Tuesday, November 24, 2009

They were polite

CatholicCourier.com has just published a story relating to DOR's participation in the November 19-21 National Catholic Youth Conference. This year's event was held in Kansas City, MO and drew in excess of 20,000 participants. According to the story DOR "sent 632 conventioneers -- two-thirds young people, and the rest adult chaperones and officials including Bishop Matthew H. Clark."

Four of those young people were Holy Cross parishioners and, on their way to the conference, they and their chaperones were waiting for their connecting flight at one of the Chicago airports.

The group was somewhat surprised when they were joined by Bishop Clark, who had been attending the Baltimore USCCB meeting and was also en route to the conference.

At least one of the Holy Cross kids was wearing her school shirt.

I am told that our kids were polite.


Anonymous said...

As all good Catholic kids should be to their bishop.

Perhaps Catholic adults can learn by their example.

Mike said...

As all good Catholic kids should be to their bishop.

Yes, they had a civil conversation, which is a lot better than the stonewall job the bishop pulled on them and their parents when he closed their school.

Perhaps this Catholic bishop can learn from their example.

Anonymous said...

Or from this observation from Bill Donohue about Chris Matthew's interview with Bishop Tobin.

"No non-Catholic would ever treat a bishop this way. But too many liberal Catholics, especially Irish Catholics, think they are exempt from the same standards of civility that apply to others. They are flatly wrong."

Now I know you guys aren't liberal, but I have to wonder, how many of you are you Irish?

Mike said...

Anon. 9:31,

What do Bill Donahue or Chris Matthews or Bishop Tobin or my ancestry have to do with Holy Cross kids being civil to the bishop who closed their school?

It doesn't take much to get you off topic, does it?

Anonymous said...

The point Donohue was making was that all bishops deserve a certain standard of respect simply because of their rank regardless of someone's beef with them one way or another. I didn't see the interview but it sounds like Matthews had a beef with Bishop Tobin about the Kennedy thing and was being less than respectful in Donohue's opinion. Can we agree for argument's sake that Matthews was as convinced in his mind that Bishop Tobin had disrespected Kennedy in the way you obviously feel Bishop Clark did with Holy Cross and a whole list of others? What Donohue, who I am not a fan of, was saying I think is that it doesn't matter what you think a bishop did, you still owe him respect because he is a bishop. Did I get that wrong? Do you think Donohue would say that rule goes for all bishops except ones that conservative Catholics are p.o.ed at? Maybe, but he would be shooting holes in his own argument. The basic question is, do you think the kids did right being polite to their bishop regardless of how he may or may not have been so to them? Would they have been wrong to tell him off? I think they'd be dead wrong and I hope you would too, but I'm not sure. You obviously don't feel any inhibition in doing that here.

Sorry if I insulted you with the Irish thing. I’m Irish and I think I know what Donohue is saying, we’re a feisty bunch. He should know.

Mike said...

"Can we agree for argument's sake that Matthews was as convinced in his mind that Bishop Tobin had disrespected Kennedy in the way you obviously feel Bishop Clark did with Holy Cross and a whole list of others?"

No, not even for "argument's sake."

Bishop Tobin responded to a PUBLIC challenge to Church teaching from a PUBLIC official with a PUBLIC rebuttal. The bishop did his job and, in the process, fully explained why he was doing his job.

Bishop Clark, on the other hand, has never made an attempt to explain his reasoning behind those school closures. His stonewalling has been going for almost 23 months now.

Anonymous said...

OK, answer me this. Former Bishop of Scranton Martino was popular with you guys because of his kick-ass conservatism but unpopular across the board in Scranton because he closed churches and schools wholesale and never gave any reasons other than he needed to do it. Do you really think a future conservative Bishop of Rochester won't have to close churches and schools and won't have people angry at him because of it? Suppose this future conservative bishop had to close a church or school and people were brokenhearted and and angry. Would he be doing the good pastoral thing by showing up at their last mass or final day of school? Probably not. It would be the opposite of kind. I know your opinion of Bishop Clark so let's leave it there. What do you think a future conservative Bishop of Rochester should do in that situation? Please don't say that a conservative bishop wouldn't close churches and schools or wouldn't give reasons that would satisfy everyone. Bishop Martino proves otherwise.

