Friday, September 23, 2005

The Good Professor

Donald Wuerl spoke at last week's New Bishop School in Rome.... From the eminent Ann Rodgers of the Post-Gazette

Wuerl repeatedly urged the bishops to make full use of the groups that canon law requires or advises a bishop to consult prior to major decisions. He warned against equating accountability with a political model of democracy but said the faithful must be consulted and informed.

"Whatever our responsibility, we must exercise it with an openness that takes the form of sharing information, reporting on the discharge of our duties and accepting critique of our actions," he said.

Although it isn't required by canon law, he urged the new bishops to appoint a pastoral council consisting primarily of laity. He advised them to issue audited financial reports.

"Openness strengthens solidarity. It is expressed in the commitment of all the faithful -- clergy and laity alike -- to consider all of the facts, all the information, all the implications and all the aspects of a situation," he said.

"Accountability understood as transparency of the exercise of authority does not mean giving up decision-making authority. It does, however, mean that such apostolic authority is exercised in the context of an informed and consulted local church."

As Wuerl learned long before 2002, a little listening goes a long way. He might be bringing that experience back to Rome with him in short order....



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