Jocko gives advice about, indirectly, leadership in the Church

If you are thoughtful, there are applications from this video to your local situation. Never mind that an idiot or two launch intellectually STUPID attacks on the Church as Militant.

Think of every scene as a metaphor. This is about being prepared and reacting to attacks. Translate the scenarios into real time parish and diocese issues.

PS: I recommended one of Jocko’s books on leadership, for the sake of his parish, to a priest, once thought of as a friend and who dumped me when I was canceled. To this day, the problems HE is causing in the parish, as he parasites off own group for the sake of popularity with the other, persist.

This is a note to BISHOPS too..  US HERE – UK HERE.  The Directory for Priests and your vague notions of bishop/priest relations are fantasy.   What we need are leaders.

When we are Pope, Clemeny XIV2, we shall send prospective bishops to a kind of BUD/S, yes, also physical with carefully considered exceptions due to sheer holiness and merit apart of physical aptitude.  And the physical qualifications are not the point.

Am I wrong?   Do bishops not have to be courageous leaders?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    It seems a gross indictment that not a single bishop was ever accused of breaking covid protocols. Heck, some, like the bishops in Quebec, volunteered to close parishes despite the government not even requesting it.

  2. TheCavalierHatherly says:

    A good many of our Bishops remind me of a line from “A Man For All Seasons”:

    “The English nobles would have snored through the Sermon on the Mount, but will labour like scholars over a bulldog’s pedigree”

    I think that the sentiment of somnolescence really does extend to a good deal of the hierarchy, and I doubt that military style training is the real answer. I think the real answer lies in a passionate fidelity to the Gospel. Which is why they are supposed to carry them. Cornelius a Lapide (if memory serves correctly) relates the story that when the Frisians brandished their swords at St. Boniface, he brandished back a book of the Gospels; upon stricking at him, they cleft the book, and he remained unharmed. And so did the book of Gospels, miraculously, thereafter.

  3. hilltop says:

    And to this add the fact that the the few good men(bishops) that DO exist have to lie low in this current state of the Church, for they are constantly being sought out by their Metropolitans and by Rome.
    The battle against truth, goodness and beauty is well underway.

  4. Rob83 says:

    I sometimes think Bishops or prospective Bishops are sent to a kind of episcopal boot camp to be trained to be dull managers. While not necessarily representative, I once wrote a congratulatory letter to a priest I knew who became a bishop, who was quite a character in his priestly days (not in bad ways). The reply that came back was impersonal and bland to the point I thought it could have come from a USCCB committee.

    There is also the dual blessing or curse of the secretary. A Bishop like any other man doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, and a bad secretary can ensure that a Bishop doesn’t know a lot of what he should. Managing the one who manages the Bishop is probably one of the more important skills they need to learn.

  5. Lurker 59 says:

    The thing that gets me is that there are progressive bishops that are out there trying to lead people toward a Marxist utopia. Yet, when it comes to various dictates that erode their authority, autonomy, and ability to lead, such as TC, they are absolute toadies.

    VII has a lot to do with trying to course correct a dysfunctional episcopate that resulted from papal ultramontanism that developed following VI. (The naivete that “good” bishops have surrounding “a synodal church” is essentially the same.) Yet, what we have nowadays is sort of, when viewed as a whole, a sort of limpwristed episcopate where Bishop Conferences set more of the agenda then the local bishop and all of this is increasingly treated as sort of a middle management apparatus that gums up the works preventing any bottom-up change while acting as a screen to both obfuscate what the power centers in Rome are doing as well as to allow them to act with impunity behind closed doors.

    For the life of me, I don’t know why the liberal progressive bishops, who fought so hard to get what is in VII, have been so quick to abandon authority under this papacy in a codified way.

  6. Kathleen10 says:

    Well they have to be real men. There have been heroic women, but for a long time I’ve made note of who are our typical heroes saving people, doing rescues, helping even creatures in bad spots. It’s men. I would estimate it’s men 99% of the time. God gave men hearts inclined to bravery, self-sacrifice for a cause, and for others, even to death. A man who actually believes the Gospel, has great love for God, believes in the cause of Catholicism, knows Catholic history, cares for the flock as God has instructed him to, has a deep prayer life, understands the spiritual battle and realities, already has what is needed. It takes a lot of moral courage for a bishop to resist the tide they are in now, no doubt. The bishop would have to have all those qualities, and, be willing to stand out in a negative way, because a Catholic bishop is going to be “noticed”. They probably have to be willing to be lonely. Human relationships and actions are the same everywhere. Grown up, professional people act like third grade girls in these situations. The level of cruelty and pettiness is shocking, when you experience it. An outsider is isolated, suddenly you’re just left out as the herd moves away from you. This is when many people come to that “the more I know people, the more I like my dog” moment.
    At this point, it seems like the number of bishops who have those qualities is very small indeed. Most seem like secular careerists completely indifferent to those things and interested in the complete opposite. The church and the flock will continue to suffer greatly, that being the case. God knows the answer to it.
    And the fish rots from the head down.

