Roman Catholics: The Pastor-Executive

If any one aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a noble task.

—1 Timothy 3

The Roman Catholic Church has 2,500 bishops, and they perform their tasks in almost that many different ways. Some are brilliant theologians, some skillful spiritual teachers, some church politicians, some Jeep-riding missionaries, some discreet bureaucrats. But in the U.S., the dominant mold is the pastoral executive: the brick-and-mortar man whose memorial is a building program and whose theological concern takes second place to pragmatic interest in shepherding his people.

Such a man is Francis Cardinal Spellman,...

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