Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Mt. 23:24

A coupla posts over at the lovely & gracious Karen's have led me to this mini-rant.

I've said eleventy gazillion times the biggest problem the Church faces is episcovacantism. That is, most of the bishops out there are utterly vacant. The overwhelming majority of them turned a blind eye to the minority of priests who were raping adolescent boys*. A significant number of them have showered bureaucratese -- audits and programs and so forth -- on the problem in the hopes of ameliorating the parents among the flock. A significant number of them have blithely strolled through their tenure, blind to liturgical abuse (ranging from the banal to the bastardized) and dissent and outright imbecility or a benighted combination of the above. A disturbing number have responded to Summorum Pontificum with a shower of platitudes and a plethora of bromides subtly indicating "Um. No, thanks. We're good here, Pope RadTrad."

They have been entrusted with the pastoral care of thousands of souls. For many, this is the only aspect of the job for which they have a lack of zeal. A cadre of wildly undercatechized politicians write a disrespectful -- and civics-challenged -- letter to the Holy Father on the matter of abortion (a dealbreaker, last time I looked it up) and the responsibility of public officials and the ecclesial apparatchiks, in an inspiring show of qui tacet consentire videtur, let the three forlorn crickets chirping in the back 40 do the speaking for them.

But!

Let these selfsame politicians discuss their views on the war in Iraq, inimical to vanquishing terrorism, and the bishops' guild trips all over itself to send olagenous mash notes thereto. Perhaps I shouldn't've followed the white rabbit down the hole, or walked across the looking glass, because this doesn't make a bloody shred of sense.

Not all of the bishops are spinally challenged, of course. But too many have (at best) given themselves in varying degrees to the zeitgeist. Much like the Apostles (mostly) abandoned Christ in His agony, many of their spiritual heirs have done much the same. I'll leave it to more acerbic heads than mine to ascertain if 11:1 is the correct ratio or not. I'd love it if someone would walk me through the thought processes which led us to this intersection. If you think you can, good luck.

In Latin America the situation is not very different. Bishops invariably make common cause with half the collectivist lunatics to show up. In Europe, the passivity of the episcopate has been breathtaking.

In the meantime, souls are being imperiled and not-unreasonable-to-suppose being lost that wouldn't have been otherwise.

Your Excellency/Your Eminence: God has trusted you with the shepherding of souls He has placed in your care. If you don't really care for their salvation, at least engage in enough enlightened self-interest to care for yours. There will be one final reckoning from which you won't be able to keep that filing cabinet locked and at which you'd better have a good answer for the question "What happened to all those souls I asked you to protect? It seems you're several thousand short."

-J.

* Memo to any covert disgraces to the holy priesthood who may be contemplating this with either of my sons: I hope you believe in an afterlife, because I will personally usher you thereto with amazing celerity and in a manner which will foreshadow for you, in glorious detail, the rich tapestry of torments which await those consigned to the infernal regions.

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