Friday, May 21, 2004

Those who do not gather with me, scatter.

This whole scenario with the bishops has me a mite worried. Is this what the martyrs died for? Is this what great doctors taught for? The bishop has the responsibility to hold all Catholics of his diocese accountable to the teachings of the Church. It's what a good shepherd does; he directs the flock away from danger and strives to lead them safely home. In most normal circumstances, this is acheived by simply preaching the faith and directing the priests to do the same.

But when the matter becomes public, then the gloves are off. From the very earliest days of the Church, those who notoriously sinned in a public fashion, if they wouldn't repent, found themselves excommunicated. Why? Because the scandal of the act ran the risk of letting the others astray. In other words, to refuse to correct and to discipline the faithful, the scandalous member can take the place of the proper shepherd. This leads to a slow suffication, where the clear oxygen of Christ's teaching is substituted with the carbon monoxide of dissent and error. What saddens me most is that the scandal is some quarters is that the bishops spoke up, not the collaboration who put to death millions of members of my generation.

Just as if any of my parishioners came to me and said, "I love abortion. I think it is great," there would be the first steps, namely investigation and engagement. But if the resistance was obstinate, then I would have no choice. The person who have to be excluded from communion and told not to present themselves until such a time as they would repent. Now, some will say, "But Father, this person could simply lie to you, and therefore, be admitted back to communion." True enough. I have to take folks at their word; thankfully, the final judgment will sort those things out for us.

The key to the argument is this. The bishops must demonstrate to the politicians in question, and the world at large, that the moral evil of abortion can be based upon the natural law so that the politicians and the world cannot make the argument that this is merely a matter for religious observance. Then the politician is forced to accept the fact that he has betrayed the common good he was sworn to uphold.

Sorry if this is a little rambling...I just needed to spew some venom at the problem.

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