1P5 Minute #22 – A Message to the Bishops & Cardinals of the Catholic Church
I’m Steve Skojec and this is the OnePeterFive Minute. Hello and welcome to the OnePetetFive Minute. Today is Tuesday, February 11th, 2020. Today we’re going to depart from our usual format of lighthearted news and commentary because I’d like to address something serious to the bishops and cardinals of the Church. Now, I’m not delusional. I don’t expect, actually, that many bishops and cardinals ordinarily watch our little program. However, if you know a bishop or a cardinal or if you have their email address (and they’re pretty easy to look up) and you think this is something they should hear, I encourage you to send it to them. And if you’re a bishop or cardinal and you’re actually taking the time to watch this because it was sent to you, I want to thank you. I’d like to ask you to please give me the chance to plead my case here, your eminences and your excellencies, because this is important. This week we saw something happened that was totally unacceptable. A Vatican official, Bishop Marcello Sanchez Sorondo, the head of not one but two Vatican Diecasteries, gave Holy Communion to the openly pro-abortion and openly adulterous president of Argentina, Alberto Fernandez, along with his mistress, shortly before they had an audience with the pope. When challenged on his decision to do this by a journalist, the bishop called her a “fanatic” for even asking the question and said because Fernandez is not excommunicated, he could give him communion. Even though the Church’s own law, Canon 915 [Correction: Canon 1398], says that such individuals are automatically excommunicated for their participation in this grave evil. To say nothing of the fact that he’s in an openly adulterous relationship. Now this flies in the face of everything catholics have been taught to believe. Yet to my knowledge, our bishops, those given the power to teach and govern in virtue of their apostolic succession – men who carry croisers to this day as a sign of their office to defend and guide the faithful sheep of the Good Shepherd – have said nothing. And of course, neither has Pope Francis. Your eminences and your excellencies, you have a serious problem on your hands, and I’m not sure you realize it. The people of your flocks and Catholics in general no longer trust you. At all. We can’t trust you. We want to trust you. But when we reach out to you with our concerns, they’re either dismissed or more often than not, we actually don’t hear anything back at all. And this happens also in good dioceses, so-called good dioceses. So you’re not off the hook either. You certainly don’t step up proactively to defend us from evil. To correct the scandalous behavior from your fellow bishops and to lead the way through this darkness. It seems as though the only time we hear from you at all, in fact, is when you want our money. And usually when you come asking, you want a lot of it. And our parishes have no choice but to give it to you. More and more of us, however, just aren’t going to give it anymore. You haven’t earned it. And as far as we can tell, you actually don’t care about us at all. Maybe it’s not entirely your fault. From our perspective, it looks like you might as well be a celebrity or a big time politician living in isolation from the real people in the pews and surrounded instead by those who tell you exactly what you want to hear because their jobs depend on it. From your perspective, I would guess that when you come to public events, everyone’s very deferential. Maybe they kiss your ring on one knee — if you allow that kind of thing. Maybe they graciously smile and enthusiastically shake your hand. Maybe they praise you for the great homily you just gave. Or thank you for taking the time to be there. But what they don’t do is pull you aside and talk to you in no uncertain terms about just how hard it is to be a Catholic in 2020. So I’m going to do that now. Sure. You’ve heard the public scolding for how the episcopacy has collectively failed to handle the sex abuse crisis appropriately. And when you meet with your brother bishops in those upscale hotels and conference centers with your catered lunches and your meeting agendas all staked out and you talk about the issues you face, you recognize, yeah, there’s a public relations issue, and maybe you actually even care about addressing the problem itself and not just how bad it looks. But when was the last time you went incognito and stood, say, in front of a parish in a rough neighborhood with a bunch of traditional Latin Mass loving Catholics? As you should know, their parishes are almost always in the worst parts of town. Have you stood out there with them after Mass as they keep a sharp eye on where their 6 or 7 or 8 or 9 kids are playing while the meth heads and the crack dealers are roaming around and they talk with each other about what’s really going on in the church. On the only day, all week they get the chance to do so because they all have to drive so far to get to the 1 too-small parish that has the Mass they’ve come to love, but it’s the only chance they get to talk to other like minded Catholics. Or when was the last time you went to a barbecue at the home of a family of one of the parishioners of one of those big new multimillion dollar parishes you’ve built, the ones with the novus ordo pastor who gives good homilies and makes sure to have adoration and other public devotions and whose parishioners, when they get together for burgers and drinks, surprisingly sound a lot more like those complainers at the Latin Mass parishes downtown because of their deep concerns about what is going on in the Church right now. Today is a momentous occasion. Seven years ago today, everything changed. It was the day Pope Benedict XVI quit the papacy, something we didn’t even know he could do. Frankly, it was only when it happened that most of us found out that there was any precedent at all in the entire history of the papacy. And it came as a blow to all of us. You see, since the council, a lot of us have invested a great deal of our identity as Catholics in our loyalty to the person of the pope. And when he just up and left, many of us suddenly felt that he wasn’t particularly loyal to us. He quit. Then he didn’t really go away. And then the man who replaced him wound up being, frankly, abusive. He insults our large families, tells us not to breed like rabbits, insults our good conservative and traditional cassock-wearing priests, ridicules Christians and tells them that they’re wrong for doing what they’ve always done. He even mocked families that offered him a spiritual bouquet, making fun of them for counting how many rosaries they offered. And on top of it, he’s clearly intent on changing a lot of very important things that we don’t think should be able to be changed. What’s really bothersome is that none of you shepherds seem to actually care. Most of you, in fact, go out of your way to praise him. Let me back up. That’s not entirely true. We have Bishop Schneider and the bishops of Kazakhstan, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, Bishop Strickland of Tyler, Texas. And some of you may remember Cardinals Cafarra, Meisner, Burke and Brandmuller, who cared enough to issue