Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Nitty Integrity

When researching the man whose biography I wrote for may doctrinal dissertation, Edwin O'Hara, I discovered that, in his seventeen years as bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph, he always had one priest among his close pastoral collaborators whom he would always appoint "court critic". This man saw him every Monday morning at nine o'clock, and his duty was to criticize the archbishop, to tell him the bad news, to let him know what the priests and people were saying about him. Now, it takes a man of real integrity to set up such a system.
--Bishop Timothy M. Dolan, Priests for the Third Millenium (2000), p. 107

In his discussion with Monsignor Renton, Father Urban sometimes clutched at straws. "As I understand it, a bishop needs the consent of his consultors, where this much is at stake. If things get rough, a thousand lire won't even pay for the aspirins," he said, remembering this key figure from his reading. Anything over a thousand lire was considered a big deal.

"I can't recall when we've withheld our consent," said Monsignor Renton. "I don't say we wouldn't, mind you, if our consciences dictated."

"That's sort of what I had in mind."

"Yes, but suppose one consultor's against something a bishop wants to do, but he knows the other consultor's aren't--he knows he's going to be outvoted. In the circumstances, it might not be wise for this consultor to expose himself, nor should he be expected to do so."

--J. F. Power, Morte D'Urban , pp 227-28

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