Friday, October 31, 2014

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Catholic College President Calls Bishops 'Narrow and Shortsighted'

In a National Catholic Reporter interview, St. Joseph Sister Elizabeth Hill, president of St. Joseph’s College on Long Island, New York, says that it’s “impossible” to take the leadership of the Church seriously because the bishops have “strayed so far from the path of service, social justice, and care for the poor.”

When asked by NCR columnist Sr. Camille D'Arienzo about what distresses her about contemporary Catholicism, Sr. Hill reportedly says:

Contemporary Catholicism can mean many things. If you arereferring to the institutional [C]hurch, I think it is in a very sad state, in which there's little room for the real values of the Gospel, or even basic humanity. The hierarchy has strayed so far from the path of service, social justice and care for the poor that it's impossible to take their efforts at leadership seriously. I am cautiously optimistic that Pope Francis may make some difference, but he's clearly quite conservative, and I wonder if he will make the changes necessary to get things back on course.

She is then quoted as wishing the bishops would allow the laity to take on more responsibility. “The laity is alive and well and ready to take on leadership roles, if only the bishops would let them,” she says. “I hope that someday (soon?) the bishops will realize what great allies they have right at hand and will be open to much fuller participation of the laity in all aspects of [C]hurch life, including worship.”

She also accuses the bishops of being “narrow and shortsighted” because they are not asking for anything but money from the laity.

Asked about her accomplishments at St. Joseph’s College and what she wishes for her students, Sr. Hill never once mentions growth in the Catholic faith as a goal of the College.

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