Thursday, June 4, 2009

To the Bishops- Re: Obama/ND

This is my last entry regarding Obama/ND. And yes, both of my regular readers, I heard you cheering.

Anyways, please do not regard what follows as stuff in the "I know better than you" vein. My standard qualifiers apply here as everywhere else on this blog.

To those brave shepherds who spoke out on this issue, you have my thanks and prayers.

To those who did not, you also have my prayers.

I offer an observation based on this event very similar to what my colleague Karl pointed out when the first condemnations came down.

A lot of the Church is currently in the shape of an unruly kindergarten. Think Swartzenegger when he first takes on the class in Kindergarten Cop. Children need discipline in order to grow and mature. The same is true with a large portion of the Church, and when I say that, I mean all of us, priests and laity. It is the job of the bishops to insure that such discipline is applied.

Pretty much all our problems can probably be traced to this lack of teaching and discipline, whether it's lack of Mass attendance, liturgical abuse, Pelagian morality, or whatever. What Jenkins and ND did is precisely what the rebellious have been doing for quite some time now (anybody remember the response to Humanae Vitae?). They just did it in a large-scale forum that owes much of its reputation, whether deserved or not, to its association with the Church.

The issue now becomes what is to be done, and I offer this thought: You will be hated no matter what. Those who do not listen to you now do so because they have absolutely no respect for your office. They might share some laughs with you over a beer or something, but ultimately, they don't like you or your position as a successor to the Apostles. Those who do listen to you will continue to do so. I doubt anyone is going to be driven away from the Church because you condemn stuff like this ND fiasco. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong here.

Please reflect on history a bit. When is the Church at Her strongest? Is it when we have guys like St. Leo I, Innocent III, St. Pius V, Leo XIII, etc.? Or is it when Leo X and Clement VII are in charge? Leadership requires taking a stand and telling people when they are wrong. Those who oppose you will either be converted due to your leadership or continue ignoring you or make their hate manifest. Those who are obedient now will only be encouraged by your strength.

This is a bit Pascallian, I suppose, but I don't see much of a downside to taking these stands more often. The cost of continued silence and/or Jenkinsonian dialogue is the potential to lose the devout, while the Church's enemies become more emboldened, as their disrepect increases due to the perception of your weakness.

Just a thought.

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