Les Femmes

What are the bishops saying?

In lieu of e-mail from heaven let us listen to what our bishops are saying here on earth — both the wise and the foolish.

Pope Benedict XVI on the study of Latin: My predecessors rightly encouraged the study of [this] great language in order to achieve a better understanding of the sound doctrine contained in the ecclesiastical and humanistic disciplines. [Thank-you, Fr. Franklyn McAffee, for offering free Latin classes in preparation for bringing the Latin Mass and Gregorian Chant to St. John’s in McLean. For an excellent report on this effort see Julia Duin’s Washington Times article at http://washingtontimes.com/culture/20060130-113215-9346r.htm.]

Bishop John D’Arcy of Fort Worth supports Vatican document on homosexuality: The priest calls his people to a life of holiness, and they rightly expect that he, himself, is living such a life, both in public when they see him and in private when they do not. This document reaffirms and makes more specific things the church has taught for decades. Not everyone is called to be a priest… There is an old saying which one finds in this document. “When there is a doubt about a man’s fitness for the priesthood, the doubt should always be decided in favor of the church.” That is: don’t ordain him.… people with deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or those who practice homosexuality or those who support the so-called “gay culture,” should not be admitted to the seminary and should not be ordained…. We must think of the seminary. The heterosexual man who enters the seminary does not enter a school with attractive young women. He enters with other young men and, if the vocational discernment is sound, they will help each other toward the priesthood. The homosexual candidate, however, is forced to live closely with other males. In fact, he will live most of his life with males. This is not fair to him for his own spiritual growth. [In other words, surrounding men who desire men with lots of young, attractive men is nuts! Bravo, Bishop D’Arcy, for your common sense.]

And non-sense from Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, WA about the same document: I think one of the telling sentences in the document is the phrase that the candidate's entire life of sacred ministry must be “animated by a gift of his whole person to the church and by an authentic pastoral charity.” If that becomes paramount in his ministry, even though he might have a homosexual orientation, then he can minister and he can minister celibately and chastely. [Like the 81% of homosexual priests in the John Jay report who abused children? C’mon, Your Excellency, live in the real world. It is not too surprising to see this coming from the man who heads the USCCB which consistently undermines Catholic doctrine and resists Vatican efforts to rein in its modernist bent. Others sharing Bishop Skylstad’s goofy view of the document include Matthew Clark of Rochester, Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D.C., Sylvester Ryan of Monterey, Roger Mahony of L.A., William Lori of Bridgeport, Daniel Walsh of Santa Rosa.… The sorry list goes on…and on.]

Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, OR defends life: Those who maintain that any and all decisions about the disposition of pre-born human beings are exclusively the right of the mother or the parents, at least implicitly, reject the clear and consistent teaching of the Church…stated in the Fifth Commandment: Thou shalt not kill. In our society, this attempt to protect innocent human life is done through legal legislative processes and is accomplished, or fails to be accomplished, by those whom we elect. It would not be proper to imply that anyone who votes for an anti-life politician is denying some truth of divine and Catholic faith. Yet, if that candidate receives the vote precisely because he maintains that he has no duty to protect or defend innocent human life in the womb, then a vote cast for him is a type of declaration that the teaching of the Church, indeed the validity of the Fifth Commandment itself, is rejected. One brave soul has termed this present rejection of responsibility for one’s pre-born brother or sister the right-to-murder heresy… [It is refreshing to hear a bishop use the word “heresy” for those who advocate killing the innocent. We would like, however, a clarification on voters who claim they may vote they can support pro-aborts because they have the right position on, say, housing.]

Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis, MO on embryonic stem cell research: Once we know that the human embryo is a human being, a human life, we are bound in conscience to safeguard his or her life. In a particular way, we must be vigilant for the protection of the life of the human embryo, for it is innocent and totally defenseless. In our society’s confusion about the fundamental moral law, the inviolable dignity of the human embryo is said to be justified for the purpose of curing certain illnesses or repairing some physical damage caused, for instance, by an accident. Apart from the question of whether stem cells obtained through the destruction of human embryos is, in fact, an effective treatment for the illnesses or physical impairment, it is never morally justified to do something intrinsically evil to accomplish some good. Even if the stem cells obtained from the human embryos could be effective in treating the suffering of others, it would not justify our destruction of an innocent and defenseless human life. [Kudos to the Missouri bishops: Burke, Finn, Gaydos, and Leibrecht, for instructing their priests to preach against embryonic stem cell research.]

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