theological dubia when it became clear that Pope Francis was changing the teaching on marriage and sexual morality and the reception of Communion while in a state of mortal sin. He did this, of course, through Amoris Laetitia and his assorted follow up activities. He even said that there was no other interpretation on his teaching than to allow remarried divorcees to receive Communion. But that’s obviously wrong. It’s a violation of the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 19. It’s also a direct contradiction of 1 Corinthians 11:27-29. Now, I know that that particular scripture reading was removed from the three year lectionary cycle. So just as a refresher, that’s the passage about not eating and drinking condemnation unto ourselves by receiving the Eucharist while in mortal sin. It’s actually really relevant. You should consider putting it back. So what happened with Amoris Laetitia? We lowly Catholics in the pews knew that it was wrong. But where were you in opposing it? Two of the four cardinals I just mentioned died waiting for an answer from the pope. He never gave one, still hasn’t given one. That’s how much contempt he has for his own subordinates. Is that the problem? Is it that he has contempt for you? Because you know who this hurts the most, right? It hurts all the Catholic spouses who are fighting every day to keep their difficult marriages together because they believe in the sacrament and the good of their children. And they’re doing this in a society that offers them no fault divorce and tries very, very hard to tear them apart. Those spouses are being told they can’t do it. Told this by the Vatican that they’re not strong enough. Their efforts are meaningless, that they might as well just give up and go shack up with somebody new who they love more. And while they’re at it, keep receiving the Eucharist like it isn’t really our Lord’s Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. You know, like none of this stuff we’ve always believed actually matters for that matter. Where were your corrections of the Abu Dhabi statement signed by the pope when he said that God willed other religions? If that’s true, why do we call Catholicism the true faith founded by Christ? Does it mean we’re not supposed to evangelize anymore? Does it even matter if anyone is Catholic in your view? And if it does, why aren’t you saying that? Or what about how Francis changed the Church’s bimillennial teaching on the moral liceity of the death penalty, a teaching rooted in both the scriptures and magisterial pronouncements of the popes. Part of the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium that cannot be changed. The Church said it was morally permissible to allow the death penalty all the way back from the beginning. But now Francis is leading us to believe that the Church was wrong the whole time, which, if you think about it, means that all the other de fide teachings must also be up for grabs. Where were you on that? Did you support Francis? Did you oppose him? Did you even know it was happening? Did you know why it was wrong? Do you think any church dogma or doctrine can be changed if it becomes unpopular enough? Or do you believe, like the modernists condemned in Pascendi by Pope Pius X, the dogma and doctrine can evolve and should evolve over time? What about the time Pope Francis said Catholics could use contraception to prevent the spread of the Zika virus? Yes, it happened. We double checked. If there’s one exception to the teaching on the intrinsic evil of contraception — a teaching we were told was infallible — does that mean there are more exceptions to other infallible teachings? Are there more exceptions to contraception? Who knows? Where are our shepherds on this? Should those of us who have shunned contraception our entire marriages or who have gone through the cumbersome nuisance of using natural family planning when it was clearly imprudent to conceive, feel stupid for making that effort? Does any of this matter to you? Do you know that more than 90 percent of Catholics contracept already? Do you realize that means that most Catholics are already objectively living constantly in a state of grave sin? Do you care about their souls? What about the idolatry that was allowed at the Vatican during the Amazon Synod? Is idolatry okay now, are… are we good with that? Is that what we’re supposed to take away from all this? Do you really think we’re dumb enough to believe it was just in coloration when we could see people battling in front of idols right in front of our face? I mean, there’s video of the event. It’s not like it’s hidden. How about the attacks on priestly celibacy coming from Rome? The embrace of population control advocates at the Vatican? Advocates like Jeffrey Sachs and Paul Erlich? what about the fact that entire bishops conferences are now saying we need to revisit the teaching on homosexual relationships? What about Francis covering up for McCarrick and Barros and Inzoli and Zanchetta and Danneels and appointing prelates who covered up for other sexual abusers to positions of power while he talks about zero tolerance? What are we, the faithful, supposed to think about all of this? What are we supposed to do when it looks like the Church is crumbling and the gates of hell are prevailing? What are we supposed to say to people who’ve become so scandalized by everything that is happening in the Church, but perhaps especially by the fact that so few bishops have actually stood up and said a word about it, that they’re coming up with their own ideas of how to solve the problem. The idea that Benedict is still the true pope and that Francis is an antipope reigning in his place? Or what about those who are leaving Catholicism for orthodoxy? Or leaving Catholicism altogether and just giving up on faith? Do any of those people matter to you? They should! Does the Catholic faith matter to you? Do you believe all that the Church teaches? And if so, are you willing to fight for it? Or does your comfortable ecclesiastical career matter more? With the exception of Saint John the Evangelist, all the apostles whose mantles you wear and in whose stead you teach and govern died as martyrs for the faith. I’m not asking you to be a martyr, but we, the faithful, would like to see you take the step of at least inconveniencing yourselves to stand athwart the tide of revolution and error being led by this pope and those closest to him and say “enough is enough!”. Would you gather the souls being led into darkness, sin and eternal death? Bring them in from the storm like the shepherds you’re supposed to be? Or are you among the ravening wolves St. Luke warned about in the Book of Acts, Chapter 20, who would enter in among the bishops as he predicted, not sparing the flock, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after themselves? Saint Paul gave you an example of what to do in Galatians 2:11. He rebuked Peter to the face because Peter was to be blamed. What happens after that is for you to decide. Because we, the laity, aren’t in charge. You are. So will you stand for your sheep? Or are we on our own? Because seven years of this is more than enough. Until next time, I’m Steve Skojec, thank you for watching the OnePeterFive Minute. We’ll see you next time.