Today I was out on the road again for the diocese, teaching a course on Church History for our school teachers. This marks the end of the courses I will be teaching this summer, and it means among other things that I can get out tomorrow and finally get this computer situation straightened out. I appreciate your patience.
I note with some humor that I am finding the purchase of this office equipment more troublesome than buying a car, which is a truly major investment. Actually my last purchase of a car required no trouble. My wife was getting her Kia serviced when a carrier of Sportages pulled on the lot. She called me and reported that she had found just the car for me. By sunset it was in my garage.
Speaking of my wife, she called me while I was driving home today. She is in the Dominican Republic at our diocesan mission there. This is her third day and she has a week to go. God bless her. She reports torrential rain.
Aside from trying to squeeze too much material into seven hours, my course today was very enjoyable. Many of the students were exceptionally well read and I felt badly I couldn't give free reign to some lively budding discussions. Prior to the course several asked me to devote more time to Vatican II, which to much of the class was indeed ancient history, as they were born years after its conclusion in 1965. Someone asked me my impression if I thought Vatican II had been a success. Now there's a tough question. I did say that I didn't think anyone at the pastoral level was prepared to roll out the new agenda in the late 1960's, particularly in the area of liturgy.
Some students picked up on this and observed that they were frustrated over the wide diversity of liturgical and pastoral practice even between parishes in the present day. I agreed and quoted the old Reformation saying about present day pastors, "Cuius Regio, Cuius Religio." Translated roughly, this equates to "whoever is king picks the religion."
I did say in class and I would say this anywhere that I am very disappointed with the national conference of bishops, our USCCB, which can agree on nothing but mom and apple pie declarations. On issues of major significance in parishes, such as the sequence of initiation sacraments for children, or standards for certification of catechists, the bishops will not take a stand. The reason? Most bishops (not all, thankfully) want total autonomy in their dioceses to do as they please. Like I said, "Cuius Regio....."