This week in Commonweal is a one page opinion piece, written by a funeral director, that contains the most succinct criticism of Catholic bishops that I  have read to date. The egregious behavior of the bishops of Dublin is contrasted to the religious ministers from various faith traditions with whom he has worked, who ” bring a brave and sacred narrative to bear on the existential questions” raised when a loved one dies. The best part, though, is the opener…

Preaching to bishops,” a long-dead churchman told me years ago, “is like farting at skunks. You’ll win some battles, but lose the war.” All the more so, no doubt, the higher you go. His Holiness, Their Eminences and Excellencies—“Don’t cross ’em,” the curate cautioned; “those boyos aren’t to be tampered with.”

Catholicism doesn’t bring much humor into my life, so I am extraordinarily grateful for the laugh Thomas Lynch gave me, and I am happy to share it. But don’t stop here, check out the whole piece.

Preaching to Bishops, Commonweal Magazine, January 15, 2010.