“If great big bishops will not guard the noble deposit, then it may be time to depose them.

At Crisis today there is a well-written, well-argued piece by Regis Martin which merits wide attention.  Share it.

Does the Church No Longer Defend the Deposit of Faith?

The writer laments that we are living in strange times: “Times in which faithlessness, not fidelity, gets rewarded.”

As proof of this all manner of sycophantic slobber is sluiced over a certain homosexualist activist Jesuit, who constantly erodes moral principles while claiming to minister to an “oppressed” group.

Martin, Regis Martin that is, the writer of the offering at Crisis, not the recipient of the slobber, turns his attention to bishops who openly support mortal sin.

You may know that bishops really shouldn’t do that.  As my friend Fr. Murray reminded us (and them) the other day, when bishops are installed they take an Oath of Fidelity that includes the following: “I promise that in my words and actions I shall always preserve communion with the Catholic Church. . . .I shall hold fast to the deposit of faith in its entirety; I shall faithfully hand it on and explain it, and I shall avoid any teachings contrary to it. . . .So help me God.”

Martin points to bishops in Germany.  An obvious group.  My emphases and comments:

 … certain rogue bishops in Germany, who have lately become infatuated with the idea of Church blessings for homosexual unions. They appear to be in a great hurry to enact sweeping changes in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in order to accommodate what used to be called sodomy. The bishop of Mainz, for example; one of several spearheading the effort.

His fixation on the subject has driven him to the extremity of whitewashing practices that, until the day before yesterday, were classified as mortal sins. “As to the demand for chastity,” he asks “what does it mean from the perspective of people who experience same-sex attraction? I think that few of them would consider this demand as tactful and respectful because,” as he patronizingly continues, “this inclination is not self-selected.” [Which is not at all apparent and which, even if true, not an excuse for sin.  Read on.]

Is he kidding? What has “self-selection” got to do with it? Has he never heard of concupiscence? [Hey. He’s a German bishop.] Or ever experienced the least tug of appetite for pleasures which, in the light of reason and with an aim toward greater self-mastery, demand that he say no to? Or is it only heterosexual temptation that needs to be resisted? Why should only married couples feel the need to exercise chastity when enticement comes around? Is moral heroism a vocation only for “straight” people to pursue? [NB!] How insulting it is to exempt whole categories of human beings from having to travel the high road of holiness and sexual purity!

If great big bishops will not guard the noble deposit, then it may be time to depose them.

Depose them.

“You’re fired.”

That’s a great idea.  How that is to be accomplished, I don’t know.  We have to struggle, in the midst of this pleasant idea, with the admonition from the Lord about the Pharisees who have the seat of Moses.  They may be really lousy bishops, but they are still bishops.  They may be feckless cowards who cave under the least pressure, but they are still bishops.  They may be slaves to the wisdom of this world, but they are still bishops.

St. John Eudes who said that bad priests are a sign of God’s anger.

‘The most evident mark of God’s anger and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world are manifested when He permits His people to fall into the hands of clerics’ who are priests more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than the charity and affection of devoted shepherds. Instead of nourishing those committed to their care, they rend and devour them brutally. Instead of leading their people to God, they drag Christian souls into hell in their train. Instead of being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, they are its innocuous poison and its murky darkness. St. Gregory the Great says that priests and pastors will stand condemned before God as the murderers of any souls lost through neglect or silence…. When God permits such things, it is a very positive proof that He is thoroughly angry with His people, and is visiting His most dreadful anger upon them. That is why He cries unceasingly to Christians, “Return, 0 ye revolting children . . . and I will give you pastors according to my own heart” (Jer. 3, 14-15). Thus, irregularities in the lives of priests constitute a scourge visited upon the people in consequence of sin.”

If that is true, then of what level of divine wrath are bad bishops a sign?

This is where I refer the readership to the astonishing

Rite of Degradation of a Bishop.

Read and shudder.

It should be publicly televised.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Ave Maria says:

    And just who will depose an unfaithful or even criminal bishop? Not the one who is appointing them. Only civil authorities will much evidence can get a bad bishop to move along.

  2. Semper Gumby says:

    “When I first heard the story of a silly nun who’d gotten herself ordained as a Protestant priestess while teaching theology at a major Catholic University, I was not surprised. Nor was I surprised to learn of the subsequent lawsuit she filed to prevent her being fired. What did surprise me, however, was the fact that it was thrown out, thus enabling the institution to go ahead with her dismissal.

