Well, Rome has finally let the other foot drop on the neck of the Social Justice Donkey. Here is the excellent coverage from LSN.
Let’s pick out some of the juicy parts and chow down:
“The Church’s charitable activity at all levels must avoid the risk of becoming just another form of organized social assistance,” Pope Benedict wrote.
Amen to that!
“To the extent that such activities are promoted by the hierarchy…there is a need to ensure that they are managed in conformity with the demands of the Church’s teaching and the intentions of the faithful.”
How the Canadian bishops can chastize and ban pro-life Catholics from their annual meetings in light of such a rebuke is beyond the realm of comprehension. But if we are all honest, this scandal has as much to do with the bishops and their gross negligence as it does the official “Catholic” “development” and “aid” agencies. And eveyone knows it too.
“The collective charitable initiatives to which this Motu Proprio refers,” the pope wrote, “are required to follow Catholic principles in their activity. It is ultimately up to the bishops, he said, to ensure that the staff of such agencies believe or “at least respect” Catholic teaching on all matters, and that the works undertaken are not to the “detriment of their activity and effectiveness with regard to their stated goals…”
The mere fact that the Pope actually has to state this shows you just how pathetic the Church’s leadership has been in preserving the Faith for the past 40 years. This ecumenical-turned-secular soup that we’ve eating has been absolutely lethal to the Church’s identity and witness.
In those groups where this has ceased to be the case, the pope decreed that the local bishop “is obliged,” to inform his flock that “the activity of a particular charitable agency is no longer being carried out in conformity with the Church’s teaching,” and to “prohibit that agency from using the name ‘Catholic’.”
From your pen, dear Holy Father, to God’s ear and then to His thunderbolt down on the heads of every single bishop in this country.
Just when, precisely, can we expect the bishops of Canada to actually OBEY? Because until now, it has sure looked like they think that we should obey them, while they they have paid little more than the proverbial lip-service to the See of Rome. How precisely is that calculus supposed to work?
Lay Catholics are obligated to obey their local Ordinary, but then the local Ordinary is mandated to obey the Holy Father. Lay Catholics have a right to pure and unpolluted doctrine, respect for human life, and authentic human development – not only in theory but in discipline and practice.
The parallel (and disobedient) magisterium that these national conference of bishops have created for themselves these past forty years had better tow the line and clamp down on their fraudulent social justice agencies. In Canada, that means Development & Peace. Something tells me that Benedict is no fool and he’ll make the necessary moves to ensure bishops preserve Catholic teaching or face the consequences.
Lay Catholics are obligated to follow ONLY those bishops in communion with and in obedience to the Holy Father. We’ll be watching very closely to see if the Holy Father’s will is implemented in the coming weeks and months, and if it’s not, we’ll press Rome to be true to their word and carry through with canonical sanction and even removal of bishops who want to continue the perpetual game of deferral, denial, and dissent.
We’re all gonna find out in relatively short order if the Church really believes in upholding the sanctity of human life or if it’s just some paper doctrine with no teeth. It’s finally High Noon for the Church and for Social Justice.
The pope wrote, “I establish and decree…” that the bishops ensure that Catholic charities “avoid the proliferation of charitable initiatives to the detriment of their activity and effectiveness with regard to their stated goals”. They must also see to it that “the norms of the Church’s universal and particular law are respected, as well as the intentions of the faithful who made donations or bequests for these specific purposes.”
“I establish and decree” – My gosh, isn’t that music to your ears? It’s so magnificent and magisterial!
“…as well as the intentions of the faithful who made donations or bequests for these specific purposes.” – Yeah, or in other words, “stop ripping off Catholics who donate, thinking their money is NOT going to push for abortion or anti-Catholic activities.”
Moreover, the pope wrote, the Bishop must also ensure that the salaries paid to staff, including those in leadership positions, offer “a testimony of Christian simplicity of life” and are “in due proportion to analogous expenses of his diocesan Curia”.
Does that mean the $120-160K that the top dog at D&P makes? My goodness, what is Benedict doing to the professionalism in the Church!?!?!
At that time, Robert Cardinal Sarah, the head of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum that oversees the Church’s charities, warned of a “silent apostasy” within the world of Catholic charities. Cardinal Sarah anticipated today’s papal letter when he told Caritas, “Today, dear friends, the tragedy of modern mankind is not lacking clothing and housing. The most tragic hunger and the most terrible anguish is not lack of food. It’s much more about the absence of God and the lack of true love, the love that was revealed to us on the Cross.”
Silent apostasy. That’s exactly right and it’s time that the Canadian bishops start getting honest with themselves and with us.
It’s time that they cut bait because apparently neither us nor Benedict are biting.