"I cannot possibly comment on that."

This common episcopal utterance is particularly infuriating and it has been said to me on numerous occasions, not just by bishops but by archdeacons and rural deans as well. They gossip about you amongst themselves (correction: they exchange information about you amongst themselves) and come to conclusions, but when you attempt to put your side of the story to them they say, "I cannot possibly comment on that as I wasn't there." It really is a discussion killer. Which, I assume, is why they say it.


THINGS BISHOPS SAY (1) — 13 Comments

  1. Consult your counselor about this, but my own experience has been that healing cannot begin until I put the anger where it belongs, that is, before the one at whom I’m angry. In order to get the issues clear and diffuse the rage can obscure the points I want to make, I’ve found it helpful to write several letters before I send one or speak to my adversary. The calmer and clearer I am, the better I am heard. Good luck, and let your OCICBW friends know how things in general and you in particular are.

  2. until I put the anger where it belongs, that is, before the one at whom I’m angry

    Oh, I’ve tried that. He said, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” Which is bullshit. He might be sad, annoyed, angry etc. but not sorry. You are only sorry if you think you’ve done someone harm. He was so disinterested that he couldn’t even be bothered to use correct English in his cliched answer.

  3. Oy! Just a free (worth what it costs) random thought: as my smarter, nicer half says, “Forgiveness is a process. It can’t be rushed. ” Your counselor sounds like a savvy person who would understand this. Whatever time it takes, I’m confident that you’ll be successful. You’re in our prayers.

  4. You know, that’s the way the world works. Faculty talk about grad students, managers talk about minions. Human nature is human nature.

    yeah, it’s crap.

    It’s life.

  5. Spot on, Anonymous.

    IT, if I can accept that a priest keeps everything he is told, of a personal nature, confidential then a bishop should be able to. It’s not that difficult once it becomes part of who you are.

  6. Every profession has its code of ethics, and any ethical person, lay or ordained, professional or not, keeps personal information confidential. As my friend and classmate used to say, “It’s not rocket surgery.”

  7. Bishops are managers, MP. Like academic deans. Something happens to their brains when they assume corporate positions in the institution.

    I do agree that it’s reprehensible and one expects better.

    I am just not surprised they do it.

  8. You are an atheist, IT. Life long Christians are brought up to believe that Bishops are good people. Of course, most of us, especially those of us who go on to work for the company, eventually find out that they are just careerists, but it still feels like a huge let down.