Friday, September 7, 2012

Comparing Cardinal Dolan's Republican And Democratic Convention Prayer Plus Other Thoughts

The Republican and Democratic Conventions are now over so I guess the fun  and games begin now as we rush to November.

Of particular interest to Catholics and other interested parties was Cardinal Dolan of New York who is also the leader of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops appearance to do the prayer at both Conventions. The path to each was interesting in it's own right. I have some non political thoughts on this below.

Sacerdotus has the full text of both prayers here .

Michael O'Loughlin over at America does a compare and contrast of the text here.

On a non political note let me make an observation as to what Dolan's appearance at both Conventions that are not in his See might mean.

Among Church nerds there was a tad of a debate if Cardinal Dolan should be doing the benediction or if the local Bishops should be doing it. I don't get a sense , or at least we have not heard , that the Bishops of the respective cities felt slighted.

I have often complained as a former Southern Baptist that the SBC Convention which represents a a more congregationalist local view of "Church" is much more apt and able to get their plan of action enacted vs the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops. In fact compared to other  religious "national bodies" the USCCB is a pretty weak sister.

There are upsides and downsides to that , but I am of the opinion the negatives outweigh the positives.

The power and authority of a national bishops conference in the worldwide Church is always of some debate. In reality they can't really override a local Bishop. Which is all fine and correct in dealing  with our theology of Church. I  myself am not keen on something called the UNITED STATES CATHOLIC CHURCH really developing  as a body. As history has shown the last few hundred years that sometimes has bad effects.

Also I think most Bishops are quite fine with that arrangement.

Still having a coordinated national plan on some things would be helpful and I am not just talking reacting to things in the public square.

As I keep noting it seems 90 percent of the USCCB plans of action, themes, etc never see. to make it down to a local parish level. That is rather unfortunate since the Holy See sees them as a link in the chain of communication. If we took a poll how many Catholics have heard about the "Year of Faith" we are about to go into I suspect most have not heard of it.

Whether we are talking about implementing what works as to vocations , to dealing with the challenges of the Hispanic immigration ,to the New Evangelization it is rather frustrating that this is being done nationally in such a helter skelter way .

It does seem ,at least to me , we have a seen revival of the influence of the Catholic Bishops Conference in a way .

There is no doubt the sex abuse scandal and the need for all Dioceses of to work in unison on a "plan of action" prompted that. That being said the three  former Presidents of the Conference were not quite in the public eye as Dolan. That includes the rather outspoken Cardianl George of Chicago. Dolan seems to be different and I don't have to be reminded nowadays who what's his name is President.

Part of that no doubt is Dolan is in New York City and no doubt part is rather infectious personality. But I do wonder if this is a sign that the Bishops in the USA are thinking they need their head to act in a more public fashion as we see here.

Of course keeping  this herd of cats called the American Catholic Bishops happy and  not feel stepped upon is a difficult task. Again I do think it is slightly in the DNA of Catholic Bishops to be wary of ceding too much influence to the Conference. However I do wonder if this is a sign times have changed.

If this is just Dolan being a force of nature coupled with current events  , or a evolution of the Conference in some slight way I guess only time will tell.

1 comment:

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