Greg Krehbiel asks:
If the US Conference of Catholic bishops issued some sort of statement on homosexuality — I’m being intentionally vague on what the statement would be about — for example, let’s say you saw a report that said, “U.S. Bishops Issue Moral Guidance on Homosexuality” — what would you immediately think about the document? Would you think, “This may be helpful,” or would you think, “Oh brother, what kind of idiocy do we have to suffer through now”?
As with Greg I am in the cynical camp when it comes to USCCB documents. Though I think his question can be broadened to include all USCCB documents. They are usually the document form of porridge. You know there is something edible in there somewhere. Often the writings just don’t state Catholic teaching very well. Sure they normally can be read in a perfectly orthodox way, but sometimes you have to be very charitable in interpreting the wording. Of course many of the worst documents never got voted on by the full conference of Bishops, though some people will treat these documents as having more weight than de fidei teaching.
This is the nature of bureaucracies though. They are the opposite of parallel computing. In parallel computing you can connect a bunch of processors together to produce an output that is both faster and just as accurate as if only one processor was involved. With bureaucracies the opposite is true. The more people thrown in to the operation the slower and the less accurate the output. The exception are Church Councils since the Holy Spirit works to override parity errors and ensure the output is correct.