Archbishop Wuerl's column in this week's in the Catholic Standard states:
As the editorial in this week's paper points out, "hardly a day goes by that there are not magazine articles, newspaper ads, letters to the editor, blogs or other public declarations in which some people are denounced for being less Catholic, less orthodox, less open, less progressive, less faithful, less whatever, than the person pointing the finger." Incrimination of others has become a hallmark among some groups and individuals in the Catholic Church in our country today.
The more I reflect on our current level of Christian discourse, particularly in some of the highly opinionated publications, I sense the wisdom in the homily by my brother bishop when he reminded all of us that the division of the house into sheep and goats is really the task of the Lord in his role as Judge. In the meantime, unless we can truly say we are without sin, we should not cast the first or any stone.
But I wonder if his column and the Catholic Standards's editorial are due to the fact that there is much criticism of him and his stewardship of this Archdiocese. In particular, last week, it was reported widely in the Catholic press, that a group of Catholics have requested that His Holiness, Pope Benedict, remove Archbishop Wuerl for his lack of leadership on key issues.
As the bishop in capital of the United States, the Archbishop has a unique position and can use it to strongly advocate for life, to remind those Catholic politicians when they fall short and to ensure that various Catholic institutions remain faithful to the Church. Yet time and time again, there has either been silence or a watered down response.
At my job, when I do not measure up to standards, then my supervisor will take me to task. My trusted co-workers will come to me and ask my why I am not doing what I should be doing.
I do not say to them "When you reply to your emails on time, then come and speak with me." or "Learn how to better estimate what a job really costs, so that we are not working overtime w/o pay." No, I say, "You are correct on this and I will make certain to do a better job."
The Archbishop has a responsibility to his flock and to the Church as a whole. His column and editorial shows that maybe, just maybe, he has finally gotten the message that many of us have little confidence in his leadership.
Instead of stepping up to the plate and saying that he will do better, he has decided attempt to silence those who criticize him.