While the Church is meeting to discuss the New Evangelization we get a sense that there is a wringing of hands about the sorry state of the Faith while our leadership attends a synod to address the problems that face us in the Church today. They have posited many social problems and historical and political irregularities to wag a finger at. But if the flock is not educated in the faith who is it that should be red-faced with shame? The answer that one would think is obvious is never brought up. Many of our Bishops and priests have all but left the sheep of their flocks abandoned and by their silence have in effect told them that they are capable of leading themselves.
Intrinsic evils and other moral teaching have not been taught parishioners in their homilies and according to Janet E. Smith’s article most Catholic’s receive their Catholic instruction through the homilies, as few read the Catechism on their own or do any outside reading whatsoever. If our priests and Bishops were doing their jobs in evangelizing their own flock then we might have a much better chance in taking out faith out into the world and evangelizing those who are outside the flock. There are some who fight against all odds and they should be commended, but there should be a large majority of our pastors who are “all in” in this war on faith.
The current election is very telling. On one hand we have a typical Republican candidate with a rather typical Republican Platform in the tradition of American politics and there is nothing in their teaching that is anathema to the faith of the Catholic. On the other, we have a party that not only had a hard time using the word God in their platform but we have the most pro-abortion, pro-contraceptive, pro-homosexuality candidate in the history of this nation. It is not a typical American political party platform but one that embraces intrinsic evil as a good and also posits its beliefs in many socialistic ideologies that are in stark contrast to the teachings of the Church. See my sidebar to read a few quotes on our Church’s take on socialism, Marxism or communism.
If we have not properly formed the consciences of the sheep in the pews of the Catholic Church, who’s responsibility was it to do so? Who is culpable for their ignorance in such matters?
That being said, we should thank the following Bishops who are speaking out on the intrinsic evils that Catholics cannot support in the coming election. Out of approximately 173 active diocesan Bishops in the U.S. these few are actively involved in speaking out to their flocks. These few, at least, are doing something, albeit probably not enough to stem the tide of secular thought. We need a more united front if we are ever going to reverse this trend.
Bishop Robert Guglielmone, of Charleston, SC
Bishop Michael Burbidge, of Raleigh, NC
Bishop Paul Loverde, of Arlington, VA
Bishop Peter Libasci, of Manchester, NH
Bishop Thomas Paprocki, of Springfield, IL
Bishop Michael Mulvey, of Corpus Christi, TX
Archbishop Jose Gomez, of Los Angeles, CA
Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, of Louisville, KY
Bishop Roger Foys, of Covington, KY
Bishop Felipe Estevez, of St Augustine, FL
Bishop Frank Dewane, of Venice, FL (and here and here)
Now this is a small list when compared to all the Bishops in this country: about 10% and among them, many did not make as strong an appeal as they should. But it is a start. However, the question that bears being asked is as follows: where are the other 90%? Do they not care enough to inform their flocks that they will become complicit in the furthering of intrinsic evil should they vote for what is morally condemned by the Church? Are they afraid to lose their tax exempt status or are they afraid that they will gain the ire of their own flock?
Priests who have spoken up on their own in a strong and clear way have sometimes had their hands slapped by their Bishops for saying precisely what the Church teaches. Somehow, that seems to be a wrong-headed approach and rather cowardly at that.
It is time for our leaders, both Bishops and priests to examine their own consciences and ask themselves if they still remember why they entered the priesthood in the first place and if they really think that they are living up to their own vocation. The sheep are being slaughtered out here and torn from limb to limb by the secular wolves that roam among us and sometimes hiding behind clerical clothing. It is time they end their feigned and false wringing of hands and look to themselves for answers.
Just a simple view from the pew and a personal reflection from what little I see being done to confront our moral descent.