I wrote the following in 2009 soon after US Air Flight 1549 landed in the Hudson River. And I wrote it about what was happening in the parish I was in at that time. Given the current threats to the Church, I have been urged by friends to offer it again. Here it is, only minimally emended:
“Everyone involved in the Flight 1549 situation has been lauded, and justifiably so, and we rightfully give praise to such a Good and Gracious and Generous God who still does miracles, and allows us to learn from them. But there was one failure of leadership ‘in the air’ that has not generally been noticed; do you know what it was? Well, the failed leadership was in the stubbornness of sticking to a flight plan when disaster loomed. It was in the refusal to change course, to revisit assumptions, to ask for advice from others. And it was in the failure of those who might have taken action instead of blindly ‘following the leader’. Yes, the failed leadership was that of the lead goose, who took the flock to its destruction, sucked into the turbines and losing their own lives and putting many others at risk. Did no member of the flock see what was ahead? Had they no authority to depart from the plan, to act on their own initiative? Did they squawk advice that was unheeded, or were they just silent?” Just what can or should a member of the flock do when he or she sees what is coming?”
Just what should we each be doing today, as a member of the flock, as we see the turbines up ahead? Your thoughts and comments are most welcome!