I, Bishop Francis Patrick Kenrick, was blessed with a fine clerical career. In my hometown of Dublin, I was selected, at age 18, to study in Rome. In Rome I spent many summers reading on the Spanish Steps and praying in St. Peter's.
Today's Catholic episcopate seems increasingly marred by a bitter-end spirit of strife and faction. Where's the humble recognition that the political squabbles of this world should not rend asunder the Church of Christ?
If you came to earth from another planet right now as the proverbial "visitor from Mars" and tried to figure out what most religions all seem agree on and care about most you'd conclude that it was about keeping women down and bashing gays. Call this the "ecumenism of oppression."
If the Bishops insist there's no firewall great enough to protect them from our contraceptive activities, then they also must admit there's no firewall great enough to protect us from their religious activities.
We all know how much the media love conflict, and they have fallen in love with the health care debate. To say the process hasn't been pretty would be one of the biggest Washington understatements in years.