Over here on, 'the blog so inoffensive no-one reads it,' I choose not to get into public spats, (thus far.)
That maybe seems like indifference, but since there's no free pass on taking responsibility for how things are, I'm not, as it goes, indifferent.
Electronic media are dangerous, because what you may say when you are venting or ranting in private ( and I'm an expert on that,) are stored forever. At work we are reminded about this with reference to data protection. Any email in which a boy or parent is mentioned can be called up by the parents.
What is clear is that some people want a more amenable user friendly Catholicism, some want a no compromise do what it says on the tin Catholicism and some people follow one whilst thinking they are doing the other. It makes people confused. A week ago I had a conversation with a close relative where she had a go at an article in the Torygraph by Damian Thompson where she was so angry she was going to write to complain, on the basis that it was so rude and Catholics shouldn't wash their dirty linen in public. Of course she doesn't read blogs so the context was non-existent and I didn't do too much to explain it all. This week she complained about a lack of leadership. Power vacuum anyone? And no I don't blame the Pope because he can't be everywhere dealing with everything. There's one Pope and 1 billion Catholics in the Church Militant and he is 85.
Shepherds look after their flock and round people up etc and it sometimes feels like the sheep have to find their own way and end up at each others throats. That's before we get into any wolves in sheep's clothing, plain old wolves, shepherds who let sheep wander off and don't mend the fences and any other increasingly lame sounding bit of imagery that you can dream up. I don't need shepherds to comment on the politics of the day because I live in the world, read the papers and vote, thanks. That's easy. I'm talking about the type of comments along the lines of public sector cuts hurt poor people, whilst certain other bits of legislation that strike at the heart of the family, for example, get Oked or nodded through on the basis of clear undertakings, consultation periods etc. If it's not in writing, it's not there. That's the approach I take to HW. If you don't give me the work, I don't believe it exists. We need shepherds who get down to the nitty gritty of the faith, which means going to Mass on Sunday, going to Confession and saying your prayers.
Answers on a post card as to how we solve all this. I'm going for the three above solutions, which fit every situation, plus supporting folks who are doing good stuff, but it's not exactly a quick whizz bang fix. It's a bit like trying to improve music in the Church. No point complaining, you have to get your ears dirty and do it. Saying its rubbish won't fix anything. And doing it doesn't fix it quickly either. That's my micro offfering.
If the correct order of things is that there are shepherds, then it is never going to work right having the sheep taking that role.
Why exactly can't the shepherds speak on the telly? What is wrong with their seminary education which my grandparent's were paying for in the collections of yesteryear?
Lay people, I thought, were supposed to do their jobs as Catholics in the world, whatever they might be. That isn't getting easier.
Man up please. I'd like to be proud of my shepherds.