We talk about family, problems, the ideas presented that day, issues the Church or we are facing, the good food members brought to share, jobs, and so on.
At one point I was chatting with a few fellow Franciscans when the topic of a particular rosary campaign came up.
The campaign is for Bishop Clark and our Diocese.
I noted that I do pray for both, but ...
They gave me knowing looks, so I went on.
But, it seemed like this campaign is not so much intended for the Bishop as directed against him.
They acknowledged that when they read about it it made them feel uneasy, too.
The idea behind it seems to be that we don't like the way things are in the diocese, so we should pray to God to make the Bishop change, or remove him.
I jokingly said it almost came across as if they were asking for a "hit" on the Bishop Mafia-style.
I don't know if that is the intention of the campaign - but it's interesting that I was not alone in getting that impression. [Added later - If I had written this to say more accurately what I meant, I would have phrased it something like, "I'm not saying that literally killing the Bishop is the intention of the creator of the rosary campaign - but ...." I did mean the "hit" reference as a joke. Sorry if it came across as otherwise due to my poor wording.]
When I first read of the campaign, I thought of St. Francis's Admonition XXVI:
Blessed is the servant of God who exhibits confidence in clerics who live uprightly according to the form of the holy Roman Church. And woe to those who despise them: for even though they [the clerics] may be sinners, nevertheless no one ought to judge them, because the Lord Himself reserves to Himself alone the right of judging them. For as the administration with which they are charged, to wit, of the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which they receive and which they alone administer to others—is greater than all others, even so the sin of those who offend against them is greater than any against all the other men in this world.
Fresh on my mind as we spoke at the Day of Recollection was one of the talks earlier that day in which Father Anthony cited the story of when St. Francis and his companions went to Pope Innocent III to gain his approval for what they were doing. The Pope, troubled by many such groups, perhaps a bit sarcastically and in short-temper, told them to go back to tending swine - which Francis and his companions joyfully, humbly and obediently did.
St. Francis proclaimed and modeled respect for those in spiritual authority over us.
I will continue to pray for Bishop Clark, as I always do. But I won't be taking part in this particular campaign.