Friday, July 11, 2008

Training for New Bishops

In reaction to my blog post at Trying to Fly With One Wing, Chapter 21 on Ambiguity, my friend John K. (an ex-Marine and long time student of Catholic mysticism) sent me this reply, which sounds good enough to me to give it a posting of its own. I have talked with a number of Catholic leaders who feel many of our bishops are "spineless" -- one of the evident criteria of getting appointed, it seems. John makes a valuable contribution regarding the problem.


I think your point is well put about people who are willing to put on the Miraculous Medal or take the Eucharist without really knowing the details. People say the "devil is in the details" but in this case, the blessings are in the details.

You mention the Church's failure to teach and that was really exactly what Fr. Hardon was working to correct as best he could, working for the Vatican as he did for over 30 years. The problem is with the Bishops. These guys have the fullness of the Priesthood and their principle office is to teach and be ready to bleed for Who they teach. Father told me once that you could count the number of Bishops on one hand in this country that were doing what they were supposed to be doing. The idea of American independence has been massively abused by some and over the years has even infected Bishops. I can't imagine the spiritual war they are in daily.

When the Pope decides who is going to be a Bishop, I think it should require a boot camp of sorts where that Priest is removed from his surroundings, taken somewhere he doesn't know, stripped of his identity as he has come to know it (to some extent) and trained to be a teacher and an exorcist. He should have the "hell scared out him" for being chosen for this high office. They ought to fast on bread and water for 40 days in the desert like St. Francis following Christ and should read every account of demonic possession and every documented story of saints being granted mystical experiences of Priests or Bishops burning in Purgatory or Hell for failing to faithfully fulfill their mission.

Even my Marine Corps figured this out long ago ... to become a Drill Instructor, you have to qualify, and part of that involves going through another boot camp - even harder than the first one, because there is no better trained Marine than a D.I. and no better example of a leader who walks the talk.

During the Bishop-Recruit Training 40 Day fast, which should be in total silence, they should have to fast from the Eucharist while having daily Adoration such that they will experience very serious spiritual hunger pains to receive their Master - to go along with the physical hunger. And they should have an experienced exorcist give them first-hand accounts of his dealing with the powers of darkness.

Upon Graduation each should have to choose a new name which must be of a martyr who shed their blood for Christ. The Pope should smack each one across the face after they rise from kissing his ring on their knees. Then they have Holy Mass, receive Christ and then enjoy a big first class meal served by the next group of guys who think they are ready to be Bishops!

Then more of them will decide to part with their damn golf clubs and club memberships and start doing the job God Almighty gave them out of His Merciful Love for humanity.

Semper Fi ... Do Or Die.

John K.

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