  7. WVC says:

    Maybe not a full on Boot Camp, but corporal chastisement is VITAL to spiritual strength. The willingness to push one’s body (whether it’s to go an extra mile on that run, do an extra 10 push ups in that set, go an extra minute in that round, or even just skip an extra meal for that fast or take an extra cold shower in the morning . . .etc.) is an absolute necessity in order to grow in the spiritual virtues. It’s humbling. It’s soul enriching. It sharpens the mind and the senses. It strengthens the intellect and will’s control over the flesh. Forgetting this obvious truth and believing one can be lazy, slothful, and soft while still reaching to the highest spiritual plains is to throw St. Francis out the window and adopt the creed of the fat-bellied Buddha.

    While there are some truly malicious souls in the hierarchy of the Church, much of the evil is being accomplished because of the weak, pusillanimous milquetoasts cowering beneath their mitres.

  8. TonyO says:

    The goal of making men out of those beings that now hold the title “bishop” is indeed a worthy goal. But it is, for practical purposes, an impossibility (always excepting God’s power to do what is otherwise impossible. Which is to say, it would take a miracle).

    They have been formed in the modern seminaries, and under the NO regime (not just the NO mass, but the whole REGIME that promotes the NO mass as if it constituted “the mass of VII” and all the malarkey entwined with that presumption that must never be questioned.) And then, after that, they were winnowed out: only those priests who can not only imbibe the modernist claptrap without choking, but also then repeat it ad nauseum, qualify for being tagged for elevation, and of THOSE, it is generally the ones who seem to be true believers in the claptrap who are actually made bishops.

    Finally, and most perniciously, during the seminary / young priest training period nearly all priests are subject to, at a bar minimum, sexual advances from gay priests, or being made aware of gravely perverted sexual improprieties, about which they are (quite clearly) required to AT LEAST turn a blind eye, if not grant minimally tolerant permissiveness to those actions…which are THEN turned around on these young priests and held ever-more as threat of exposure and destruction should they ever consider exposing the pink mafia outright. It appears that the pink mafia, while perhaps not ACTIVELY choosing every single bishop in the US, at least exercises veto power over the choosing of all of the bishops. Why? Because in spite of (former) Cardinal McCarrick’s outing as a pervert and predator, NOT ONE SINGLE OTHER BISHOP or priest was exposed along with him, in spite of the fact that it is morally impossible that no other bishop or priest was actually implicated in his crimes and offenses. The mantle of silence and inaction that spread over ALL of McCarrick’s accomplices, protecting them, establishes with high confidence (closing in on moral certainty) that no bishop in the US (a) thought he could expose other bishops or priests without facing dire consequences to his own status and career, and (b) was willing to ACCEPT those consequences, in spite of that being the only just and moral stance. So, as it would appear from the outward evidence, their silence condemns them, either as active accomplices, or as silent cooperators by omission.

    I don’t see a solution, other than getting a pope who is willing to eviscerate the current regime for picking new bishops, and making a new one. And how do we get such a pope? A miracle, it would seem. So, pray?

  9. You should probably consider taking the regnal name of Sixtus VI. No one could then be in any doubt that playtime is definitively over.

  10. Uniaux says:

    A point which stuck out to me was one pertaining to Saving Private Ryan, which more or less went along the lines of, when the Army is on the Navy boats, they need to act as the Navy, when charging the beach, they need to act as the Army. It speaks to a joint force respect necessary for completing a mission. Something which seems to be lacking in the church, in general.
    It also requires knowing what the mission is, which seems to be a lost point among much of the hierarchy.

    The part about formally debriefing everything was also fairly interesting. I wonder how that could be implemented in a parish setting.

    I completely agree with Fr. on the need for intense and physical training for bishops – these being generally used for instilling discipline and the virtues, but also of knowledge about their available tools and the use of these tools, strategy, etc. What is a man if not body and soul? Each part affects the other.
    The velvety, spongy, view of bishops needs to be eliminated, and we need to return to the paradigm where kings (or even generals) rode into battle (or bishops, in this case).

  11. matt from az says:

    I am an avid listener to Jocko’s podcast and reader of his books, so I am very pleased to see you feature him. Every time I listen to him I think about how we could apply the lessons to the Church. The lack of real leadership in the Church is not pretty.

    I had a vision of a seminary set up to resemble the Special Forces “Q” course so that every man graduating would be a compete stud, ready to train his people the way an A-Team trains an indigenous population. I’m talking a full on Physical Training and combat training in addition to ordinary seminary studies and prayer life. Each parish they are assigned to is transformed into what amounts to a spiritual forward operating base where parishioners are taught how to be a true Church Militant. The Traditionalist Movement needs its own version of MACV-SOG running an Operation Phoenix.

    Sigh. Pipe dreams.

    If anyone here has children looking at religious vocations, make sure they join the Army as intelligence (35M) or counterintelligence (35L) specialists before they go to seminary or join an order. Have them remain in the national guard to keep their skills fresh even as they progress in seminary. Those skills will come in useful ferreting out the scum that have poisoned the font of life. The Traditionalist Movement needs a corps of Intel-Counterintel specialists working on our behalf. A group that can gain access to what’s going on in the Vatican and also sniff out the rats inside the movement who betray us.

    Be Innocent as doves but wise as serpents.

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