Saturday, February 07, 2009

What The USCCB Can Learn From The USMC
...and the occasional Canonical blanket party wouldn't be a bad idea, either

I've been having a pleasant exchange with a poster who recently asked me (in reference to the incoming Archbishop of Detroit, and what I consider the shambles of a diocese he left in Oakland) the following;

However, how well can a bishop really know the priests in a diocese in a year, or two years, or three for that matter?

That's a fair question. And my response was as follows;
As a veteran of 20 fun-filled years in the Marine Corps, there were times (peacetime) when I had mere days to "know" any given Marine... and on the odd occasion (bombs bursting in air, all that jazz), I would have as little as 30 seconds to figure someone out.

I guess that was one of the fun things about The Corps. I could look at any given NCO or Staff NCO and say "I don't know you from Adam, but I know that you're a Marine Corps Corporal, (Sergeant, Staff Sergeant, Gunnery Sergeant, whatever) and you'll do your job to the high expectations that The Corps has always demanded of her leaders."

It really was that simple. And God help the leader who attempted to buck the Command structure. We had a phrase for those types of individuals: Lance Corporals (IE: stripped of rank and responsibility.)

If I can have that outlook as just a mere Master Sergeant of Marines responsible for men's lives, why can't a bishop have the same outlook, especially if he's responsible for men's souls?

But in all fairness, I think I've answered my own question --- The Marine Corps demanded that I be a decisive leader.
And that got me thinking. The USCCB really does need to shitcan all their focus groups and all other warm and fuzzy forms of mental masturbation, and get back to basics.

As you read the following, I ask of you to imagine your bishop, parish priest, nun in charge of the Social Ministry, or even the DRE in Stretch Pants. How do they stack up? I know how the pre-Vatican II Clerics and Religious compared.

The Marine Corps 14 Leadership Traits

BEARING is the way you conduct and carry yourself. Your manner should reflect alertness, competence, confidence, and control.

COURAGE is what allows you to remain calm while recognizing fear. Moral courage means having the inner strength to stand up for what is right and to accept blame when something is your fault. Physical courage means that you can continue to function effectively when there is physical danger present.

DECISIVENESS means that you are able to make good decisions without delay. Get all the facts and weight them against each other. By acting calmly and quickly, you should arrive at a sound decision. You announce your decisions in a clear, firm, professional manner.

DEPENDABILITY means that you can be relied upon to perform your duties properly. It means that you can be trusted to complete a job. It is the willing and voluntary support of the policies and orders of the chain of command. Dependability also means consistently putting forth your best effort in an attempt to achieve the highest standards of performance.

ENDURANCE is the mental and physical stamina that is measured by your ability to withstand pain, fatigue, stress, and hardship. For example, enduring pain during a conditioning march in order to improve stamina is crucial in the development of leadership.

ENTHUSIASM is defined as a sincere interest and exuberance in the performance of your duties. If you are enthusiastic, you are optimistic, cheerful, and willing to accept the challenges.

INITIATIVE is taking action even though you haven't been given orders. It means meeting new and unexpected situations with prompt action. It includes using resourcefulness to get something done without the normal material or methods being available to you.

INTEGRITY means that you are honest and truthful in what you say or do. You put honesty, sense of duty, and sound moral principles above all else.

JUDGMENT is your ability to think about things clearly, calmly, and in an orderly fashion so that you can make good decisions.

JUSTICE is defined as the practice of being fair and consistent. A just person gives consideration to each side of a situation and bases rewards or punishments on merit.

KNOWLEDGE is the understanding of a science or art. Knowledge means that you have acquired information and that you understand people. Your knowledge should be broad, and in addition to knowing your job, you should know your unit's policies and keep up with current events.

LOYALTY means that you are devoted to your country, the Corps, and to your seniors, peers, and subordinates. The motto of our Corps is Semper Fidelis!, (Always Faithful). You owe unwavering loyalty up and down the chain of command, to seniors, subordinates, and peers.

TACT means that you can deal with people in a manner that will maintain good relations and avoid problems. It means that you are polite, calm, and firm.
(OK, tact was never my strong suite. To be honest, I'd like to see "Tact" shitcanned and replaced with "Audacity".)

UNSELFISHNESS means that you avoid making yourself comfortable at the expense of others. Be considerate of others. Give credit to those who deserve it

And it all boils down to the two leadership objectives: mission accomplishment, then the welfare of the troops. IN THAT ORDER! Unfortunately, with all this Social Justice bullshit trumping Eternal Salvation, it looks as if many of our fearless shepherds have it backwards.


Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

Outstanding! I'm trying to find even one of these qualities that a Catholic Bishop wouldn't need at least a much of as a Marine Master Sergeant, but I can't.

11:58 AM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

Excellent post -- it should be framed and mounted in every chancery and rectory in the U.S.

11:58 AM  
Blogger Joe of St. Thérèse said...

I plan to send this to the Archdiocese of LA office...not that I need any more enemies down there.

12:15 PM  
Blogger TCN said...

The problem, of course, is that most of these worthless priests thought they were joining a dating service. Justice? Loyalty? Unselfishness? None of that matters a damn if you are just there for the "camaraderie," so to speak. I think we will have to wait at least two generations to see the "shock troops" move into positions where this sort of hierarchy of behavior can possibly take the place of narcissism and uselessness.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Adeodatus49 said...

The AmChurch bishops are more senior executives and politicians than the priests they are supposed to be. As priests they are supposed to save their own souls and to help the rest of us save our own souls. That takes Leadership by Example, the primary method by which the Savior saved us all.

1:16 PM  
Blogger ignorant redneck said...


Most Affirm! Perhaps we should make a successful tour with the corps or the airborn a requirement for seminary admission: make e-5 or no dice!

1:19 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Orthodoxae said...

I'm glad to say that there are few Orthodox bishops who don't have those qualities.

Man I'm going to copy those down.

5:55 PM  
Blogger gramps said...

Lets see, most of them took vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty, correct? these vows were to God. If as a bishop or priest, you can't keep something you vowed to God and entered into religious life for a lifetime, what else matters what you post. Maybe I am wrong on what the pledge. I think the vow something, correct? Of course that is like the President and congressmen vowing to uphold the constitution when it is obvious, most do not know what the constitution is.

You can tell the politicians that try to honor the oath and also the priest and bishops as well.

10:40 PM  
Blogger Kit said...

Ooh rah and amen! Sent that one on to many, Cavey.

12:17 PM  

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