Commending the Bishops

Faithful Catholics in the US have been both stunned and gratified by the recent show of episcopal strength in dealing with the heretical nonsense of “Catholics” in public life who clearly misrepresent the Church’s teaching on vital issues. To date, more than fifty bishops have spoken out about this kind of misconduct or issued guidelines about voting at this critical juncture in our nation’s history. The trend is truly heartening. Let’s pray that it continues! Much more could be done, of course, but I am grateful that more bishops are standing up to strengthen and protect the faith of millions. Many have been longing for this show of valor from our fathers in the faith — and yes, they are our spiritual fathers. When they are strong, we are strong; and when they are weak — the flock is ravaged by wolves.

A few bishops deserve special mention. A good example is Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, CA, who stood up before the misnamed “Catholic Gay and Lesbian” conference last month and proclaimed the Church’s natural law teaching that homosexual acts are mortal sins. A whole group walked out of his speech in protest, and he was reviled afterward for daring to present Catholic teaching to them. The organizer of the conference actually apologized to the attendees for the talk! Bishop Soto made no apologies though. Likewise, San Diego Auxiliary, Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, has been the strongest champion of the legal effort to define marriage as between one man and one woman to combat the radical homosexual lobby in California.

Nor can we fail to mention the strong pro-life stances of Archbishops Burke (now in Rome) and Chaput (Denver) as well as Bishops Vasa (Baker, OR), Farrell and Vann (Dallas, TX), Martino (Scranton, PA) and Mallooly (Wilmington, DE) who are representatives of a group of other bishops who have made their voices heard forcefully on the Catholic voting issue.

It is not just in the US, however, where bishops have been applying their authority in an astonishing fashion. Here are just a few more of the good things happening around the world in the episcopal college:

  1. The Bishops of Canada issued a statement criticizing the bestowing of Canada’s highest honor, the Order of Canada, on extreme abortionist Henry Morganthaler as if he were an example of all that makes Canada proud. Cardinal Turcotte of Montreal actually returned his own Order of Canada medal as a sign of protest to this mockery;
  2. John Cardinal Njue of Nairobi, Kenya recently issued a marvelous, hard-hitting pastoral letter to his Archdiocese concerning the efforts to legalize abortion in that pivotal African country which to date has been such a stronghold against the culture of death;
  3. The Philippines Episcopal Conference came out forcefully against the US- and UN-inspired Reproductive Health Bill which attempted to legalize every form of perversion on that Catholic populace; the bill was subsequently defeated but the bishops know that theirs is a regular battle in which they must engage for the souls of their people.

Thankfully, there are many more examples of episcopal courage that we could add to the reflections but suffice it to say that there seems to be a new wind blowing through the College of Bishops all around the world these days. Perhaps that wind is originating from Bavaria, but whatever its origin, let us continue to pray for our bishops and priests who are always on the firing line between the culture of life and the culture of death. We also need to thank them personally when they speak out in order to encourage them to do even more! Now that the example has been set, let us hope that other bishops and priests will have the audacity of our hope in Christ to go out and do the same!

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  • Where evil abounds, grace does also. The last century saw abundant grace in the Papacy; we will need far more grace to abound through the episcopacy as well in the century to come. Il Papa cannot do it all by himself, and he should not have to, either.

  • asdwanamaker

    These elections prove that the Bishops have a very big job ahead. Job One is reestablishing the authority of the Church in the hearts of the faithful and they will have to achieve that in the face of a gigantic credibility problem.

    Unfortunately, the repair to the Church’s credibility cannot be accomplished in short order, despite how quickly and easily it was undone by scandal.

    I am grateful and humbled by my parish priest who, in his own mild disagreement with our diocesan bishop over a minor issue said, “I owe my bishop my obedience.” That is a terrific example of how we, the faithful, should be discipled to live our lives.

    I agree with everything the bishops noted above said and did to lead the faithful during this election cycle. I pray that they will continue to shepherd strongly, charitably and faithfully in the days and years to come.

  • As the bishops find their voice, opposition to the Church will increase, and we can all expect greater persecution of clergy and laity both in this country and around the world. The world finds the truth intolerable. And the evangelist John himself wrote, “And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil” (John 3:19).

  • Ken Donajkowski


  • siobhan32

    Hey! Don’t forget my Bishop, Serratelli! AUSCS even filed a request for the IRS to investigate him: “The group alleges that Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, NJ, broke laws governing tax-exempt organizations, including the Catholic Church – laws that forbid official endorsement of a particular political party or candidate.” for his article on the dangers of FOCA.
    May God bless all our bishops!

  • krby34

    Point dead on prairiehawk but all they want to hear is John 3:16. They do not want to go on and understand that what God gives not all will accept. They just want to be happy knowing Jesus died for them and forget that they to must die to themselves and be risen again in Christ.

    Pray our Bishop’s continue to speak out truthfully. It is in truth we will find light and in the light will be Jesus and He will lead us to the Father.

  • patka

    Thanks to Bishop Burbidge and Bishop Jugis in North Carolina for there courage, leadership, and guidance.

  • Jeff Reser

    Now wouldn’t it be great if we could get all priest on the right side–and I’m not just talking about Fr. Pfleger (did I spell that right?) No more of this “vote your conscience” stuff from the pulpit. It’s a scandal when a priest chooses his political party over unborn children.

  • asdwanamaker

    Jeff Reser wrote: “No more of this ‘vote your conscience’ stuff form the pulpit.”

    I don’t mind people voting their properly formed consciences. 🙂

  • Bruce Roeder

    Let’s all send a personal note of encouragement to each of the individual bishops who have spoken out.

    Fifty notes may sound like a lot of work, but consider how much email trafific we generate daily anyhow. and considerthis — Ia bishop told me he very rarely, virtually never, gets any correspondence except complaints and requests.

    I believe any notes of encouragement will be deeply appreciated.

    Also, fifty is great, but there are over 300 bishops in the USA alone.