    The good guys do sometimes win.”

    An excellent point at Crisis magazine to keep in mind. Hope. Confidence.

    Deposing a bishop, as Fr. Z points out, is not an easy task these days. But the Rite of Degradation of a Bishop has been used before, and it may be used again.

    In the meantime, there are rogue bishops, priests, religious and laity, as in yesterday’s post, where a rogue priest refused Confession without vaccination papers.

    A few suggestions, adapt these to your situation, your resources and your time factors. These suggestions are not step-by-step rules as individual initiative, fortitude, flexibility and discipline are important.

    1. Gather information on the rogue personalities involved, particularly their theology and how they spend the money collected for the diocese or parish. Develop a reasonably solid grasp of the situation. Then, may I kindly suggest repeating this process again, no one is perfect and something will have been missed the first go-around. Pay attention to the sources of your information and ensure they are reasonably credible. Make acquaintances and friends in nearby parishes and listen to their experiences.

    2. Anticipate counter-attacks early and often.

    3. There is the possibility of an ally in the chancery or parish office. Helpful.

    4. Inform parishioners who are in the “neutral middle-ground” of the situation (but not of your plans), as tactfully and calmly as one can. Some luke-warm parishioners will of course complain to the rogue bishop or priest. Write a thoughtful letter to your Bishop or to Rome or to other faithful bishops and priests requesting assistance or encouragement. Setting the stage is important.

    5. A defining moment can be helpful. Many options here. One is distributing well-written, well-reasoned flyers based on facts and evidence that counter the propaganda of diocese and parish bulletins (note that you may want to distribute information anonymously before talking face-to-face to certain lukewarm parishioners). Another option is to gather thirty people and as the rogue bishop or priest processes into the cathedral or church you and your group silently walk out. Do not be concerned about negative comments, do not be concerned about accusations of “unfaithful stunts.” Fortitude. Confidence. Christus Vincit.

    6. Start slow, be patient (particularly when distributing flyers and attempting to inform others), be disciplined, gain confidence. Christus Vincit.

    7. Be prepared for disappointment. Do not be discouraged, as Jesus Christ informed us some situations are unsalvageable. Be prepared to shake the dust off your feet and for you, your friends and family to depart the parish three miles away for another parish twelve miles away. Christus Vincit.

  3. Semper Gumby says:

    Abp. Fulton Sheen:

    “He [Satan] will set up a counter-Church which will be the ape of the Church because, he the devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the anti-Christ that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ. In desperate need for God, whom he nevertheless refuses to adore, modern man in his loneliness and frustration will hunger more and more for membership in a community that will give him enlargement of purpose, but at the cost of losing himself in some vague collectivity.”

    “Who’s going to save our Church? It’s not our bishops, it’s not our priests and it is not the religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes and the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that the priests act like priests, your bishops act like bishops, and the religious act like religious.”

  4. Ivan says:

    Saint Elijah knew how to deal with them.

  5. arga says:

    If we’re talking about some popular movement that rise up in favor of deposing bishops, the situation is exactly the opposite: I am sure most bishops know that actually teaching the faith is more likely to rile up the masses than not teaching it. We lost the bishops because we lost the people first.

  6. Michael says:

    This is an honest and concerned question: could this also be talking to some of those pastors within certain traditional movements as well? I’m speaking mainly of those who have set up their own independent “parishes”, outside even the authority of the SSPX.

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  8. Rod Halvorsen says:

    Pope John XIII answered the author Martin’s question in his speech opening Vatican 2. In it he tells the whole world the Church is no longer going to defend the faith.

    Gaudet Mater Ecclesia, October, 1962: “The Church in every age has opposed these errors and often has even condemned them and indeed with the greatest severity. But at the present time, the spouse of Christ prefers to use the medicine of mercy rather than the weapons of severity; and, she thinks she meets today’s needs by explaining the validity of her doctrine more fully rather than by condemning”.

    There is the answer to the question “Does the Church No Longer Defend the Deposit of Faith?”

    The answer is “No.”

    Not right now.

    For any defense can only be effected with “weapons of severity”. Every army entrenched in a defensive position awaiting assault by an enemy is equipped to stop that aggressor, not merely hide behind a parapet. One must have weapons and in the arsenal of the Church, those weapons must include the Sword of the Word which DIVIDES…presenting the truth on one hand and the condemnation of evil on the other. This is the exact method of Scripture: The Prophets, Jesus, the Apostles and further, the entire history of the Church…till 1962.

    Right now the enemy is inside the wire and running amok. This is the direct result of the radical rupture with past practice introduced by John XXIII.

    I have lost all confidence in any of our current generation of leaders. Not one has indicated an interest in actually engaging the enemy within. I don’t even fault them personally anymore. I believe they are the product of both their formation and selection. It would be unfair to expect more from men evidently chosen precisely because they had no fight in them.

    That doesn’t stop us, however, from defending the faith with both the “medicine of mercy” AND direct confrontation with the enemies within, condemning them as we must.

  9. Suzanne says:

    I expect we will see the Rite of Degradation carried out many times after the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. I think there will be a very through cleansing under a very holy Holy Father.

    Pope Pius IX had The Secret Instructions of the Alta Vendita published so Catholics would be aware of the plan of Freemasons for the Catholic Church. In that booklet, the author says to the Freemasons, “Let the clergy march under your banner, while they naively believe they are marching under the banner of the Apostolic Keys.” Could we already be there, with many marching under the banner of what Archbishop Sheen called the ape of the Church, when the true Church is found in Tradition? Could you address this in another blog post, Father Z? It’s all so confusing.

  10. Semper Gumby says:

    A number of chanceries in the U.S., Ireland and elsewhere are spiritual abortuaries. Groups of the Faithful praying the Rosary outside these dens of iniquity will have an effect. Recall Catholics protecting statues from the mob last year, and a stalwart priest with a bullhorn.

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  12. Ivan says:

    St. Vincent Ferreri says that when God wants to punish people for their sins, He first let the priests fall.
    Good priests are like the stronghold that protect the people from God’s punishment. In order for the people to be punished, walls are the first what He will let fall down.

    In this way St. Vincent Ferreri explains that in his famous sermon “De fine mundi”:

    “Sed hic oritur quaestio scilicet utrum tantum propter peccata clericorum Deus hoc permittet. Et dico quod non, imo etiam propter peccata populi. Et ut intelligatis, exemplum dabo tale.

    Nam sit una civitas bene murata et habeat circumqunque turres pro defensione sua, efficiaturque civitas illa rebellis contra regem suum. Unde rex ponit tendiculas circumquaque contra civitatem et parat bombardas suas et alia artificia et aedificia ad habendam illam civitatem. Dicatis mihi ubi rex primo incipiet percutere cum bombardis, vel ad populum vel ad turres et muros primo incipiet bombardare? Et quam culpam habent turres et muri quod sic debeant corruere? Certe quia protegant populum rebellem contra regem suum. Ideo ut faciet iustitiam de populo suo, habet primo destruere turres et muros.
    Ita vult Deus facere de populo suo huius mundi, quia rebellis est contra eum propter peccata, ut dixi, quia nullus vult se emendare.”

    “But here comes the question: does this God allow only because of the sins of the clergy, and I say no, but also because of the sins of the people. To understand this, I give you this example.

    Let’s say that one city is well fortified and have towers for its defense and that city has rebelled against its king. So the king has set up catapults around the city and prepared them and other combat devices and tools to take that city over. Tell me, where the king will first start hitting the bombs, whether to the people or will he first begin to bombard the towers and walls? And what kind of guilt do the towers and walls have to fall? Surely, because they protect the people who rebelled against their king. Therefore, in order to do justice to his people, the towers and walls must first be destroyed.
    God wants to do that way with his people in this world, because they rebelled against him with their sins, as I said, because no one wants to repent.”

  13. Semper Gumby says:

    “If great big bishops will not guard the noble deposit, then it may be time to depose them.”

    The noble deposit includes a pregnant woman and the next generation.

    The Diocese of Dallas released a “statement.” It appears to be anonymous, a trend with the hierarchy, much of it cowardly bullies, these days.

    This “statement” begins with: “The young woman involved in this incident that occurred two weeks ago was not arrested or ticketed. She was issued a trespass warning.”

    No need to read further, the wolves of Dallas have spoken. Noted.

    In the future, when the faithful conduct a citizen’s arrest, detain a criminal bishop or priest and deliver him to law enforcement, such an act should be met with the same dry approval.

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