And the problem is not just a U.S. problem, either. Today William Oddie of the Catholic Herald in England has opined that "the bureaucratization of the hierarchy has left the church rudderless and ineffective" (not an exact quote as I did use American spelling). Notice how he too laments the lack of moral clarity from British bishops, and he blames that lack of clarity on an overly deferential homage to the UK bishops' conference. This is an excellent article and I'd advise all to read it.
The Holy Father was quite clear when he stated that these bishops' conferences have no inherent ecclesiastical authority at canon law, save only that which the bishops ascribe to it. Well, if the bishops ascribe such authority, they can retract it since they owe fealty to the Holy Father directly.
I know this blog is read by some in England, so I'll address you now. Not being aware of any other issues with the British bishops' conference, I can only advise watchfulness. If you've read my blog for long, you'll recall that I've long advocated that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops be immediately and unceremoniously abolished, as it is most definitely controlled by progressives who seek to undermine the Church's mission to proclaim God's word and to save souls. If your bishops' conference is "frustrating leadership", this may be a deliberated strategy that is merely disguised as bumbling ineptitude. Do some in-depth investigation - and don't be too surprised if you see real evil and corruption underneath the sanctimonious facades.
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