Mike said...

Well, you've constructed just about the worst case hypothetical here and now you want me to respond to it?

Sorry, but I'm not taking that bait.

Instead I will point you to a post I put up last February. The bishop involved is one of those "kick-ass conservatives" you love to berate by inuendo, and the same guy who led the charge against Notre Dame's decision to award Obama an honorary degree.

Bishop D'Arcy showed Bishop Clark the right way to handle "experts'" school closing recommendations.

Anonymous said...

I read your post. Interesting approach. I hope it worked in his diocese.

Would it be safe to say you think Bishop Martino handled closings the wrong way?

Many agree the actions needed to be taken and may actually have strengthened the diocese, but his management style was authoritarian and he avoided contact and input from the laity.

Why is it unfair to bring up Bishop Martino when you are criticizing Bishop Clark for not being as open and forthcoming as you think he should be? I know you thought Bishop Martino was great on political and Life issues, but do you think he was wrong on his management style regarding the closings?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Lee Strong's reply to your post comparing Bishop D'Arcy to Bishop Clark particularly his last paragraph.

"And then there are the folks who cut off financial support for the diocese because they were upset at something that was done, not done, or not done the way they wanted it done, or who constantly bad mouthed the bishop and the diocese and helped to inspire other people to reduce or cut off their support. That certainly did not help the situation any."

I guess I'm not the only one here who thinks that.

Mary Kay said...

I'm assuming Anonymous is the same person but when someone refuses to use a consistent user name, there's no way to know for sure - anyway this exchange seems to be based on Anon's premise that Mike's 11/24 9:14pm comment was "uncivil." I see nothing in Mike's comments today nor in the past that I would characterize as "uncivil."

Anonymous then attempts to construct an argument based on a video that he admits he didn't see. I watched enough to see that Matthews was disrespectful; I read Bishop Tobin's public letter and he was well within his competency.

Bottom line;l Anonymous' statements are not supportable.

Mike said...

I did follow the Scranton story, but not all that closely.

I would say that a National Catholic Reporter story dating back to the bishop's resignation pretty well sums up the impressions I had:

"Sources contacted by NCR said the problem was Martino's remote, uncommunicative and often authoritarian leadership style, not his decisions to close nearly half the Catholic schools and 40 percent of the parishes in the northeastern Pennsylvania diocese.

"One longtime pastor said the parish and school closings and mergers 'were absolutely needed.'"

IOW, just about everyone involved agrees that the bishop inherited a financial mess that required immediate attention, but then he proceeded in an unnecessarily authoritarian manner.

As for Lee Strong's comment, I addressed ALL of his points here.

Anonymous said...

As was posted on this and many other sites, the handling of the school situation bipassed good Catholics who had ideas to try to keep their schools. They, unfortunately, were ignored. And the appointment of that nun in 2000 who wanted to redistribute tuition costs to the wealthy only put more nails into the coffin.

So, understandably, people are upset because in this and other situations, they were kept out of the loop and simply told" It's our way or the highway".

Isn't it interesting. When it comes to morals, like birth control, the teachings of the Holy Father and a whole lot of other issues, we hear from the diocese, St Barnyards and individuals like Fr. Mc Brien and the bishop himself that people's opinions and experiences must be taken into consideration when morality is decided. Yet these same people ignore these same people when it comes to the nitty gritty. I think they use people for their own evil purposes.

Mike said...

"Experiential theology" does have its limits, doesn't it?

Good point!

Anonymous said...

Happy thanksgiving.

~Dr. K

In the choir loft said...

Hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy it.
God Bless!

Mike said...

Dr. K. & Choir,

Thank you and I hope you also have a great Thanksgiving.