Thursday, August 31, 2006

Don't Count Out the Second Career Men

Father Guy Selvester (sic), one of St Blog's abler clerical members, active at Shouts in the Piazza in New Jersey, a fellow seminary alumnus of Bishop Swain, posted thusly:

Congrats to Mons. Swain of Madison, WI on his appointment to Sioux Falls, SD. Congrats, too, to the people of the Diocese of Sioux Falls for faithfully lasting all this time waiting for a bishop while the gang in Rome sifted through dozens of "no" answers until they came to someone who would say "yes".

People often think of seminaries that cater to what is now euphamistically called the "second career seminarian" as not being the breeding ground for the hierarchy that so many distinguished seminaries are...filled with the young turks in starched cuffs and tailored cassocks. But good old Blessed Pope John XXIII National Seminary in Massachusetts (run by the Archdiocese of Boston) has come through twice now! I am happy to count myself among those who pursued studies there and I can testify with pride to the wonderful job the faculty and staff do.

I suppose that some priests would refuse advancement to the episcopacy for reasons of health or age, etc. And I suppose others who consider themselves proteges of prominent archbishops, hold out for "A list dioceses."

But I would say that the record of the American Church over the past 50 years in selecting the minions of its Archbishops and Cardinals has not been particularly good at all. Saying "no" to advancement to a small diocese in a remote location indicates two things, insufferable pride and an underlying fear that they wouldn't be able to do the job without 200 assistants to help them.

No comments: