Saturday, September 27, 2014

Why I didn't attend the Clooney-Alamuddin wedding.

It wasn't Catholic and they weren't married in a church and, and, he was married before, and, and, she's not Catholic, and, and, I'm against it.


Nice looking wedding pictures though.

BREAKING NEWS: Pope Francis Announces Opening ...

Of a door...

I think maybe I could attend that.

Fired Minnesota gay music director Jamie Moore hires attorney... NOT!

Garrett Manzi and Jamie Moore
UPDATE 9/28/14:*

Jamie Moore, who was music director at St. Victoria for more than 17 years before he quit at the request of church leaders, decided Friday not to pursue legal action against Archbishop John Nienstedt, according to his former lawyer.

“I think he was in a very good position to challenge the termination because of the reason that was given and that was marital status,” Clayton Halunen said Sunday, explaining that Minnesota churches are allowed to discriminate based on sexual orientation but not on marital status.

“I’m very disappointed in the decision,” Halunen added. “I think if had we had a favorable result ..... it would have helped many others in the LGBT community to preserve their employment if they choose to get married.”

Moore has not spoken publicly about his dismissal and could not be reached Sunday. - KAREN ZAMORA , Star Tribune Updated: September 28, 2014 

H/T Rick Notch

* * *
Original Post

I don't get it.

He seemed so gracious upon receiving the Archbishop's request that he resign his position:

"I'm not surprised. I'm sad and I was hopeful that I could continue in my career at St. Victoria but it wasn't a surprise. I've known since I started at St. Victoria in February of 1997 that this could be a possibility at some point," Moore said Wednesday night in an interview.
Jamie has to leave because he married his long-time partner, Garrett, last weekend.
When Archbishop Nienstedt got wind of it he called for Jamie's resignation.
"It's against Catholic Church teaching to be a partnered gay man, it is also very much against Catholic Church teaching to marry that man," Jamie said knowing this was a likely outcome. - Source
Call in the lawyers.
A music director who was asked by a Catholic church in Victoria, Minn., to resign after marrying his longtime partner has now hired the attorney who represented former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe on discrimination issues. 
Minneapolis attorney Clayton Halunen* said Friday that he was retained by Jamie Moore after St. Victoria Catholic Church asked Moore to resign following his wedding last weekend to his longtime partner. 
On Friday, Moore was still listed on the St. Victoria directory, but Halunen said Moore has resigned as requested. He declined to comment any further and said Moore would not be available for comment. 
However, he told Fox 9 News on Thursday that he’s preparing to sue Archbishop John Nienstedt for “aiding and abetting discrimination,” adding that Moore was fired not because he was gay but because he married. Halunen said Minnesota churches are allowed to discriminate based on sexual orientation but not on marital status. - Source

That was quick.

Jamie Moore knew he could be terminated or asked to resign if he married his partner - or as he stated: "I've known since I started at St. Victoria in February of 1997 that this could be a possibility at some point."

I was hoping he would simply walk away.  


 To learn more on Wrongful Termination Law, go here.

*Prayers have been answered - Jamie Manzi-Moore is not suing.

h/t Ray

Friday, September 26, 2014

I should have waited before publishing on the gay couple in Montana...

“The public conduct in this case is two members of the same sex 
attempting what some states recognize as marriage. 
The Church teaches with infallible certainty that marriage can exist only between a man and a woman. 
To act in this way against this core Catholic teaching 
is to fulfill the conditions laid out in canon 915, forcing the minister’s hand.” - Dr. Peters

Actually, I had waited to post - several days in fact.  I have to always remind myself how MSM spins stories to garner sympathy for gay people who act contrary to Catholic teaching, and expect Church approval nonetheless.

When I first read the story of Tom Wojtowick and Paul Huff, kicked off the choir, banned from communion at their parish because they got married in Seattle, I felt sorry for them.  I had to read all that was available in order to understand what happened.  I recognized that the local Bishop was acting in accord with Catholic teaching, but I still felt sorry for the guys.

Today I found out more details on the story.  Deacon Kandra posted:
A newspaper in Billings, Montana takes a closer look at the story of two gay men who were removed from ministry after they married each other. Among other things, it reveals that one of the men is a former priest. - Read the rest here.
 It changes everything.

Though 'elderly' these guys are not vulnerable adult victims.  They know Catholic teaching, they knew what they were doing, and as one of them declared:
“We didn’t start this fight, but we’re not going to cave in and back out of it,” Huff said Wednesday, sitting in the breakfast nook next to Wojtowick, his partner of 30 years, in their house on a 52-acre ranch north of town.
No doubt they were ready for a fight.

Mr. Wojtowick had been a priest.  An alcoholic, in recovery he realized he was gay.  He left priesthood.
In 1976, Wojtowick came to realize he was an alcoholic. In treatment, realizing he had to be absolutely honest with himself, Wojtowick acknowledged he was gay. 
By 1983, he decided it was time to leave the priesthood. 
“I loved my work, but it was pretty obvious to me that I was designed to be with someone,” he said.
As a former priest he should have known better than to attempt same sex marriage and expect to be admitted to Communion.

Matt Archbold made an interesting point regarding the predicament posed by the civil marriage of the two men:
This is a sad situation but I'm more interested in what one of the men involved said to the media. Exhibiting incredulity, he said, "We didn't think anything would happen, church is one thing, civil society is another." - Matt Archbold
Matt Archbold goes on to point out how some theologians and Catholics are tempted to use the separation of church and state argument to justify civil gay marriage.  Matt points out how ludicrous such thinking is, concluding, "More than just the separation of Church and state they are arguing for a separation of life from the Gospel, and the Church from the soul."

Like I said, a former priest should have known better.

Mr. Huff and Mr. Wojtowick can't have there wedding cake and eat it too.

Song for this post here.

This is just a test: Outbreak of respiratory illness escalates among children - baffling scientists...

I bet it is just a test by the Government ...

An outbreak of respiratory illness first observed in the Midwest has spread to 38 states, sending children to hospitals and baffling scientists trying to understand its virulent resurgence. - Finish reading here.

Or what if ...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pope Francis, the wisdom of the desert.

“The Egyptian Fathers of the desert said that vanity is a temptation against which we must battle our whole life, because it always comes back to take the truth away from us. And in order to understand this they said: It’s like an onion. You take it, and begin to peel it – the onion – and you peel away vanity today, a little bit tomorrow, and your whole life your peeling away vanity in order to overcome it. And at the end you are pleased: I removed the vanity, I peeled the onion, but the odour remains with you on your hand. Let us ask the Lord for the grace to not be vain, to be true, with the truth of reality and of the Gospel.” - Pope Francis

What's wrong with the Church.

Besides Larry?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession...Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I knew I was cheap.

Another Gay Music Director Fired: Gay Catholics keep getting the boot ... yet all are welcome?

The world doesn't get it...

"Catholic teaching on homosexuality is black and white. On the ground, though, how this teaching is applied is much murkier." - Crux

In the last week there have been two stories about gay 'couples' getting married.  Both 'couples' were married in civil ceremonies in States where it is legal to do so.  They are legally married - not sacramentally married.  One couple was barred from Communion and no longer allowed to volunteer or participate in the parish choir.  That happened in Montana.  

Similar stories have popped up online ever since I began blogging - before same sex marriage was legal, two guys or two women living together as 'partners' were treated the same way.  They were sometimes barred from lectoring, Communion, volunteering, and so on.  I believe several of those cases were resolved, yet when it comes to civil, legal marriage - it appears there is no way to reconcile that.

In the Montana case, the couple was instructed that if they wish to be admitted to the reception of Holy Communion they had to undo what they had done.  
The men agreed to write a restoration statement that, in part, would uphold the concept of marriage being between a man and a woman, during an August 25 conference call with Father Spiering, Bishop Warfel and other diocesan officials. They said they did not intend to challenge the Church’s concept of marriage with their union, rather they just wanted civil protection. 
However, the statement also included a timeline for the two men to cease living together and divorce, which they would not agree to. - Source
A Lewistown, Montana, couple who married in Seattle 
last year so they could make medical and financial decisions 
for each other as they grow older.

The parish administrator and the bishop acted within their rights.

The men originally said they married only to receive civil protection and benefits afforded married couples.  Though gay marriage is not legal in Montana, evidently they would be eligible for benefits on the Federal level.  Which means, even if they divorced one might receive benefits as a former spouse.  I was told a divorced woman can receive her husbands SS death benefits even if the former spouse remarries - both widows can 'collect' - or so I was given to understand.  I mention it only to suggest they could still benefit even from divorce.  Regardless, it seems to me the mandate to get a 'divorce' only further recognizes that some sort of a marriage - albeit civil - took place.  I wonder if it would have more prudent for the Church authorities to ask that the men have the marriage civilly annulled instead?  It seems to me a statement repudiating the attempt to wed, stated within the context of a document confessing their support of Church teaching on marriage and sexuality would suffice to repair the scandal.

