Is there an inverse relationship between effective leadership of the bishops' conference and that of individual bishops? Or is it possible the stronger the voice of the bishops collectively, the stronger the voice of most bishops individually and locally? Peter Steinfels explores these questions in the May 30 issue of America, and here on our podcast. Steinfels' inquiry grew from his reading of George Weigel's recent article in First Things on the workings of the bishops' conference under the leadership of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. You can read Steinfels' formal response to Weigel in Commonweal (subscriber only). Peter Steinfels is the co-director of the Center on Religion and Culture at Fordham University and the author of A People Adrift: The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America.