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MSW on the bishop who won't leave the party

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Michael Sean Winters of the National Catholic Reporter brings historical imagery to whether the Bishop of St. Paul can be forced out. Read him first and then me, as usual. His piece is at http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/clueless-st-paul and mine follows below.

The office of Overseer came from God - and I would read that as Pastor, not Bishop. The current job description comes not from the Bible - indeed, it is opposite what Jesus said in the Gospel of John when he washed the feet of the apostles. Bishop is a feudal office, an ecclesiastical lord, responsible as much to the King as the Pope. We no longer have lords, except in the House of Lords -and they are an advisory office with no serfs or vassels - unlike the Church. Nienstedt is a useful idiot who shows by his pressence why the feudal office of Bishop needs to be stripped of all but sacramental duties. Democracy would be better for administering offices and assets than Nienstedt on his best day.

Like Chamberlain, who thought he was the essential man to insist on peace, which given Hiter's conduct was a fools errand, so Nienstedt believes himself the essential man to save traditional marriage. He lost that fight in Minnesota and the fact that the Fourth Circuit struck down all marriage bans in a big part of Dixie means there will be no last minute Supreme Court decision (no federal court has ever struck down marriage equality) validating his commitment to hierarchy within the family - and ultimately in the Church, since the marriage metaphor along those lines has been shattered.

The Nuncio may yet act or have the Pope act - indeed, it seems that the Archbishop just dared the Pope to do just that. The state could act. If he is obstructing justice, he could be indicted and imprisoned and I suspect that would end his reign. If nothing else, his donors should let them know that he is cut off if he does not leave That should include government contracts as well. Its called debarrment. Sadly, in the modern Church, the may be the only solution to keep these bishops in line.

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