They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
“What were you arguing about on the way?”
But they remained silent.
They had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
Know a lot of priests like that? Know a lot of humble bishops? Know any bishops who truly care what their flock thinks? A man who would let himself be swayed by the suffering of a little one?
Vatian II was launched in an attempt to develop a Church that would hear the "signs of the times." How to reconcile this with a Church that turns a deaf ear to the suffering and alienated in its own midst? Like the sitcom character with fingers plugging his ears singing "La la la la la!!" the Church leaders don't want to hear anything but the sweet pieties echoing through their heads.
As descendents of the Apostles (or so they flatter themselves) the bishops must be the first to listen to their flocks, not the last. their place is on the front lines of suffering and pain and isolation, not barricaded behind sycophants and chancery marble and ornate vestments.
I don't want to sound like a violent revolutionary, but where will these men be when the Church crumbles around them? Are they so shortsighted to believe that they will be accorded honor and esteem even as the Church they have misled falls to ruins and irrelevance? Or will they still hold futilely onto the prestige afforded them by their dwindling, aging and ever-more-fanatical flocks? Are they destined to wake from the sleep? Or find themselves the leaders of subterranean cabals of "Catholics" who will follow any snake or lizard as long as he wears a miter and is in the Apostolic succession?
I wish I were more of a prophet. But the utter lack of leadership and humility by our leaders can only bode badly for the Church.
Yet as Christ chided the Apostles, the Church must now chide its bishops. Those of us who remain must call our leaders back into accord with the principles of Christ. Not the phony attempt to rigidify their position through neglect of the laity and the good priests who remain. But by an honest response to the love of God, the dignity of their flocks and a recognition of their frail own humanity.