Friday, December 18, 2009


The lives of those who are being consideration for being canonized are examined for the display of heroic virtue. But virtue is not the same for all. The virtue of a porter saint is not the same as the virtue of St. Pius V, for example, because the role or function each plays within Creation is different. It seems to me that virtue must be judged accordingly, even if charity is the form of all virtue. Virtues are related to function; the obligations, duties and works are different according to the role one plays.

It seems true that there is greater media exposure to the popes now than before, so that we can scrutinize their actions when they are public. Nonetheless, this is a reason why popes must be even more careful and avoid scandalizing the faithful.

Can the Holy Father be faulted for not doing something about the Curia, as opposed to an individual bishop? Can the Roman Curia and the Pope be judged according to the same criteria by which we judge secular governments and organizations? What is "effective leadership" for a pope? Can Romanitas and the desire to "save face" for subordinates be an excuse for inaction or slow action? Do ecclesiastical honors get in the way of reform as a result? It seems difficult to "demote" a bishop in the Curia. Are there inherent problems with the structure of the Curia and the selection of office-holders that warrant it being done away with completely? It seems that some sort of apparatus is necessary for the Pope to do his work as the first among the bishops of the entire world taken as a whole.

Rorate Caeli

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