Hilda of Whitby,
a match for any
These women were not people who let others—even priests and bishops—think for them. There were souls filled with grace and shaped by the faith of the Church but who had the courage and intellect to make up their own minds and be true to their own inner lights—or rather, to be true to the grace of the Holy Spirit within them. And why do some people think that women—and men—should let the bishops and the priests think for them today?
What we need are bishops and priests who themselves are intelligent, well-read, clear thinkers and articulate who can explain the principles of our faith in a intellectually convincing way. We don’t need fools like Bishop Daniel Jenky who use intelligence-free rhetoric or Bishop Thomas Olmstead who speaks without researching his subject. We don’t need a Francis George who is brilliant but so tightly wrapped in his intellect that he inarticulate. We don’t need a Donald Wuerl who with a second-class academic degree and no professorial experience thinks he can take on a far superior and more practiced intellect such as Elisabeth Johnson. Hearing someone like Father O’Malley talk, I know there are people in the Church who know their stuff, see the connections between the historic faith of the Church and contemporary life, and can explain the faith at a level when people can make the connections for themselves and make rational and responsible decisions for themselves. Is it too much to ask that bishops and Church leaders be selected from among the ranks of such men? The day of a laity who will follow directions of a hierarchy and clergy are over. People today need to be convinced and we need leaders in the Church who can make their case and not merely expect to impose their will.