The world’s smallest violin

The world’s smallest violin

It’s going to be an interesting three years, full of pithy quotes from the new head of the US bishops’ conference, Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane. Take this offering in USA Today in which he talks about the difficulties of the past few years:

Acknowledging “tension” between his responsibilities to his diocese and his role as leader of the bishops’ group, Skylstad said, “It’s been a tough time for bishops, honestly, a very tough time.”

Excuse me if I shed no tears. Frankly, what sympathy should I have for them? That they’ve had to deal with the mess they created? That many of them have failed completely at their duties? That laypeople are starting to hold them accountable for upholding Church teaching, and God forbid, for making sure that child molesters are not coddled and protected?

Skylstad has a real gift for understatement, as I pointed out last week when his election was announced. In 2002, in response to publicity that a predecessor had been arrested in 1986 for strangling a male prostitute he’d hired, Skylstad could only comment on the bishop’s drinking problem.

It’s a real comfort to know that the new head of the bishops’ conference is so in touch with the real priorities, that is, how bishops are feeling.

  • It’s a sad comment, but spiritual life goes on and thrives without most of the bishops now.  They are becoming more sideline players than shepherds.  I gave up reading the archdiocesan newsletter as I got tired of the same old spin from the same old crowd under the Cardinal’s nose.  It’s even sadder that they have become a source of jokes among Catholics for their incompetence and their antics.  These are the heirs of the apostles, yet we have the parable of the Prodigal Son being played out, in reverse.

  • This is going to be a fun three years. AMChurch may be reaching their zenith just before their implosion. There’s a real discord between American Catholics and Roman Catholic.  I’m Roman, how ‘bout y’all?

  • Jay Leno used this quote in his opening routine the other night. My husband saw it and said he used the bishop’s quote and then said something to the effect: I think the altar boys had it tougher.

  • Sklystad’s comment hit me exactly the same way, Dom. 

    What did he know, when did he know it and how did he respond to complaints about one Rev. Patrick Gerald O’Donnell?

    I think we need to know a little more than just “I wish I could recall more clearly conversations and events that happened three decades ago,” in regard to questions about a pedophile priest, one Patraick Gerald O’Donnell and the way Skylstad responded to warnings and written letters from parishioners.  It seems to me that he should at least remember someone who molested at least 30 boys, some just a floor below his own rooms in the rectory.

    I think there will be more to come on this as lawsuits progress.

    Sister M. Immaculata Dunn