03 July 2010

Something I Hadn't Noticed

Edited to take account of Madame Evangelista's comment.

I've been trying to work out what it is about the Bishops' Conference that makes them so, well, different.  They seem to march to a different drum from many of us; they don't seem to like to make decisions on their own; they're just not what one expects of Bishops.  I might have hit on something.  If, like me, you remember the time when you went to University as a defining moment in growing up, you might find it strange that so few of our Bishops had that experience in that way.  Being 18 and suddenly being on your own, having to manage finances, make new friends, learn how to hold your drink, make outrageous mistakes and get away with it: in short, having to grow up.  Of course, you don't have to go to University to do this - you just have to leave home and set up shop somewhere.  But the University analogy is apt for people who are going away to study for a qualification; and the leaving home analogy isn't apt for people who leave their parents' home for a sort of religious boarding school where board and lodging is provided at somebody else's expense.  Of course all of the Bishops eventually were left to their own devices and had to sort of make do by themselves, but at a much later age, and when they were different people.

If you don't count being at a Seminary like Ushaw or Valladolid where you attend University classes (much less Rome), how many of our Bishops have had that experience?
  • Bishop Arnold – yes: a barrister
  • Bishop Brain - no
  • Bishop Budd - no
  • Bishop Burns - no
  • Bishop Campbell - no
  • Bishop Conry – no
  • Bishop Cunningham – no
  • Bishop Davies - no
  • Bishop Doyle – no
  • Bishop Drainey - no
  • Bishop Evans - no
  • Bishop Paul Hendricks - yes: a physicist who worked for two years for GEC
  • Bishop Hine (I can't find out about his education)
  • Bishop Hollis - yes read Modern History at Balliol
  • Bishop Hopes – trained as an Anglican priest
  • Archbishop Kelly – no
  • Bishop Kenney - no (though his experience in Sweden mark him out as differently formed)
  • Bishop Lang - no
  • Bishop Longley - yes: studied music at the  RNCM in Manchester and New College, Oxford
  • Bishop Lynch - no
  • Bishop McGough - no
  • Bishop Malcolm McMahon - yes Mechanical Engineering and worked for Daimler and London Transport
  • Bishop Thomas McMahon - no (though he trained in France, which is different)
  • Bishop Moth - no
  • Archbishop Nichols - no
  • Bishop Noble (I can't find out about his education)
  • Bishop Rawsthorne - no
  • Bishop Regan - no
  • Bishop Roche - no
  • Archbishop Smith - yes: Law degree from Exeter
  • Bishop Stack - no
  • Bishop Williams - no (in fact entered Junior Seminary aged 13 years old in 1961)

Now, there's nothing wrong with the formation any of them has had, nor is there any reason to expect that a Bishop should have gone to University.  But their background sets them apart from many of the people they have to deal with.
Is this why they have come to depend on the Tabletistas?

Incidentally the page here where they have published their CVs is illuminating in many respects.


madame evangelista said...

"Being 18 and suddenly being on your own, having to manage finances, make new friends, learn how to hold your drink, make outrageous mistakes and get away with it: in short, having to grow up" But Ttony, you don't have to go to university to do these things! You just have to leave home. And many people do, often before the age of 18.

I don't know anything about the backgrounds of Bishops or what previous experience they are expected to have, but in general I'm pretty sure most people on the planet have managed to become adults without going to university, including the population of England & Wales. I would guess anyone who has served as a priest in a parish would have to grow up pretty sharpish.

It sounds like you're implying that the bishops are immature and there is a link between maturity and higher education! That sounds pretty unlikely to me. Have I misunderstood? Please do correct me if so.

Ttony said...

I expressed myself badly. I hope the redit makes it clearer.

madame evangelista said...

Yes it does, thanks. It's an interesting point but I personally can't tell whether it means something significant regarding the character of the Bishops conference or if it is just a quirky fact like a football statistic.

Mike Cliffson said...

Dear TTony
You and anyone who reads this, prayers pls for Spain today(and all that was Christendom in general) : now abortion-on-demand-as-a-specific- right in force as of 5th , 500 more murders per day expected, stronger stark Bishops statement than ever at all Sunday masses inc exhortation to civic action inc silent witness Town halls last night, only usual crowds turned out, MSM zilch reporting.
2. Your post:
It shouldn't make any difference.
Order brands in and on character. God send all catholic followers yr blog, and may noncatholic ones believe this is a marvel in store when they come home,take it on trust, have had experience of how one confesses to God and receives absolution from Him THROUGH a priest, who while it is not Necessary that he humanly follow 100%, but eg,however celibate often understands marital, and quite physical marital, sins and problems, under the seal of confession. ONe may have known said priest as a human being long enough to see how such discernment is Entirely miraculous.
How much more so a Bishop!
Was not Today's Gospel apostles trogging off evangelizing WITH NONE OF THEIR OWN BAGGAGE, only the Holy spirit?
An extreme example, with heroic sanctity: was not becket the king's poodle?
Can the lord not make sons of Abraham from stones?
If the stones are willing.
I can't find, it was lsn, or first things, or ignatius insight, a devout post or comment by someone who understands ecclesiology( I don't) about beaminone'sown eye reverence forheirs of apostles, but how bishops conferences not set up around holy spirit in way councils are or somthing, seeming result a sort of human level lowest common denominator.
God send all this 's but another indication of how the devil is really pulling out all the stops in his attacks.

Anonymous said...

How many of the Bishops did National Service?

Andrew Plasom-Scott said...


totally off-topic but don't know how else to contact you...

I thought you and your readers might be interested in my new blog, in which I review CTS booklets (and occasionally other Catholic books).

It may be found at http://ctsreviews.blogspot.com/

And I would welcome a link or a mention if you think it merits them.

Many thanks

Best wishes


Anonymous said...

Bishop John Hine did not attend university (Hodder prep school, Stonyhurst; then Mayfield Xaverian college; then English College Rome)

Fr Steven Fisher

Anonymous said...

Bishop Noble, also no.Preston Catholic college then Ushaw. It's in 'Who's who in Catholic life'.

Fr Steven Fisher