Most of what was published about Catholic Bishop Edward Braxton last weekend are true, but you have to read between the lines.
The bishop, correctly, characterizes himself as “serene.” It may serve him well personally, but has it served his relationship with the people well? Not just a few people would argue that his serenity has become a great walled tower of impermeability, a fortress so to speak whereby the voices and feelings of others cannot reach him. Hence, the term “aloof” is used to describe his demeanor.
Monsignor Jack McEvilly is quoted as saying, “I’ve never heard him say anything bad about anybody.” Probably true. However, he has said many bad things to people, most of which have been devastatingly cruel. He never seems to miss an opportunity to criticize someone or something in public. He truly believes he has “never said a harsh word to anyone,” but, sadly, he is unaware of the reality.
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The director of worship, Sue Huett, describes the bishop as very detail oriented and always a teacher. True, but translate that into: stern, rigid, intransigent, unbending, condescending, scolding, nitpicking and a more accurate picture emerges.
Pope Francis urged bishops this week to act more like pastors, not pilots telling people what to do. The people of the diocese yearn for a pastor.