Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Conti's Prejudice: Lawless Glasgow
It could just be dismissed as the grumpy prejudiced ramblings of a soon to retire old bishop. It is however a very dangerous stance for a bishop to take. Bishop Henderson, who was an Auxilliary in Southwark once said to me, "As a Bishop I am supposed to love the unloveable, tolerate the intolerable." He could have added, "even with heresy I am supposed to be light handed, trying to win back rather than condemn and cut off".
With his words Archbishop Conti has put a cordon around diocese cutting it off from a great deal of contemporary thought and study. He has also said that his personal prejudices are more important than the Church's law, which presumably indicates to his priests that they are free to impose their own prejudices on the faithful. Ultimately it means that under Archbishop Conti Glasgow is lawless. The impression given is that Glasgow is ruled by prejudice or whim of Archbishop Conti, not the Church's law.
Recently I was talking to an older parish priest, whose health wasn't that good, who said that he felt his own Bishop wished he would just die in order to put someone more of the Bishops mind into his parish. That is pretty worrying, every priest has right to expect that he is fully supported by his Bishop if he acts within the law. I suspect that is not what this particular Bishop really thinks but it is terrible indictment of a Bishop's failure to be a real "Father in God" to all his priests.
A Bishop has every right to his prejudices but no right to express them, especially as function is to hold all in communion, to gather into one. It is the wolf who scatters the Lord's flock the Good Shepherd gathers them,
to love the unloveable, tolerate the intolerable.
Let us pray that with the appointment of the new Bishop of Aberdeen change is on the way.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake