The bishops prattle of humility

The US Catholic bishops are chastened by their failure to impose their religious views on the electorate last week, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan lectured them yesterday on what to do about it.

To think harder and realize that they should pay more attention to human well-being as opposed to pretended goddy mandates?

Don’t be silly.

After sweeping setbacks to the hierarchy’s agenda on Election Day, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan on Monday (Nov. 12) told U.S. Catholic bishops that they must now examine their own failings, confess their sins and reform themselves if they hope to impact the wider culture.

“That’s the way we become channels of a truly effective transformation of the world, through our own witness of a repentant heart,” Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told the 250 bishops gathered here for their annual meeting.

Repentant for being bossy authoritarian theocratic bullies who abuse the illegitimate power of the pulpit to try to force people to do things that are not good for them?

Don’t be silly.

On Monday, various speakers reiterated that they were not about to change their beliefs or policy positions, but they indicated they have to rethink their strategy. Dolan’s approach in his presidential address was to repeatedly stress the theme of humility and the need for bishops to go to confession to renew themselves spiritually so that they can then preach their message more effectively.

They need to pretend to be more humble so that they can force people to do what they pretend God commands. There’s nothing humble about that.


  1. says

    I’m so humble. Really, I’m the humblest guy ever. I’m so humble you can barely even see me. But listen to what I say because the most awesomest dude in the entire universe will punish you forever if you don’t do what I say, even if you’re the President of the United States.

    PS: Give me 10% of your income.

  2. naturalcynic says

    After sweeping setbacks to the hierarchy’s agenda…

    They just can’t look on the bright side. Why won’t the look at the election as a repudiation of those who would have destroyed the catholic doctrines that uphold universal medical coverage and the social safety net. They just can’t get over the sex thing. Small minds and smaller balls.

  3. says

    “Cardinal Timothy Dolan on Monday (Nov. 12) told U.S. Catholic bishops that they must now examine their own failings, confess their sins and reform themselves if they hope to impact the wider culture.”

    They should have examined their ‘own failings’ in the immediate aftermath of their counterparts having committed heinous crimes against the most vulnerable in society, by coming out in the open and declaring their sins; instead of trying to shield their most beloved paedophile brethren in Christ

    They should have examined their conscience and confessed their sins, well before now; due to the continual collusion and obstruction of justice they either relentlessly denied or delayed to victims. They wouldn’t then have any need NOW to ‘reform’ themselves.

    The impact they have made on society, is, that they’ve got very little moral authority left. It’s going to take a lot of new-wave, ‘reform’/ed, ‘evangelical hard work for that to happen. Well, that’s in my estimation, anyway.

    I note ‘reform’/ed and ‘evangelical’ words cropping up a lot in their speeches nowadays. They are words that would have been somewhat alien to RC thinking in the past. Well, from where I stand. Something very Blairite about them — that’s for sure! Is the church perhaps trying to peel off its sins and ‘failings’ by distancing itself from its own antediluvian stubborn mindset?

  4. says

    In other words, they’re not changing anything or admitting they were ever wrong about anything. They’re just promising to go through a lot of rituals and pretending it will make them better people, with a better message, in some way we’re not supposed to question or understand.

    This is, if you’ll recall, exactly the same as their response to the pedophile priest scandal: we’re still infallible, you still don’t get to question us or hold us accountable for anything, nothing we ever did was wrong, we’re just going to do all sorts of extra repentance rituals behind closed doors and come out all forgiven and cleansed.

  5. says

    These guys are really fucked up! In fact, the Roman Catholic Church is quickly becoming a greater threat to liberty than Islam, at least in liberal democratic countries. They will not see that their opinions on these matters could be wrong. They are so sure that they are right that they will do almost anything in order to see their priorities publicly recognised. Good to see that the catholic vote in the US put the bishops in their place, but never mind, they will still be seen as representing a constituency as large as its membership, even though many of them dissent. It’s time for self-respecting people to leave the Catholic church. This is not a church, as Hilary Mantel has said, for respectable people.

  6. Rodney Nelson says

    Contraception and same-sex marriage are irrelevant topics to most Americans. The Catholic bishops are one of the few groups trying to change the American viewpoint on these issues. As a social question contraception was settled in the 1960s, even by the Catholic laity. In the past few years same-sex marriage has become accepted by the majority Americans, particularly those under 30.

    The bishops are playing Canute stopping the tide.

  7. says

    @Eric: “They are so sure that they are right that they will do almost anything in order to see their priorities publicly recognised.”

    Their priorities being: that the more confessions one goes to; the more praying; more sacrificing; more humbling and bowing down, coupled with them renewing themselves spiritually, so that they can then preach their message more effectively, will that see everything back to normal in the church. In other words, ‘Keep the Faith’ was language used in the past. It’s just another way of putting it. All the wishy-washy language is to subliminally play on the flock. The ark must not be rocked, or all on board will sink.

  8. gratch says

    “We tried to drag the modern era back into the Dark Ages and the people didn’t even bother to defeat us. They just brushed right past us like we weren’t even there. Solution? Stick even closer to the ancient superstitions and traditions of our 2000 year old No-Girls-Allowed Club.” Sounds like a winning strategy, good luck with that.

  9. peterh says

    Is it possible the electorate are very gradually tiring of the centuries-old scam that is organized religion?

  10. sawells says

    Look on the bright side: going away to pray and do rituals is _exactly_ what we should be hoping they do. Any other strategy might actually help them achieve their goals. Let’s encourage them to do as much praying and repenting as possible. For years if necessary.

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