That said, the requests made to the men seem fair enough to me - except for the request to separate or live apart.  They have obviously invested savings together and share ownership of property, and so on.  Many times older opposite-sex, divorced and remarried couples remain in the same house, living as brother and sister when the situation warrants such an arrangement.  I would think that these two men could be allowed the same benefit or dispensation - especially in view of a public act of repudiation.  Unless of course they are sexually active.  Considering their age, I'd think not, but who knows now days in the age of Viagra?  The fact that they attempted civil marriage, which is a public act, has definitely complicated things.

Jamie Moore

The day the music died.

In Minnesota, Jamie Moore, a Music Director for a parish was recently terminated for getting married to his boyfriend.  What was he thinking?  How have these men been catechized?  What were they told about Catholic teaching on marriage and sexuality?  In this case, did they not understand requirements for employment at a Catholic Church?  The parish must have made that clear, after so many instances like this have come to light over the past few years.

On local news, Jamie stated that he knew this could happen - but he had hoped it wouldn't come to this.  The pastor at his church did know of his relationship and was willing to keep him on.  Archbishop Nienstedt was informed and ultimately ruled against it.
A popular music director at a Catholic church in Victoria has been asked to resign after marrying his longtime same-sex partner. 
Jamie Moore was asked to resign by Archbishop John Nienstedt, the Rev. Bob White told his parishioners at St. Victoria Catholic Church. 
Moore agreed to the archbishop's request, White said. 
In a statement, Nienstedt said that the teachings of the Catholic Church must be upheld. He said public conduct contrary to the teachings and law of the church is a reason for immediate dismissal. - Source
The Archbishop acted appropriately of course.

"Disparate policies"...

Nevertheless, this keeps happening, though some churchmen and gay-Catholic activists insist the Church is changing - doctrinally the Church cannot change her teaching on marriage and sexuality - yet some people seem to think otherwise.  By doing so they offer a false hope to the vulnerable and naive.
Catholic teaching on homosexuality, which prohibits sex between two people of the same gender, is black and white. On the ground, though, how this teaching is applied is much murkier. 
Individual bishops and pastors decide if children of same-sex couples have a right to baptism or to attend Catholic schools, leading to disparate policies. Some Catholic institutions offer health insurance to spouses of gay employees, while others fire openly gay teachers or organists. Catholic hospitals and, in some cases, Catholic bishops have supported laws criminalizing homosexuality, while others have condemned them. Could the Synod on the Family address some of this confusion? - Crux
In the Crux article there is a story of a woman's parish priest greeting her after Mass and cordially asking about her 'wife' who couldn't make it that Sunday.  That's where the confusion not only comes from, but is perpetuated.  It is a false hope.

The Montana guys may have experienced similar approval by their former pastor, and then the new priest shows up and lays down the law.  The confusion in the Church isn't limited to individual pastoral care or dissident parishes either.  Sometimes it can - and does - come from the top.  It isn't pastoral care at all, but rather, pastoral abuse.

"An overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral, or even good."
In the discussion which followed the publication of the Declaration, however, an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral, or even good. Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.

Therefore special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not. - CDF

Yet Cardinal Dolan says "Bravo!" when a gay football player "came out" - and another Cardinal says the Church has always been supportive of gay couples...
On the question of homosexual unions, legalized by the Brazilian Supreme Court in 2011, Cardinal Damasceno Assis is quoted as saying,

"It is a decision by the Supreme [Federal Court, the highest Constitutional Court in Brazil]. Of course, for the Church, it [homosexual union] cannot be equated to marriage, that is different. But, regarding respect for the stable union between these people, there is no doubt that the Church has always [sempre] been trying to do it this way", said Damasceno Assis - Rorate
Even the Washington Cardinals have indicated a more benign approach to gay Catholic 'couples' - although in practice couples have been refused Communion by individual priests:
Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, and his predecessor, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, were also on Sunday morning news shows addressing the issue of gay rights and stressing that the church needed to be welcoming. As McCarrick put it, the church could be open to civil unions as an alternative to gay marriage. - Catholic acceptance of gay people.
Confusion reigns.

