Bishop Clark is back from his trip to see the Pope in both Washington and New York City and is sharing some of his observations with us in this week's Along the Way column.
While taking almost 1,000 words to touch on a variety of topics addressed by His Holiness, our good Bishop totally avoids the two that are of utmost importance to many of his flock.
First, on the subject of Catholic schools, the Pope told the nation's bishops
In an age that is saturated with information, the importance of providing sound formation in the faith cannot be overstated. American Catholics have traditionally placed a high value on religious education, both in schools and in the context of adult formation programs. These need to be maintained and expanded.
There's not a word in the Bishop's column on schools. Perhaps, as I feared, he was nodding off here.
Second, on the subject of declining vocations, raised in the Q&A following his address to the bishops, His Holiness pointedly stated
Let us be quite frank: the ability to cultivate vocations to the priesthood and the religious life is a sure sign of the health of a local Church. There is no room for complacency in this regard.
Again, it must have been nap time. According to this papal standard, DOR's almost zero rate of vocations has to qualify it as critically ill. And yet our Bishop doesn't see this diagnosis as worthy of a mention.
I hate to say I told you so, but ...