This is an excellent post by Suzanne, and it hits the nail on the head. If the bishops don’t want to conform their behaviour to what the Church teaches, then the faithful will look for other ways to be instructed and supported. When their delinquincy ends, so will the cyber magisterium.
What is the cyber magisterium? The cyber magisterium is merely a way of receiving authentic Catholic teaching. It is not another teaching authority. On the contrary, it is merely using technology to receive authentic Catholic doctrinal and pastoral teaching from faithful bishops. This cyber magisterium is necessary in our time because whole national episcopacies are in crisis and lacking in leadership.
In a recent interview on Zoom TV (produced by Salt and Light Television) Winnipeg Archbishop Msgr James Weisberger lamented the advent of “website Catholicism.”
Ever since the advent of the internet, orthodox Catholics have been turning to the internet for community and leadership. I can only speak for myself, but I sense that my feelings are widely shared when I say that we have felt very betrayed by the lack of leadership from the bishops in general, with notable exceptions.
One of the symptoms of this abdication of leadership is the Winnipeg Statement, which essentially allowed for Catholic couples to decide whether or not contraception was acceptable for them.
We all know that that’s not Church teaching. The Church is fairly clear about this matter: all sexual acts must be open to life.
Anyone who knows anything about Catholicism knows this. But there has been quite a lot of prevaricating in the Church. The Winnipeg Statement has been a kind of portal for the contraceptive mentality in Canada, the guiding light of dissenting Catholics.
If contraception can be “up to the couples”, then any doctrine is open to question, in reality.
But now that the D & P scandal has come to light, the bishops are starting to throw their weight around. It’s okay to “trust one’s conscience” when it comes to contraception, but when it comes to questioning the bishops about their pet organization and the money being funnelled to abortion-promoting groups, well that’s not okay.
We’re not even questioning Church doctrine, here. We’re questioning certain behaviours, certain blindspots in the bishop’s judgement….