The New Virtual Ecclesiology
Yup, it was a damn messy time, and Wuerl -- a delegate to the October Synod on the Eucharist who's been invited to lecture at this fall's annual "New Bishop School" given in Rome by the Congregation for Bishops -- is, as ever, a genius to tackle the difficulties that technology and schismatic EWTN fans present to a cohesive ecclesial life.
Concerned about open divisiveness, Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh has proposed that his fellow U.S. Catholic bishops consult one another before speaking out on divisive national issues -- particularly whether prominent Catholic politicians who support legal abortion should be denied communion.
Though couched in polite, theological language, Wuerl's proposal is an attempt to muffle loose cannons in the hierarchy. The proposal appeared in the Pittsburgh Catholic and was carried nationally through Catholic News Service.
"The issue of a national politician's reception of Holy Communion and public stance on moral issues is a concern that affects not just the local church wherein the politician lives, but also considerably affects the church throughout the nation, as was evidenced in last year's election and the controversy surrounding Sen. John Kerry," Wuerl wrote.
Think about it: As a consequence of last year, we still have people around the country ignoring their proper bishops and seeking alternative episcopal oversight in St. Louis, like polygamist Mormons exiled to Utah. Some orthodoxy that is....
As I've always said, Rowan Williams (a spiritual son of Carmel) is more Catholic than many Catholics, and the Cafeteria Trads are more Episcopalian than most Episcopalians. But that's what happens when symbolism trumps substance.