Can the Bishops even do as Peter tells them?

For the lengthy and flowery flourishes appropriate of a Papal Nuncio’s address to a pack of Bishops, there is one phrase in there that I wish would have been the only phrase:

[Pope Francis’s] own deepest hope today for the pastors of the Church in America, as well as for all the pastors of the Church: ‘that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be more effectively guarded and taught’.


The problem with all that flowery language is that everyone loses sight of what went wrong in the Church in America.

Would that have only been true when I was younger and an Ordinary of the Church whom I shall not name or identify, said specifically that the Blessed Sacrament was nothing more than a symbol of community. (!)

Would the Church have benefitted from ordinaries who did not remain silent on basic questions of faith? You know, easy things to say, like

  • “God is a real Person”
  • “The Ten Commandments are not multiple choice”
  • “The sacraments are real manifestations of miraculous grace.”
  • “Confession is a very real cure for guilt, because God is really present to you in the box.”
  • “You are not the bread of life, but Jesus Christ Who is really and physically present in the Blessed Sacrament is.”

Maybe we would have a Church in America where people didn’t leave for lack of being entertained.

I’d like to think things will change, but the bulk of the Pope’s address is focused on unraveling the erroneous authoritarian view of Church hierarchy, whether left or right.

With the force of habit, silence, and inane felt banners and touchy feely language, you have to ask, Can the Bishops even really be Bishops anymore?

They don’t even tell us to genuflect to God physically present in the tabernacles of our churches, and in the Blessed Sacrament at Mass… Is it wrong of me to think they’ll be unable to address the rest of the “small things”, too?

This article, Can the Bishops even do as Peter tells them? is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.

John B. Manos

John B. Manos, Esq. is an attorney and chemical engineer. He has a dog, Fyo, and likes photography, astronomy, and dusty old books published by Benziger Brothers. He is the President of the Bellarmine Forum.
  • mortimer zilch says:

    well, lots of things…one, the Church from a country comes from THAT country, and reflects that culture – and OUR country is sick. Our country touts the Nuclear Bomb as a good way to defend itself – and that is sick, rendering us unable to reckon good from bad. All else follows: abortion on demand, totalitarianism, ‘gay’ marriage, self-destruction. So, the American Church shares the sickness of the country from whom it draws its clergy, and wherein its laity must perforce live and work. Second, the bishops are fraternal equals to the Pope – and unless the Pope acts SPECIFICALLY in their regard – as with the German bishop of bling recently – they have no need to OBEY the Pope’s teaching if they are otherwise opined. In America, all bishops refused to accept “Humanae Vita” from Pope Paul VI. (Trivia: which cardinals supported it?) So, you get what you pay for. Reap what you sow. Which is exactly what St. Thomas More, patron of the laity, wrote from the Tower of London, with coal on smuggled parchment, in his “Dialogue” – evil reigns because the children of God are lax.

  • Rev. Dennis Michael Hand Sabocik says:

    We believe that the one true God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, rather than “a” real Person. As to the acceptance of Humanae Vitae by the American bishops, I believe most of them accepted, and accept, it, although they may not preach it too often, and the Holy Father has gone so far as to suggest that they ought not to harp on it, although he certainly wants them to effectively guard and teach it, as part of our doctrine.

    • Pertaining to the Holy Trinity and the “Three Persons, One God” – certainly. When I penned that, however, I was thinking of putting even a modicum of resistance up to those who would say that God is merely a “force” or “energy.” In particular, I was thinking of how delighted I was earlier this year when Pope Francis said “God is a Person.”

      I have heard good bishops speak well enough on their own — don’t get me wrong with the meaning of this pos — but there is certainly a problem with how they communicate, especially as a conference.

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