Friday, July 03, 2009

Bishop says disobedience is harming the Church

Yeah, this should go over well in the Year of the Priest.

Bishops who have deep theological differences with the Pope are undermining the unity of the Catholic Church, a prominent English bishop has claimed.

Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue said that such differences prompted parish priests to ignore the authority of their bishops.

Why stop there, Your Grace? If unity is at stake, start naming names.

The bishop said this disunity created a "conspiracy of silence" in the Church.

He said: "This cocktail of dissent, disobedience and disloyalty has resulted in what I call 'a conspiracy of silence' amongst groups in the Church. There is no real dialogue or willingness to talk openly and honestly about our differences.

Of course not. Because once the dissenters spill the beans about their dissent, they're finished. No promotions for you!

Now if the liberal clergy in the Church had the courage of their convictions, they would have an open discussion. That would be intellectually honest. People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing.

But of course they have lots to hide. They must know, at some level, that they are not in line with the Magisterium. Sure, they are often formally orthodox-- never contradicting the words of the Catechism. But in substance, they do. That's the nature of modernism-- to accept the wording, but not the doctrine as the Magisterium understands it.

"For example, we have witnessed a wholesale rejection of the Church's perennial teaching against contraception. This is the litmus test of the acceptance of the obedience in the Church. How many priests support Gaudium et Spes's crystal-clear rejection of contraception, upheld by successive popes - Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI? If we reject their teaching on this matter we are saying as priests that we know better than the successor of Peter! Is this tenable in a priest?"

A bishop who speaks plainly. God, I love you. We need more bishops like him.

Bishop O'Donoghue not only criticised liberal dissent but also had sharp words for traditionalists who he said were in danger of falling into "liturgism".

He said: "By this I mean the tendency among clergy and some laity to solely focus on the liturgy and sacramental life, ignoring our mission to go out of the church building into the world where suffering humanity lives. For a century the Church has been saying that social justice should be a concern of Catholics equal to attending Mass on Sunday. How many believe this? How many priests encourage this?"

He has a point.

And I would welcome more social justice activism in the Church.

The problem is that I, as an orthodox Catholic, do not want to be a stooge for socialists and dissenters. If I engage in some form of charity, I want it to be on an orthodox footing. I do not want some dissenter in the higher echelons of the bureaucracy using my labour as a PR exercise to advance some form of liberalism.

I share John Pacheco's cynicism about the bishops. I try not to be too cynical, because a Catholic should try to understand people's words and intentions in the best light. But here we are, Catholic pro-lifers in Canada, asking for bread, when for the most part, we get stones. Sure, there are some bishops who understand the value of human life, and who really believe in the equality of the unborn child. But we mostly get stones.

On Judgment Day, God is going to demand an account of the Bishops. That statement must seem so quaint and naive to such theologically sophisticated people. Judgement Day? What the heck is that? You mean people still believe in that? Isn't it just some metaphor for a larger truth? The eyes of the aborted children will be on the Bishops. The theological niceties that justify late-term abortion and not criminalizing abortion are all going to seem so hollow.

See, we seem to forget that it is faith that saves. Not principals. Not consciences. Not being nice. FAITH. And faith is the relationship with God that develops from the fact that what God reveals is true, and what he reveals, he reveals out of love.

We've lost all these fundamentals. In fact, that's where the term "fundamentalist" comes from. Fundamentalists were Protestants believers in the early twentieth century who revolted against the relativism that arose in theology. Now it's a term applied to any group who want to return to a form of religion that considers itself immutable and divinely revealed. Although Catholicism is not entirely immutable (because we have a belief in the development of doctrine) the Truth is considered to be so.

I want to go back to a faith-based Church. Not an ideological Church. Not a social program Church. Not a psychological healing Church.

A faith-based one.

One where the leaders and the laity all believe in Faith-- the Catholic Faith, as taught by the Magisterium of the Church.

Oh, that is all so naive to the bishops. So simple, so Catholic, but so naive.