Should Lay People Help Select Bishops?

Part Two:  Pesky Priests

I studied canon law in Rome. One of the other students in my class level was a
priest from somewhere South of Rome. He was short and chubby and balding. That is
pretty much all I know about him. He acted as though the other 29 people in the class
were beneath him and never spoke to any of us. He seldom came to class and when he

did, it was always late. He would stroll in as if he owned the class, plop himself down in

the nearest front row seat, and proceed to read the newspaper. I never understood why
the professors acted as though nothing odd was going on, that he did not deserve to be

in that class. Soon we too all seemed to ignore him when he came in. That is, until one
day when he came early and grabbed everyone he could to loudly complain. It seems
the Italian Government had been paying a salary to priests and now they weren’t going
to. He was crying in desperation that he would now have to rely on his parishioners in

Podunk Italy, to pay him. Now, tell me there is no justice in this world!

 Could there be a lesson in here by mandating that Lay People be involved in the
process of selecting Bishops? Would accountability to Lay People soon follow? Be still

my heart! Now, the ambitious ones, and there are a few of those, would have to be more
attentive, shall we say, to the needs of the Lay People. Would indiscretions, meanness
and ego come into play? Would pastoral practice, openness and humility make a
difference? I repeat, be still my Heart! 

Leave a Reply