Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Baby Bishops

Likely most of my readers have heard about the excommunication of the troublesome, wacky, and quite stupid Emmanuel Milingo. First, he runs off to the Moonies as is married as part of their effort to subvert the Catholic Church in Africa. Then, he comes back. THEN, he runs back to his putative wife and ordains fellow nutjobs, including the infamous Stallings of DC, bishops. Obviously, he is not someone for whom Church discipline or teaching means much.

What I find more interesting is that he was appointed Archbishop at the age of 39 by Pope Paul VI in 1969. This was part of an effort to 'decolonialize' the hierarchy in newly independent nations by appointing native bishops. At this time, many very young bishops were named, such as Cardinal Arinze. The track record for what have been called 'Baby Bishops' has not been that great. While there have been shining lights like Pope John Paul II, there have been nut-jobs like Milingo. In our own country, think of Sanchez of Santa Fe or Clark of Rochester. 'Baby Bishops' are simply not a know quantity: they have not been tested over time. Also, if a they turn out to be lemons, we are stuck with them for a long time. Ironically, the late Pope John Paul II is quoted as having said, "No more baby bishops! I want bishops to have had their midlife crisises before they are ordained!"
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