Friday, July 20, 2007

Never Trust A Subordinate Leader Who Bad Mouths The C.O. In Front Of The Troops
It was true in the Marines... it's true for The Church

My last tour of duty in The Corps was as the Director for the Corporals Leadership Course. For the young men who had just become Non-Commissioned Officers, this was their first official course of study in the fine art of leadership.

Whenever we'd pick-up a new class, one of the biggies I tried to impart on these youngsters was that a good subordinate leader never ever ever bad mouths the Old Man in front of the troops. Oddly enough, more often than not, "the Old Man" is in actuality a 27 yr-old Captain.

But anyhow, I'd ask them "have any of you ever witnessed a Corporal or a Sergeant inform his Fire Team/Squad/Platoon that they have been tasked with a rather unpleasant duty, and said "leader" stated words to the effect of "it's not me... it's that Captain (or Lieutenant, or Gunny, or Staff Sergeant) that's making me do this!"

Sadly enough, a couple of hands would always raise. And of course I'd ask "and what did you think of these so-called 'leaders'?" The various answers all boiled down to the fact that the troops may have thought that Cpl. XYZ or Sgt. ABC was "on their side", but eventually realized that Cpl. XYZ or Sgt. ABC were nothing more than moral cowards, and without fail, the troops quickly lost all respect for them.

As far as The Church goes, we saw a lot of that sort of thing happen during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II. I looks as if some think they can still get away with that nonsense.

Case in point; here's some from an article in the Modesto Bee; [emphasis and comments mine]

Catholic bishop clarifies pope's statement

The Catholic Church is deeply committed to Christian unity and to acting on these words of Jesus. I consider it important to clarify possible misconceptions about the recent statement coming from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and ratified by Pope Benedict XVI.
[Who appointed this particular bishop to "clarify" for the CDF and The Holy Father?]

Let me first say how much we respect our Christian brothers and sisters. In the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church affirmed that the church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church and is also "present and operative in the churches and ecclesial communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church." [Again, a reference to the birth of Catholicism... Vatican II.]

While the Catholic Church believes that there may be essential elements missing in other churches and ecclesial communities, she clearly acknowledges the elements of truth and sanctification that are in them. [There is no "may" about it. There are essential elements missing.]

In reality there is nothing new in this statement which has not already been discussed in ecumenical dialogue for 40 years. It is a response to a number of questions submitted to the congregation about certain Catholic theologians who may have gone beyond legitimate interpretations of Vatican II teaching. [Soooo, was 33 AD - 1962 AD correctly known as "The Lost Years"?]

The document in no way states that salvation is to be found only in the Catholic Church. Salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ. The work of Christian unity is the work of the Holy Spirit. Let us pray for this great gift of God and recommit ourselves to walking humbly on the path to oneness in Christ. [Translation: Screw you, Pope Benedict]

STEPHEN BLAIRE

bishop, Catholic Diocese of Stockton
[I couldn't help but notice that he failed to capitalize Bishop, and that he made a conscience effort to ensure that he was of the Catholic Diocese of Stockton. Mustn't alienate the Episcopalians, Lutherans, etc. We're all essentially equal, you know]

How sad the good bishop failed to note that the CDF also affirmed that while other Christian bodies can play a role in bringing people to salvation, it is in the Catholic Church that "the Church of Christ is concretely found on this earth." The Vatican document makes a further distinction between Orthodox churches that have preserved valid sacraments, and should be recognized as "sister churches," and Protestant groups that have not preserved the Eucharistic presence.

Disloyal subordinante leaders destroy unit moral and effectiveness. And they eventually cause troops to get killed in combat. We knew how to deal with the likes of them in The Corps. It sure would be nice to see The Church rediscover that particular tool of leadership.

4 Comments:

Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

"Who appointed this particular bishop to "clarify" for the CDF and The Holy Father?"

My thoughts exactly.

10:22 PM  
Blogger Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin said...

By the way, what's the doctrine of the Marines for troops who bad-mouth anywhere up the chain of command?

3:40 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Those found guilty of a charge of disrespect, usually face a loss of a stripe, at least half a months pay, and a couple of weeks restriction to the barracks.

Those who habitually can't keep their mouths shut end up on CC (Correctional Custody, IE; Brig-Lite) or the brig itself... and are well on their way to getting their asses kicked out.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Anita Moore said...

Hmmmm...Cardinal Mahony was Bishop of Stockton before becoming Archbishop. Coincidence?

3:10 PM  

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