Friday, March 30, 2012

Divide and conquer: Are Catholic entities really undermining the Bishops authority?

"They're in the Church" news items continue.

National Catholic Register has an article reviewing all the news stories which have revealed the great divide that exists within the Church in the United States - between the bishops and Catholic entities, such as the  Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), and Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).  These two have been the most prominent in the news because of the HHS mandate and its challenge to religious freedom.  Many have written about these matters, and we best be paying attention.  There is a strong trickle down effect which deeply influences the average Catholic in the pew.  (Talking normal Catholics who don't read Catholic blogs or watch EWTN, never heard of Fr. Z or Michael Voris, don't know the difference between the old ordinary form translation from the new one, and who either like the Gather hymnal or just don't care.)

So who really has the authority to teach?  It should be the bishops:
Neither the sisters (LCWR) nor the CHA hold any authority to speak for the Church on faith and morals: That authority belongs to the bishops alone, as Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kan., told Catholic News Service during his recent ad limina visit to the Vatican. He said that his group of Midwestern bishops also spoke with Vatican officials about the public support of the CHA and LCWR for the so-called “accommodation” in the HHS mandate. The bishops have rejected the “accommodation” because it still requires religious institutions to provide insurance that covers immoral services.
“Those efforts are really undercutting the Church and trying to divide it again by setting up two teaching authorities when there’s only one within the Church,” Archbishop Naumann said. “It’s a very serious issue, I think, particularly when religious try to insert themselves in the role of trying to be the teachers within the Church. They have important roles to play, but they are not the ones to teach on these matters.” - NCRegister
Catholic entities meets sensus fidelium.
They are not the same.  Although Catholic entities may be canonically established institutions or congregations which can dissent from Church teaching or adopt policies in opposition to Catholic authority.  While the false sensus fidelium may be Catholic groups within the Church who do the same thing - in effect, both are actual entities within Catholicism.  Since no one gets excommunicated these days, and few, if any, are ever barred from the sacraments, they remain Catholics.  In other words, as I've been pointing out, they are in the Church.  Get it?  The Catholic entities within the Church have been (and continue to do so), undermining the teaching authority of the Bishops - not the USCCB - but the individual Bishops in their respective dioceses.  Then there is the whole question of that other Catholic entity in the room, which more or less has been the voice of dissent for all of these years, The National Catholic Reporter, which Bill Donohue says "rejects the teachings of the Catholic Church on sexuality." 
It took an anti-Catholic President of the United States to wake people up to what has been going on for decades - and it is just the tip of the iceberg.  These Catholics have a new set of rules, a new mysticism, a new morality, without patriarchy or hierarchy: they are Catholics for equality, and they are indeed an entity.

Photo:  LCWR 1958  When they were Roman Catholic nuns.  They never should have been allowed to organize.


  1. but for the most part they enjoy full communion with their local ordinary an the Holy See unlike others?

  2. No - I didn't have that in mind at all. Interesting point however.

  3. Servus, I understand your point, but what do you think should happen when one illicitly ordains bishops (I will never respect Williamson as a bishop) after being explicitly told not to? I don't see that Pope John Paul II was left with any other choice.

  4. and here i thought that was a picture of the fall lineup for dancing with the stars.

    that's so disappointing.

  5. who is bishop williamson? was something illicit going on and JPII found out? does the natitional catholic reporter know about it? what exactly did this person say to you? should dr. peters be informed? did JPII...

  6. Bishop Williamson is one of the men consecrated bishop by Archbishop Lefebvre. The consecration without papal approval was judged to be a Schismatic act it did not however place the faithful who assist at Mass in the chapels of the SSPX in Schism. One fulfills one's Sunday Mass obligation by assisting at Holy Mass at a chapel of the Society. Cardinal Castrillon has stated that the SSPX is not in schism.
    Mercury, that said when was the last time that I made any reference as a traditionalist to my support of Bishop Williamson? You seem to always come up with Bishop Williamson when referring to traditional Catholics and the view that all traditionalists hold that 99.9% of people will not be saved or the sinfulness of women in pants. Christ himself said the road to perdition is wide and many are they thereon and few are those who pass through the narrow gate....

    I find your cheap shots at traditional Catholics less than edifying.I could go on ad nauseum about "Neo Catholics" but I don't nor shall I. It serves no purpose.

    You spend so much time jumping to conclusions and trying to set everyone right who you perceive to be wrong. Along with apologizing for comments that weren't meant to be posted. Perhaps you should pray and think about what you are going to write before actually doing it then you will not have reason to regret.

  7. I associate Williamson with the SSPX, not with traditionalist Catholics.

    I have specifically said that idont believe most traditionalists think that stuff. The problem is that most traditionalist websites and several people I have encounter online do. I do not know any traditionalists in real life. Until recently there was one especially who used to say all those things and more, and who revered Bishop Williamson. I have had traditionalists online tell me all kinds of weird advice. I don't even read the Catholic Answers forum because of that.

    I don't think ordinary SSPX folks are in schism and never indicated otherwise. I think you perceive a lot in my tone that is simply not there or not intended.

    I know all about the narrow way, but I pray that 99.99% damned is not how it is. I would like some hope that my loved one's who died are in heaven. None of them were saints, and some weren't even Catholic. My grandmother died suddenly without the sacraments. I don't want her to be in hell, and I hope and pray for Mercy, but I am so, so, afraid. Deep down I think they are all in hell.

    Do you know what it's like to believe a religion is true yet find no consolation in it, but only fear? To not even know how to pray for what's next because you fear what you're asking for isn't good enough? I am sorry for being the way I am, and it is every bit my own fault.

    I wish I had faith like you, and I don't begrudge you anything.

  8. My faith is so weak. I have to ask for greater faith all the time. My trust is GOD and HIS mercy is what keeps me going and the intercession of His holy mother. Servus Mariaen Numquam Peribit A Child of Mary will never perish. One of the nuggets at the retreat last weekend was this:

    Lk 18...the parable of the Publican and Pharisee...the
    idea that a soul can be saintly, even when it struggles with sin, as long as it
    condemns those sins and embraces Jesus Christ as its standard. The Publican
    (tax collector) was a holy man ("justified" as Jesus described him), not because
    he was a sinner, but because he knew he was and was striving to do better.


    If you ask me what you are to do in order to be perfect, I say, first-

    Do not lie in bed beyond the due time of rising;

    give your first thoughts to God;

    make a good visit to the Blessed Sacrament;

    say the Angelus devoutly;

    eat and drink to God’s glory;

    say the Rosary well;

    be recollected; keep out bad thoughts;

    make your evening meditation well;

    examine yourself daily;

    go to bed in good time, and you are already perfect.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.