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Make Bishops Fathers Again

By now there is likely not a man unaware of the news about the sins and cover-ups committed by the clergy and, perhaps more startlingly, the episcopate.  And, we’ve learned that this scandal not only reaches the top of the hierarchy of the Church, but the root might even be up there.

And let’s not just call this news “sad” or “scandalizing.”  It’s more than that.  It is a violation of trust so significant as to have cost a divinely instituted office its trustworthiness (good job, guys).  I’m not sure it has sunk into some mitered heads how much of a shift just occurred.  We men are done.  The institutional strength of the American Bishops is gone, and only those that have their eyes open will see the new reality that they need to face as men, which, it seems, will be the biggest challenge.

This all seems so far away, but just recently someone reminded me of how a priest who passed by my little town at one time had tried to blow the whistle on the predator McCarrick (after suffering his own abuse at his hands, later to repeat McCarrick’s sins with other victims) and got silenced.  We may be a global Church, but by sharing communion and connecting dots we’re usually just a few steps away from the Pope himself, and perverts.

The man in the pews typically asks the most basic an obvious question: how did this happen?  There have been many great answers.  Here are some…

First, Dr. Greggory Bottaro, a Catholic psychologist, has pointed out (along with many others) that the whole thing links clearly to the Sexual-Revolution Kool-Aid that many bishops and clergy consumed, especially in their rejection of Human Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s prophetic affirmation of truth in the face of the pressure of modern “experts” to match the natural law with the “advances” of progressive society:

Yes, we need to call it evil, because it is, but in our epoch of church history evil has taken a particular form.  Humanae Vitae represented the major split in the priesthood between those who understood the battle of our times and those who didn’t. This divide was severe and long-lasting.

Second, a broader problem wad expounded by a post on One Peter Five about the elephant in the room – apostasy, the abandonment of Catholic doctrine.  It is apparent that we want Jesus without hell and grace without sacrifice.  Catholicism is a total package, and those that split off internally, especially regarding the faultline of Humanae Vitae, are also the ones that have been pushing Catholicism toward an unimposing and nice NGO dedicated to being the best you can be, social activist, or some other crap like that:

The ring of criminal Nancy Boys is the same ring that has been sedulously working for decades to undermine the integrity of the doctrinal, moral, sacramental, liturgical Church. These men – McCarrick, McElroy, Wuerl, O’Malley, Mahony, Cupich, Tobin, Farrell, Lynch, Weakland, Paglia, Maradiaga, their lovable mouthpiece James Martin, Thomas Rosica, and far too many others, including ones who have passed on to their eternal fate, such as Lyons, Boland, Brom – are the same ones who have destabilized and adulterated catechesis, theology, liturgy, and most obviously the Church’s commitment to the unchanging moral law, as we saw in the Amoris Laetitia debacle and all that surrounded and succeeded it. We must connect the dots… These are not just men of bad moral character; they are apostates, and they are trying to remake the Church in the image of their own apostasy…

Third, Fr. Jay Scott Newman wrote an excellent piece in First Things about the need to end the “imperial” attitude of Bishops which trains them to think as a ruler of Laputa from Gulliver’s Travels.  “Superficial flattery and fawning over the person of the bishop can deprive him—unless he has an uncommonly strong and healthy personality—of the evangelical simplicity and candor he needs to fulfill his duties.”  Newman says this is opposed to the fatherly role of a bishop and thinks we need to rethink the very way we approach bishops:

“In Christ Jesus I became your father through the Gospel,” wrote Saint Paul to the Corinthians, and from antiquity bishops and priests alike were called “Father.” The bishops of all the ecumenical councils are known as the Council Fathers, the early bishop-theologians are called the Fathers of the Church, and to this day the Bishop of Rome has Father as his formal and everyday title. It is time to restore the practice of calling all bishops Father, while letting all the other titles slip into history along with ostrich feathers and buskins.

Fourth, Taylor Marshall has made a good case that the sheer size of today’s dioceses in the US makes it impossible for a bishop to be fatherly because he’s managing the unmanageable:

What we have created over the last 150 years (since the loss of the Papal States, really) is an insanely high disciple/bishop ratio with regard to bishops. Bishops belong to the magisterium in union with the Pope. Magister is Latin for teacher. The bishop is the primary teacher. So we are discussing a student/teacher ratio here, as well. As the disciple/bishop ratio increases, what do we see? Lay people know their faith less (akin to lower scores), and they drop out at higher numbers (leave the church).

Marshall also made a great video detailing how all of this is likely linked to the embezzlement and financial scandals of the Vatican Bank, the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, and the ninnies that make up much of the Curia.

Read more at Those Catholic Men