“I had the image of a bishop sinking head downward…. sinking… sinking… clawing at the heavy miter on his head”

Even as I stared at the title of the piece I am about to recommend, this passage from Luke about millstones came to mind.   I had the image of a bishop sinking head downward…. sinking… sinking… clawing at the heavy miter on his head dragging him relentlessly into the ever greater pressure of the depths… sinking… clawing… wild-eyes bulging.

Miter as millstone.

The annual plenary meeting of US bishops is coming up.  I suspect that there are going to be large crowds of lay protesters near their venue.  I suspect that the bishops may tip toe up to the real core of The Present Crisis, but that, in the end, they will do little or nothing.  I doubt that they have the collective cajones, especially when the brow-beating from the papalatrous favorites begins, the subtle messages and warnings that their opinions must conform or else be “noted”.

Miter as millstone.

One writer at The Catholic Thing has a piece a calm but penetrating cri de coeur directed at their collective Excellencies.  His well chosen title is highly suggestive of his central message:

Miters and Millstones

You get, I trust, the point.

Remember the Lord’s warning in Luke 17:1-6 about the fate of those who cause others to fall into error.

“Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the one through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.

The writer the provocative article is Stephen P. White, and he’s got some game.   He gives the US bishops an ear full before their meeting.  And rightly so!

Some may squawk under – under their miters – “Who is this guy to tell Us what do to?!?”

Clearly, it’s a guy who doesn’t want to see our bishops sinking… sinking… clawing at the end.

BTW… the Novus Ordo Gospel Reading on the Monday when the US bishops hold their meeting is, exactly, Luke 17:1-6, about leading little ones (us) astray and millstones.

I hope that a few of the ideologues in the conference will try to wrap their heads around that millstone image as they put on their headgear.


Perhaps it would be good to read the above-mentioned in tandem with, in dialogue with so to speak, another piece at Crisis:

“Cometh the hour, cometh the man.” The saying means that a time of crisis invariably brings forth the man to meet the challenge.

Well, the hour is here, but where’s the man? That’s what many Catholics must be wondering. The Church is in the midst of what may be the worst crisis of its existence, yet the man of the hour is nowhere in sight. The pope and the men around him—the ones we would ordinarily expect to lead us out of the crisis—are the ones who have led us into it. By all appearances they are not up to the challenge. They are over their heads in the mess they have helped to create.

Perhaps the distinguishing characteristic of the men who now lead the Church is a lack of seriousness. Because they are not serious men, many if not most of them do not even comprehend the seriousness of the current situation. Although they make statements expressing regret over past mistakes, they blithely continue on the course that has led to the “mistakes.”


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  1. FrAnt says:

    Some bishops will be moved by the passage from Luke, sadly others will not hear the warning. Archbishop Vigano is the lone voice crying in the wilderness.

  2. Dismas says:

    For some, this reading clearly describes the lamentable state of the souls of those who offer plastic straws to children. Truly, such a horrible sin as demands another encyclical….

  3. Dismas says:

    Per above, perhaps the next edition of the NAB may make this more clear for us all.

  4. tho says:

    My favorite Bishop is the one in the novel Les Miserables, he was the cause of Jean Valjean reawakening in his childhood faith. Along with Pope Francis and his cohorts we all need to return to the faith of our fathers. Our Bishops cannot be so blind that they can not see the damage they are causing to the faithful. My supposition is that these dissenters have lost their faith, and rather than relinquish their cushy jobs, they would rather try to change the words of Jesus and the saints, to justify their perverted egos.

  5. rollingrj says:

    “Our Bishops cannot be so blind that they can not see the damage they are causing to the faithful.”

    Oh, I think they do see it. Pride, arrogance, and indifference will not allow the usual suspects to do what is necessary. Cowardice, apathy, and intimidation will not allow a vast majority of the rest to do what is necessary.

    Is it too much to ask for battle lines to be drawn in Baltimore?

  6. trespinos says:

    William Kilpatrick’s analysis is absolutely spot on, especially in regard to the “magical thinking” of the Pope and his inner circle. I’ve never seen the situation explained so well. I hope a critical number of bishops at Baltimore will have read his analysis and taken it to heart.

  7. Titus says:

    The liturgical books should be reformed so that the LOH reading for bishops is Wisdom Chapter 6 every. single. day.

  8. Sol says:

    1. As for the Bishops to be “brow-beaten” into submission, it strikes me as odd that they would less fear Hell and the Terrible Judge than their opinion being “noted” by the Tem Francis wingmen; perhaps it means that they no longer believe in the existence of Hell, or the Terrible Judge Himself? I wonder what kind of cojones THAT will take.

    Any bishop truly believing that they are to face Judgment by Christ at the end of things would care less about what harm can come to them from dissenting during the USCCB meeting.

    2. “Cometh the man, cometh the hour”. But we DO have “the men”! Card. Burke, Bp Schneider, most especially also Abp. Vigano, and, I’m sure, many others. It’s just that they are not being listened to.

  9. Semper Gumby says:

    Insightful post and articles.

    The problematic behavior and words of the current Pope and many bishops (along with that of various priests, nuns, and lay officials) raises skepticism about the viability of Integralism. Subordinating the U.S. Constitution and U.S. citizens to current Church leadership does not seem prudent.

    For brevity, three items:

    1. Some, perhaps most, Catholic Integralists combine Catholicism with Communism. Indeed, some Integralists state outright that they are Marxists or Socialists. This is a combination of dubious value, given that the body count of Communism and socialism is far higher than that of even National Socialism, and that a goal of Marxism is the destruction of the Catholic Church.

    2. In an April 2018 article on a Harvard conference on Christianity, a Catholic law professor was referenced: “In response to a question afterwards, [the Catholic law professor] clarified that [an Integralist state] would exercise coercion over baptized citizens in a manner different from non-baptized citizens.” That dubious proposition strays into “Separate but Equal” territory, and in fact reinforces the necessity of conserving the constitutional Republic.

    3. We live in a Fallen World. Integralists, as with Communists and National Socialists, are vulnerable to utopian and totalitarian impulses and temptations. The occasional display of cognitive dissonance by many Integralists raises the possibility that a Catholic banner is being used to advance Leftist ideology and power-seeking.

    Present-day politics with its turbulence and disappointments, and an often toxic culture, can naturally produce a yearning for building a Sacred Public Square here on Earth. Perfectly understandable. Perhaps, though we are restless to be with Christ, we must manage our expectations while we labor patiently to expand Catholic influence in a debris-strewn civil public square, for we will not walk in joy in that Sacred Public Square until we enter the New Jerusalem.

  10. Pingback: To US Bishops before their @USCCB meeting: Do not be afraid! | Fr. Z's Blog

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