Welcoming and acceptance have multiple meanings.  The Church welcomes sinners - all of us are sinners - inviting us to repent.

I've written before that gay people would do better not working for the Church - in any capacity - I wouldn't even help with the collection.  People get mad at me for saying that.

Gay people are easily persuaded that being gay is their core identity.  Though they try to live chastely, sometimes they just can't understand why it seems so impossible.  They try to live celibately, but every now and then, deep down they somehow can't be convinced of the necessity to do so.  They accept Church teaching but they sometimes give in to the temptation to believe a development of doctrine can create a loophole to accommodate their personal needs.

Likewise, a growing number within the Church are convinced more must be done for gay people, because gay is a sort of gender neutral 'third way'. There is a great deal of confusion generated and the tension is all around us - even promoted.  "Spiritual friendship" is promoted in a way that is just a cuddle away from genital contact and lifelong civil union.

Many gay people falter - they go in and out of the Church. Some leave the Church entirely, others give up the practice of the faith all together, some just take a break. Most struggle, rising and falling, and through discouragement, depression, frustration, sloth or acedia, and even from societal pressure - it is easy to fall into compromise. It's very human. Despite all of that, some come back, some keep trying.  Some don't and they end up blaming the Church and insisting the Church change doctrine.

The Church can't do that.

Gay marriage is not marriage.

Don't kid yourself or others.

If you want a lover, a same sex spouse, or just want to be 'out-there' - don't work for the Church.

The Church is all stocked up anyway.

I know gay people will disagree with me, and that is fine.  I'd like to note once again that the Spiritual Friendship movement has organized a conference on the issue of how to be a gay-Catholic, faithful to Catholic teaching, and participate in your parish … as one friend explained, because "people just don’t know what to do with you" otherwise.  Personally, I think sometimes it can be the other way around too.

No offense intended towards my gay and Catholic friends or the Spiritual Friendship people, because I trust they are sincere.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Remember Our Lady of Ransom, O sweet virgin Mary, that never was it known, that anyone who fled to thy protection,

implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided...

September 24
 Feast of Our Lady of Ransom

Or, Our Lady of Mercy.

Today's feast of Our Lady is primarily celebrated in South American countries and in Spain. It is the titular feast of the order of friars known as the Mercedarians, founded by St. Peter Nolasco. St. Raymond Nonnatus was also a member of this order, founded to ransom Catholic slaves held captive by Muslims.

Unlike today, when there is no bargaining with terrorists, in those days ransom would be paid to free those held captive. St. Raymond exchanged himself for such and was enslaved for a time. The Saracens pierced his lips with a padlock to prevent him from speaking about the Catholic faith. He himself was later ransomed by his fellow Mercedarians.

Things do not seem to have changed much with Muslim-Christian relations... 

Another interesting factoid about devotion to Our Lady of Ransom - or Our Lady of Mercy as she is known since Vatican II:  During the English persecutions under the reign of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, devotion to Our Lady of Ransom enjoyed a greater fervor in the hopes of bringing the Church of England back into "Our Lady's Dowry".

In our day it seems to me it would be good if the devotion was revived and given greater attention, considering the continued threats of terrorism, and above all, the ongoing persecution of Christians in Muslim lands.  Our culture is faced with many moral afflictions as well, such as addictions to vice and various obsessive-compulsive disorders. Our Lady of Ransom would seem to be an efficacious title one might use to implore the Blessed Virgin's help to obtain freedom from those sins which most ensnare us.

 "Implore the Blessed Virgin's help to obtain freedom from those sins which most ensnare us."

September 24 ... "Keep your mind in hell, and despair not ..."

An Orthodox saint...

It seems to me what he says is not so different from saints like Padre Pio.  Pio lived bearing the wounds, the sufferings, the rejection and persecution of Christ.  That is kind of like 'keeping your mind in hell' when you think about it.  The sufferings Christ endured was the chastisement that makes us whole - that which unites us to God.

St Silouan, elder of Mt Athos (1938) (September 11 OC)

He was a Russian peasant who traveled to Mt Athos and became a monk in the Russian Monastery of St Panteleimon. He lived so simply, humbly and quietly that he might be forgotten had not Fr Sophrony (Sakharov) become his spiritual child and, after the Saint's repose, written a book describing his life and teaching: St Silouan of Mt Athos, one of the great spiritual books of our time. It was through Fr Sophrony's efforts that St Silouan was glorified as a Saint.

