Bishops as source of Church’s life?

Bishops as source of Church’s life?

You all know how loath I am to criticize another blogger in public (ahem), but seriously, having been burned by that recently I still felt compelled to respond to something Rocco Palmo said in a interview.

Speaking to the diocesan newspaper in Wilmington, Delaware, he explained why he focuses so much time and attention on the activity of bishops.

“The source of the life of the church is derived from the figure of bishops,” Palmo told The Dialog last week. “Bishops matter - their personality, how they make people feel.”

While I won’t dispute that “bishops matter” when you’re considering their effect on the Church—as our shepherds and pastors, of course they matter—but to claim that they are “the source of the life of the Church”? That’s just ridiculous and I think all but the most self-centered bishops would agree. (Perhaps Rocco was quoted out of context or misspoke. If so, I encourage him to clarify.)

The source of life in the Church is Jesus Christ and more specifically, Jesus present in the Eucharist. In fact, the Eucharist is the “source and summit” of the Church’s life, as the Catechism tells us. I know Rocco has a particular fondness for the men in purple going back to his childhood—in some ways not unlike the way some boys were baseball or Star Wars fans—but I think a little perspective is in order.

Gossip and clericalism

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli