Ich denke bei uns sieht es bei der neuen Bischofsgeneration tendenziell ähnlich aus, und das paßt natürlich nicht allen:

Part of Catholic identity is the role of the bishop, meaning the ministry of bishops and the leadership of bishops, which has been contested for many reasons. We need a lot more conversation around that topic.

Are you encouraged by how that conversation is shaping up?

It depends on where you start. Am I encouraged by divisions in Catholic communion? No. Am I encouraged by the fact that it’s now necessary to talk about differences in self-understanding? Yes. Am I hopeful about the bishops taking possession of their own vocation in the church? Yes.

By the bishops’ vocation, what do you mean?

The teaching dimension, I think, has been very well carried for many decades, both individually in many dioceses and collectively by the conference. The part of the definition that hasn’t been attended to is governing. The sexual abuse crisis is evidence of that. If bishops had governed more clearly between 1973 and 1986, when statistics tell us most of the abuse took place, it might have been contained more quickly, and we would not be subject to the terrible crisis it has caused us.

Your reading is that bishops today are more ready to exercise their powers of governance?

Yes, and to do so responsibly.


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