I mostly disagree, Rod

Rod writes:

This week, I spoke with a faithful young orthodox priest of my acquaintance, and he said, “I’ve decided I can’t pay attention to the bishops anymore. There’s too much work to be done to serve the Lord to worry about those men.” I think this is probably the only sane way through this mess, just pretending that this hapless bench of bishops doesn’t exist. But think about what that means for Catholics, to recognize that our bishops are so pathetic and irreformable that they are an impediment to faithful Catholic living, and should thus be ignored as much as is possible.

I can’t make head or tail of this. If you mean, “We shouldn’t spend too much time obsessing over the manifold failures of our bishops”, I can see a limited amount of reason to this. It’s true. Life is too short to take the pulse of every bishop and focus endlessly on their failings. Particularly if we do this to all the bishops indiscriminately and never ever give them any credit for doing right. That’s not only uncharitable, it’s an almost guaranteed way to blind oneself to all the graces of the sacrament of Holy Orders.

But that’s about it as far as agreement goes. If you mean instead that bishops failings are to be ignored totally then what’s the difference between that and turning a blind eye to the Scandal?

If you mean that bishops are to be ignored when they speak from their office because they have sinned, then what is the difference between that and Donatism?

Nope. Bishops are not to be “ignored” either as teachers, nor as sinners (nor as saints, I might add). They remain our teachers. And when they teach out of the Tradition, they are not speaking from their persons but from their office. We ignore them then at our peril for they are speaking with the authority of Christ and not in their own voices.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X