  Following a vision of Christ Himself, St Silouan withdrew to a hermitage to devote himself entirely to prayer; but he was called back to serve as steward to the monastery. Though he now supervised some two hundred men, he only increased his prayers, withdrawing to his cell to pray with tears for each individual worker under his care. For more than fifteen years he struggled with demonic attacks during prayer until he was almost in despair. At this point Christ spoke to him in a vision, saying 'The proud always suffer from demons.' Silouan answered 'Lord, teach me what I must do that my soul may become humble.' To this he received the reply, Keep thy mind in hell, and despair not. Silouan made this his discipline in every moment of his life, and was granted the grace of pure prayer. He said that if he ever let his mind wander from the fire of hell, disruptive thoughts would once again plague him. In his humiliation he was filled with a pervasive love for all — he said many times that the final criterion of true Christian faith is unfeigned love for enemies, and that 'to pray for others is to shed blood.' - Orthodox Saints

Some day I hope to write about how some people protest too much on their blogs and publications - specifically in reference to being gay and Catholic.  If they believe that earlier Catholic writers on the subject of gay and Catholic were over-psychologized, the new gay Catholic writers tend to be over-theologized/mythologized on the issue.  Although I suppose that's what sells books and garners speaker engagements.

Keep your mind in hell and you won't have problems with chastity.

Keep your mind in gay and you will still want ... Ah!  What did a guy on his way to perfection say to me once?  I'm gay and I try to be chaste, "but I still want @*ck."


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

St. Pio of Pietrelcina

From a letter sent by Padre Pio on September 12, 1968 to Pope Paul VI:
"I offer to you my prayers and my daily suffering, so that the Lord may comfort you with his grace,
to continue defending the eternal truth that never changes with the times change.

I thank you for the clear words in the "Humanae Vitae" (The encyclical letter 'Of human life')
and confirm my faiths and my unconditional obedience." - Source

I am convinced Padre Pio is one of the most important saints for our time.

Years ago I had a vivid dream of Padre Pio - which means more to me now than it did then.  Otherwise, I didn't have a very intense devotion to him, even though I visited San Giovanni Rotondo as a pilgrim and asked his intercession many times in novenas and aspirations.  Now that I'm older, his life makes more sense to me.  "He participated daily in the physical sufferings of the wounded Christ" - since the end of WWI - for 50 years.  With persecution, "humiliation and rejection" besides.

I remember how several priests I encountered in my life used to speak of Padre Pio in a condescending manner, frequently distancing themselves from devotees, regarding them as naive and 'overly pious'.  He didn't fit in with contemporary theology.  So I remained pretty much a secret admirer throughout the '70's and '80's.  My attraction and love for Padre Pio was based upon my conviction that he was a refuge for sinners more than a living crucifix or wonder-worker.  He was so devoted to the conversion and reconciliation of sinners.  No matter how gruff he appeared, or severe his counsels sounded to me, I sensed his seraphic love for souls.  So simple - so great.  He said he would do more after his death than he did in life and I trust that promise.  In the fullness of charity, not one sinner could he ever reject - why?  Because no servant is greater than his master - who is Mercy Himself.

Anyway.  May he pray for all of us... may he obtain for us the grace of deep conversion, the forgiveness of sins and perseverance in grace.

On September 22, 1968 Padre Pio celebrated his last Mass. The wounds disappeared.
The wounds had disappeared on September 20, 1968 on the fiftieth anniversary of their appearance."

After last Mass, looking at the crowds in church:  "oh my children! My dear children."

In thanksgiving for the graces given to St. Pio and the edifying example of his life, as well as the many graces obtained through his intercession.

Feeling sorry for yourself? Your Bishop doesn't appreciate you? Worried about Cardinals sent into exile? Ordered to turn in your ermine cappa magna? Just remember how they treated Padre Pio.

And it wasn't until the papacy of Paul VI that St. Pio was exonerated and liberated.
In the summer of 1960, the Holy Office of the Vatican dispatched an apostolic visitor to investigate Padre Pio... 
...anxiety about Padre Pio stemmed from a set of audiotapes surreptitiously recorded in the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in San Giovanni Rotondo that purported to document improper relations between Pio and a group of lay sisters, who formed a kind of protective guard around him. Keepers of the Padre Pio cult, they controlled access to the future saint, handled money coming in for the hospital, and appeared to have free run of the monastery at all hours. 
The apostolic visitor, Monsignor Carlo Maccari, left San Giovanni unimpressed by the person of Padre Pio and horrified by the cult that surrounded him, which he thought, according to his report, smacked of “idolatry and perhaps even heresy…religious conceptions that oscillate between superstition and magic.” - Source

For a time it looked like Padre Pio would live out his remaining years being treated as a miscreant.

