Friday, January 29, 2010

Liberal Bishop Robustly Confronted by French Parishioners

I am a recent convert to the Catholic Church, an escapee from the moral relativism and grossly distorted gospel message that is being presented by today's U.S. Episcopal Church. It has been my happy experience to enter a Church that I find to be solidly orthodox among all the clergy and leaders I have encountered. Nevertheless, even an institution that is simultaneously human and divine, as I believe the Catholic Church is, has a few all-too human leaders who sometimes stumble into the same moral relativism that is proclaimed by the Episcopal Church. It would be unreasonable to expect that every Catholic priest and bishop would always avoid heresy. Our reasonable hope lies is in the ability of the Church to continually be on guard against such teachings and to correct its priests and bishops when they stray from Truth. Beyond that, we all, as Catholic Christians, must challenge even clergy and bishops if they refuse to follow the teachings and directions of the Holy Father and the doctrinal statements on faith and morals that have been proclaimed by the Church through history. To paraphrase G. K. Chesterton, the Church is a messenger who rigorously transmits rather than edits the message with which it has been entrusted. When a messenger tampers with the message, it is up to all of us to voice our objections.

Below is a video of a French Bishop, wearing rather flamboyant rainbow vestments, arriving at a church in Thiberville, France, to announce the replacement of a long time, much-beloved parish priest whose "crimes" have been to occasionally use the extraordinary form of the Mass and to adhere to the teachings of the Church and the Holy Father. While some may find the disrespect shown this bishop by the church parishioners to be disturbing, we may also remember that many of the saints we revere as doctors of the church were not always polite by modern standards when confronting heresy.

I am happy to pass along this report that the Apostolic nuncio for France, Archbishop Luigi Ventura, subsequently met with this bishop and that the pastor of church in Thiberville has been restored to his position. We give thanks To God for the oversight that the Vatican provides to the Church around the world.

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