a balanced perspective, we need strong bishops with spiritual depth not breadth.
    We have had way to many wishy washy bishops and popes these last 50 years and need another Pius!

  15. sciencemom says:

    Winters threw away all his credibility when he (1) said that after the HHS mandate, he could not in conscience vote for Obama and that smooth words could paper over something that big, and then (2) proceeded to accept said smooth words and rather rapidly returned to supporting the Obama Administration in spite of no substantive change to the mandate.

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