But Paul VI changed things around rapidly. The Pope was not averse to St Pio. As Cardinal of Milan, Paul VI had sent a request for prayers to Padre Pio in 1959. In 1964, Pope Paul intervened with the CDF and ordered that Padre Pio be allowed to practise his ministry “in complete freedom” and that he was not to be confined “like a criminal”. - Source

How did St. Pio act when he was 'imprisoned' and maligned?
Saint Pio's response: 
"God's will be done,"...then he covered his eyes with his hands, lowered his head, and murmured, "The will of the authorities is the will of God." - Source

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Abbey Roads contra blogdum ...

Go forth and proselytize the living hell out of them!

The spiritual desolation generated in blogdum does not come from the good spirit.

I almost got sucked down that vortex of negative speculation and gossip and the sky-is-falling.  I strongly urge readers to go to confession, talk to your spiritual director, or a good, solid, holy priest.  Don't go to strangers online.  Don't listen to me or any self-guided apologist/evangelist/mystical twit online.  A few days ago a good priest with a blog said to take the miraculous stories associated with a certain saint 'with a grain of salt'.  I say take his blog with a grain of salt.  Take my blog with a grain of salt.  Take those who cajole and condemn the bishops and even the pope with a grain of salt.  If you have a simple, ordinary pure faith and deep piety - avoid reading blogs written by the disgruntled and the rude rad-trad-gic alienated grumblers - be they ordained or un-ordained disorderly.

"Discernment of spirits is a challenging task. It requires maturity, inner quiet, and an ability to reflect on one’s interior life."
Spiritual desolation, in contrast, is an experience of the soul in heavy darkness or turmoil. We are assaulted by all sorts of doubts, bombarded by temptations, and mired in self-preoccupations. We are excessively restless and anxious and feel cut off from others. Such feelings, in Ignatius’s words, “move one toward lack of faith and leave one without hope and without love.”
The key question in interpreting consolation and desolation is: where is the movement coming from and where is it leading me? Spiritual consolation does not always mean happiness. Spiritual desolation does not always mean sadness. Sometimes an experience of sadness is a moment of conversion and intimacy with God. Times of human suffering can be moments of great grace. Similarly, peace or happiness can be illusory if these feelings are helping us avoid changes we need to make.
For people who are trying to live a life pleasing to God, the good spirit strengthens, encourages, consoles, removes obstacles, and gives peace. The evil spirit tries to derail them by stirring up anxiety, false sadness, needless confusion, frustration, and other obstacles. - Discernment of spirits.
Now about those bishops.

St. Alphonsus Liguori had some things to say that may be helpful to consider in our time.  There have always been problems in the Church, bishops and pastors have been exiled, founders of religious communities kicked out of their own orders, and so on.  Christ promised us everything - 'and persecutions besides'.  We need the perspective of God - we judge as humans judge and fail to see the divine purpose behind his providential designs.

As regards my opinions concerning the present state of the church with relation to the election of the new Pope, what opinion of any weight could a miserable, ignorant, and unspiritual person like myself possibly give? There is need for prayer and much prayer. All the human science and prudence that there is cannot extricate the church from the present state of relaxation and confusion in which every section finds itself; the all-powerful arm of God is necessary.
As regards the bishops, very few of them possess genuine zeal for souls. Almost all religious communities – and one could omit the “almost”– are relaxed. As a result of the present state of general confusion, observance has collapsed and obedience is a thing of the past. The state of the secular clergy is still worse: so, in a word, there is a need for a general reform of all clerics and ecclesiastics if there is to be any improvement in the present great corruption of morals among the laity.
I assure you, my friends, that I desire, like yourself, to see remedies for so many and such unfortunate situations. In all this matter a thousand ideas circulate in my head which I feel like telling everybody about. But, mindful of my own unworthiness, I have not the effrontery to publicize them lest I should appear to wish to reform the whole world. So I share these ideas with you not from any arrogance but for my own peace of mind. - St. Alphonsus

So knock it off.

As Bob and Penny always said:  We love you family!

This close...

Road closed for repairs.