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United States Bishops Meet at the Third Plenary Council at Baltimore

United States Bishops Meet at the Third Plenary Council at Baltimore

The Seattle Examiner  recently had a commentary on Bishop Naumann prohibiting Kathleen Sibelius of Kansas from receiving due to her pro-abortion views. I am not here to comment on that story, but rather on the views propounded by the author of this article.

It seems to me that opening the article with a line on the Catholic Church and bullying is to pull the wool over one’s eyes and not see the situation for what it is. Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop Naumann, and other prelates throughout Church history have not bullied simply out of a sense of superiority and trying to get people to do what they want. In almost every single case, the Pope or His vicars have had the intention of preserving the Church founded by Christ on the Apostle Peter. Whether issuing interdicts or prohibiting pro-abortionists from receiving Holy Communion, the Church has not bullied. It has simply put its foot down time and again.

It seems to me that it is a mistake to say that many people see the Church working like Microsoft and keeping everybody down. If there is something that liberal Catholic commentators have not realized yet, it is the fact that the Church is not a democracy and cannot be run as such. If the Pope is the infallible head of the Roman Catholic Church, then it stands to reason that all power flows down from him. As Servant of the Servants of God, it is his responsibility to rule the Church in a way that he sees fit and to do those things that fall into his jurisdiction.

Many liberals believe that the Church is a democracy because of the wave of collegiality that has swept through the Church since Vatican II. I have listened to numerous broadcasts of the USCCB on EWTN radio over the last couple of years. All of the voting is done on a majority basis. Every man sitting in those rooms has a right to have his say before the votes are taken. Yet it should be realized that the USCCB does not stand on its own authority, but rather it is subject to the Holy Father and the Vatican. Although it may seem that it sometimes functions as an independent body, efforts are always made to remain faithful to the Magisterium and the Holy Father.

Collegiality, however, does have its discontents and its bad fruits. As L’Affaire Wagner recently revealed, collegiality can sow the roots of discontent and forment rebellion against the Holy Father and the Roman Curia. It is not simply a matter of the Pope asking the bishops of a country to carry out his ideas, but now it is a matter of constant negotiation, discussion, and dissection. No wonder that things mandated by the Vatican end up in a bottleneck when it comes to the local bishops’ conference.

Another point made in this article that I would like to address is the idea that Sibelius has curbed the number of abortions in her state. Curbing abortions in a state does not necessarily make them stop. An abortion under absolutely any circumstances is a crime against human life. You cannot simply say that because murder rates have gone down that things are getting better. Murder can take place anywhere, anytime, and at any moment. Since Sibelius has not put forward any legislation that outlaws abortion, the reduction of abortions within her state means absolutely nothing. It is merely a fact that can be used by liberal journalists to cement their cause.

In this current situation, we should not throw more fuel on the fire. Things are bad enough and they can get worse before they get better. Once again, I remind you that we should pray and sacrifice during these very difficult days for the Holy Father and the Holy See. Satan will not get away with murder for long. It is only a matter of time before things get better again.

Our Lady of the Angels, pray for us!