The Anchoress has an interesting take on Cardinal Dolan’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade quandary.
I’m not sure a bishop has a choice but to run out to meet prodigals, regardless of motivating factors. The father wants everyone to come home and be with him. Once they’re at the doorstep, they may be encouraged to come in; once they’re inside, they can be talked with, nurtured, fed, encouraged, formed, and made whole. This cannot happen as long as they are off in the faraway places.
The key here, aside from the father running out to the prodigal son, is that he ran out while the son was still a long way off.
Later in the story, the older son — obedient and responsible — feels shortchanged and resentful, because the father has been so welcoming of the wastrel while barely noticing the elder son’s daily toil. And what does the father do? He goes out to his elder son, to reassure him that his faithfulness is seen and known. He tells him, “everything I have is yours” even while urging him to make his returning brother welcome.
Because only in this way can his family eventually become whole, and holy.
So yeah, the bishop has some work to do; he cannot ebulliently run out to meet the disobedient ones (who may someday convert and conform their lives to become the best Catholics ever, but are still a long way off) without also warmly seeking out the obedient ones, and soothing their resentment — letting them know that they are seen, heard, beloved, sharing and fully welcome.
They are absolutely not getting that message from him, right now.
Food for thought. Much to pray about. Much to atone for.