Bishops Feel Like “Generals Without Armies” – Why Should Anyone Be Surprised?

After years of sexual abuse, financial scandal, appeasing politicians, accepting government handouts and neglecting to form the faithful in the truths of the faith, US Bishops are now expressing frustration over cultural and political weaknesses of the Catholic Church.

A series of one-on-one interviews with more than two dozen bishops has revealed significant concern among the Church leaders over the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic and political tensions.

The interviews, conducted by longtime Catholic commentator Francis X. Maier, show the bishops largely united in concerns about the presidency of Joe Biden, while also combining sincere support for Pope Francis with frustrations over his papacy.

“The place of religious faith in American culture has been diminishing for several decades. COVID and the increasingly toxic nature of our politics have accelerated that trend,” Maier told CNA Feb. 22. “Most bishops are aware of that sea change and are trying their best to find fresh ways of surviving and evangelizing in that new environment. That’s an important story.”

Maier is currently a senior fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and a senior research associate in constitutional studies at the University of Notre Dame. He has served as an advisor for Archbishop emeritus Charles Chaput of Philadelphia.

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