Pastoral Issues


A Challenge to Canada's Bishops

by John Pacheco


The purpose of this document is to spell out, in no uncertain terms, remedies and actions which the Catholic Bishops in Canada should take in order to protect the Faith and our Canadian Civilization.

For the past forty years in Canada, the leaders of the Church have not effectively countered the modernist and relativist philosophies that have decimated and divided our country. In fact, in some cases, some Church officials of the immediate past have been willfully complicit in promoting these grievous errors in our culture, in defiance of official Church teaching. Arguably, in the most important issue of our time, the propagation of human life, the Canadian Church exists in imperfect communion with Rome.

Furthermore, it is scandalous that Catholic politicians and other public figures not only openly defy Church teaching on Catholic moral teaching, but also flaunt their defiance in the press and other public avenues. While it is true that, at times, there is an Episcopal rebuke against such behaviour, the faithful remain scandalized because of the hierarchy's hesitation to take measured canonical action against these persons.

Such glaring omissions cause enormous harm to all parties involved.

First, the unrepentant and belligerent sinner remains in his obstinate, public sin. This means that his immortal soul, and the souls of countless others who he influences, are in grave danger of eternal damnation. The converse is also true: the negligent bishop is also under God's judgement for the abdication of his role as shepherd.

Second, it compromises the respect due to the Episcopal office. Politicians who continue to thumb their noses at their bishops without consequences lose the respect for Episcopal authority. Society at large, and dissenting Catholics in particular, learn to regard the bishop as a "paper prelate" who is unwilling to use his lawful authority.

Third, faithful Catholics are subject to communing with moral heretics who falsely separate their private lives from the public witness to the Faith. In fact, many of these politicians share more in common with atheists than they do with faithful Catholics.

Drastic action is therefore required. There is no more time for pleasantries and diplomacy. These tactics simply do not work in this culture. The bishops have a duty, first and foremost, to keep the holy Catholic and Apostolic faith intact. They also have a holy obligation to ensure that NONE of their spiritual children are publicly advocating mortal sin. Many Canadian Catholic politicians are advocating and supporting the most grievous sins ever known to mankind. This hypocrisy must end, and the bishop has the authority and the responsibility to do it.

A polite letter to the Prime Minister does not "cut it" any more. We need the bishops of this country to step forward and show some real courage and tenacity in confronting this culture and its political representatives. We need some real action and we need to galvanize the Catholic faithful into one, cohesive fighting force.

Before listing my proposals, I wish to commend the bravery and forthright actions of the following bishops who have not shirked their responsibilities in teaching and preserving the faith:

Proposals:

Retract the Winnipeg Statement of 1968. This Statement helped precipitate the moral crisis in this country. It was an indirect assault on Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI's encyclical which upheld Catholic teaching prohibiting contraception. The Bishops of Canada should issue a sincere apology to all Canadian Catholics for the Canadian Church's failure to uphold official church teaching regarding the transmission of human life.

Send a letter to every prominent Catholic politician asking them to sign a declaration of faith and morals. If they refuse to do so, excommunicate them. This action will be an appropriate and balanced response to the imposition of the culture of death on our country. Anything less is insufficient and wholly inadequate considering what is at stake for Canadian society. It will also send a firm and unequivocal message to any politician purporting to be Catholic that the Bishops of Canada mean serious business. Human life and human sexuality is serious business. Therefore, Episcopal action should reflect this reality.

Recommend Catholics vote for and NAME the political party who best represents Catholic ideals on human life issues from election to election. All other issues are secondary and are absurdly trivial compared to those dealing with the sanctity of human life. This is a point that all Canadian Catholics need to appreciate. Abortion, homosexuality, and other assaults on human dignity need to be the first issues that are considered when voting. No other issues even come close.

Hold national Catholic education conferences which teach the Catholic faith. Canadian Catholics suffer from ignorance of the Catholic faith. It is the job of the bishops to correct this deficiency, and to immediately establish a comprehensive catechetical plan to overcome this deficit.

Expose politicians who demonstrate anti-Catholic sensibilities. In order to be taken seriously, the Bishops must make it very plain to all politicians that there will be a political price to pay for denouncing the Church or Her teachings. Any politician who criticizes the Church's teachings will be targetted for defeat in the subsequent election.

Pick two months of the year. Preach on life-issues during these eight weeks. In particular, condemn contraception vociferously. Catholics must be taught the foundation for the Church's teaching on contraception at every level of society from high school children to adults. Contraception started the culture of death. And attacking contraception will end the culture of death.

Encourage and foster peaceful civil disobedience from time to time around issues surrounding the government's contempt for human life. To some, this may seem extreme, but it can hardly be considered so. There is a genocidal attack on human life in the western world like no time in history. Our response must be consumerate with the attack.

Require every instructor in Catholic educational institutions to sign a declaration of faith and morals. If they refuse to do so, do not permit them to teach at the institution. If the dissent is widespread, publicly disassociate the institution from the Catholic faith. The job of the bishop is to protect the faith, and preserve the name "Catholic" from defilement by liberals, secularists, and other enemies of the Church. The time has come to put "Catholic" back into a "Catholic education". Also consider establishing a new Catholic educational system that does not tolerate any dissent from Catholic teaching. Require John Paul II's teachings on "The Theology of the Body" be mandatory course reading at the High School and University levels.

Establish a commission to expose media bias against the Catholic faith. Media reporting is virulently liberal and anti-Christian. Their tactics should be exposed frequently and publicly so that Christians may be aware of their deceit and malice.

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John Pacheco
The Catholic Legate
October 19, 2003