Friday, October 23, 2009

More Questions Than Answers

Regarding my post on Bishop-elect Sirba earlier this week, Anonymous commented thusly:

I hope that Bishop-elect Sirba is an inclusive leader, and not exclusive, as so many of the church hierarchy seem to be leaning. What is his position on Vatican II, and is he a forward thinking bishop, not backward, as in this world of changing demographics, a leader in the Catholic church must be to be effective, not living with his head in the sand, and moving towards excluding parishioners who do not fit the stereotype of a 1965 Catholic.

I'd have to say that Anonymous' comment has me asking more questions than giving answers.

First, I'm not sure what is meant by the hope that Bishop-elect Sirba is "an inclusive leader, and not exclusive". And what recent specific actions or remarks by what individuals in the American episcopate are supposedly "exclusive"?

What is Father Sirba's position on Vatican II? I'd venture to say that he, like most other priests ordained during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II — who, as a bishop, was himself so instrumental in the Council, and whose papal writings are thoroughly imbued with the 16 documents of same — is firmly committed to upholding the truths articulated by the Council Fathers therein.

What's more, I can't think of a single American bishop who believes Vatican II to be anything other than "a great gift to the Church", as John Paul II himself rightly called it. (As an aside, I'd also recommend this fine article by George Sim Johnston titled "Open Windows: Why Vatican II Was Necessary".)

I'm also not sure what is meant by the hope that Bishop-elect Sirba "is a forward thinking bishop, not backward". Taken at face value, by itself, this is a sentiment that I (and, one hopes, every Catholic) would share. But I'm not sure what exactly this comment is getting at.

Finally, at the risk of sounding obtuse, I must admit that I'm not sure what are the stereotypical features of a 1965 Catholic. If Anonymous had said a 1955 Catholic, I think I would have had a pretty good idea of what he/she meant.

But as it is, I'm left scratching my head.

1 comment:

Catholic Mom of 10 said...

Do you mind updating to my new blog?