What’s Good for the Bishop

Ophelia Benson

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If you’re ever feeling a little sluggish and under-motivated, a visit to a Catholic bishop’s Facebook page might be just the ticket. (Yes, Catholic bishops do have Facebook pages.) Reading one or two of their latest editorials and seeing what they expect from all of us in the way of deference and obedience can deliver a nice jolt of adrenaline.

It’s interesting how combative the Catholic Church is, how aggrieved, how determined to pick a fight. It doesn’t have to be. We’re so used to this by now that it seems normal, but it could perfectly well be otherwise. The church could simply see itself as separate, a refuge, the heart of a heartless world, an alternative to the secular arena of jobs and competition and money. It could make itself attractive and welcoming, generous and loving, a realm where people don’t have to fight for acceptance but are embraced without preconditions. Its employees could try to get more business by simply appealing to the potential customers.

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