John L. Allen Jr.: On the death of a bishop and truths about “the bishops”

(Crux) Though it sounds terrible to say out loud, generally speaking, the death of a Catholic bishop doesn’t really rate as a news story anywhere outside his own diocese. Most bishops aren’t towering public personalities, and besides which, with more than 5,000 bishops in the world and an age profile that skews old, deaths just aren’t that uncommon.

In the month of June 2017 alone, ten bishops passed away in various parts of the world, and seven more went to their reward in July. Of that group, really only the death of German Cardinal Joachim Meisner became a global headline, and that’s in large measure because Pope emeritus Benedict XVI sent a message to the funeral that got attention because one line was interpreted in some quarters as a dour assessment of the state of the Church.

To be clear, Benedict’s closest aide later said people who took the line as a criticism of Pope Francis are, and I’m quoting here, “stupid.” [More]

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