Bishops who have deep theological differences with the Pope are undermining the unity of the Catholic Church, a prominent English bishop has claimed.Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue said that such differences prompted parish priests to ignore the authority of their bishops.He said: “The idea that there could be theological differences between a bishop and the Pope is just an incredible thing to admit but it is the truth. I suppose if priests see bishops showing disloyalty to the Pope, it is hardly surprising that they in turn should show disloyalty to their bishop. We all know what Jesus said about a divided house.”
He added: “It is not uncommon for cliques to grow up among priests against the current bishop that ignore with disdain directives and advice from their bishop. Sometimes it seems that the parish priest and parish declare UDI [Unilateral Declaration of Independence] from the bishop and the diocese. There is also a danger of this developing in a group of bishops’ attitude to the reigning Pope.”
The bishop said this disunity created a “conspiracy of silence” in the Church.
He said: “This cocktail of dissent, disobedience and disloyalty has resulted in what I call ‘a conspiracy of silence’ amongst groups in the Church. There is no real dialogue or willingness to talk openly and honestly about our differences.
“For example, I don’t know why my Fit for Mission? documents hit a wall of silence among the bishops in this country. All I did was reiterate the teaching of the Church, but this has been treated as unacceptable and unspeakable. Why?”
Bishop O’Donoghue offered his analysis at a retreat for priests of the Diocese of Northampton in Ars, the parish of St John Vianney in France in May. He called attention to the fact that “countless individual priests, and laity, even bishops, believe they are free to decide what it means to be Catholic for themselves”. He suggested that accepting the Church’s teaching on sexual morality was a “litmus test” for Catholics.
“For example, we have witnessed a wholesale rejection of the Church’s perennial teaching against contraception. This is the litmus test of the acceptance of the obedience in the Church. How many priests support Gaudium et Spes’s crystal-clear rejection of contraception, upheld by successive popes – Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI? If we reject their teaching on this matter we are saying as priests that we know better than the successor of Peter! Is this tenable in a priest?”
When are we going to get this kind of frank talk from a Canadian bishop?
Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure, I will never trust any bishop, except the Pope, the way I use to. Never. Those days are gone forever.
There should have been thundering denunciations by this point at the D&P abortion scandal, but we haven’t heard a peep.
The Catholic Church in Canada pro-life? Please. Don’t even go there. Two things come to mind here: Winnipeg Statement & Development and Peace.
Perhaps you were thinking that Planned Parenthood or the U.N. are the greatest organizational threats to the unborn?
No, my friend. We need only look into our own backyard.
As it stands now, the Catholic Church in Canada is perhaps one of the greatest enablers of abortion groups around the world, and there is no end in sight.
It all makes sense. Nothing moves without the Catholic Church…which kind of explains why we have abortion on demand in Canada and are enabling it in the Global South.
I get it. I finally get it.
Remember, though, God is not mocked. This Church tower of abortion and contraception is all going to come crashing down within our lifetime, and with it, the current wicked structures and cliques running the Church.
And remember, dear friend, be careful who you trust. For there are Bishops and priests today who present themselves as paragons of orthodoxy and faithfulness, but in reality they are wolves waiting to devour the flock. I can scarcely believe I am saying this, but this whole D&P scandal and what I have learned has opened my eyes to a whole new and ugly reality.
Guard your faith zealously, and put no ultimate trust in anyone, except the Holy Father. Smile and wave to them, speak nice words about the weather and “social justice”. Shake their hands softly, but keep moving. Your salvation might depend on it.