OUR REPORT/COMMENTARY ON THE BISHOPS’ MEETING
About 20 Catholics
gathered outside the Hyatt Regency to greet the cardinals, arch-bishops and
bishops as they boarded their buses to head to the Shrine for Mass.
We held up signs urging the bishops to: 1) protect the Eucharist from
sacrilege in their dioceses and 2) to admonish those wayward Catholic
politicians within their dioceses to be mindful of their immortal souls. This year, we were able to thank a few
bishops for being true shepherds: Bishop Sheridan, Archbishop Chaput, Archbishop Burke, Bishop Bruskewitz
and some others.
After the last bus rolled
away, some of us headed to the Shrine to attend that Mass.
We had heard that gay activists would be at that Mass to present
themselves for Communion while wearing rainbow sashes proclaiming their
aberrant beliefs (probably practices, too).
Read about their antics here. Sure enough, when we got there, we saw about
10 of them in the Shrine, wearing their sashes.
I understand that before we got there, Bishop Gregory publicly informed
them that the Eucharist would not be given to them. We were prepared to block them, should the
danger of sacrilege had arisen. Happily,
our intervention was not necessary, as those distributing the Eucharist did not
offer the sash-wearers Our Lord. After
Mass, we went outside the doors to distribute literature that explained the Magisterium’s instruction that public dissidents not be
offered Communion. We received mixed
responses. Most regrettable were those
in Roman collars who refused to hear the truth from us. However, we were pleased that those
distributing Communion did protect Our Lord’s Body and Blood and exercised the
Spiritual Work of Mercy known as “Admonishing the Sinner”.
A few words must be said
about some proceeds of the conference itself, as they do not bode well for the
Church. Firstly, Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane,
WA was elected president of the
USCCB. We must ask, “what on earth were
these bishops thinking when they elected him president?” Bishop Skylstad has
himself been an integral part of the clergy sex abuse scandal. Read here
to learn of one sordid example of how he botched up badly in this area. Is it any wonder that just two weeks prior to
his election, he announced that his diocese would enter into Chapter 11
bankruptcy? The moral bankruptcy of his
diocese literally caused the financial bankruptcy. Are the US bishops looking for such a
debacle to happen on a national scale?
Why, oh why, did they choose this man?
If that isn’t enough to make
the faithful Catholic realize Bishop Skylstad’s
complete unsuitabilty for this office, consider this
statement of his regarding the protection of the Eucharist, (taken from the
June 10 edition of the Inland Register and also found here)
"I strongly oppose using Eucharist as a weapon," he wrote. "As a
bishop, I believe we are called to persuade, not to bludgeon. ... We have
neither need nor call to take God's gifts ... and turn them into weapons of
divisiveness and anger." Now who
does he think is turning the Eucharist into a weapon of anger? Is it not rather the flagrantly disobedient
Catholic politician who does precisely that, when he/she approaches the
Eucharist with no regard for the Second Person of the Trinity, and His moral
demands upon our lives? Dear Bishop Skylstad, as a bishop, you have a solemn duty to admonish
strongly the errant Catholic, lest his/her soul be lost to hell and you be held
Apparently, the majority of
bishops adhered to that wishy-washy position of
leaving to the discretion of individual bishops whether or not Catholic
pro-abortion lawmakers should be denied Communion. Cardinal McCarrick
concurred with that misguided opinion with this lack-luster statement,
"The vast majority of bishops are in the center and the center is
holding," Cardinal McCarrick, what is so wonderful about being “in the
center”? Is it not more preferable to be
in alignment with Our Lord and the Magisterium of His
Church? Yes, we know, we know – if you
are truly faithful to the teaching of Rome
regarding this matter, you will not be “politically correct”, with all the
privileges of that dubious status. But
“if the world hates you, know that it hated (Our Lord) first” (from John
In another vote at the
bishops’ meeting, we saw yet one more harbinger of the lack of compliance with Rome. Bishop Donald Trautman
of Erie PA
was re-elected to the chairmanship of the Liturgy Committee. He held this post from 1992-1995. During that time, he promoted “inclusive
language” and other banal aberrations in open opposition to Rome. Read this
article to get a glimpse of his opinions of the efforts of Rome and good Catholics to restore reverence
to the Mass and other devotions. This link is from a
liberal, secular perspective; for that reason, it is quite illuminating – and
alarming. In light of this man’s
tarnished history regarding liturgical matters, we look askance upon the wisdom
of our shepherds in returning Bishop Trautman to a
post where he can resume his efforts to wreck havoc upon reverence. Could this vote possibly reflect the views of
the majority of the bishops regarding the role and dignity of the liturgy?
Now let’s look at what didn’t happen! Recall that when the Holy Father proclaimed
this a Year of the Eucharist, he said that the Vatican would make no special
initiatives pursuant to the Year of the Eucharist. Rather, he was leaving that up to the local
bishops. So what was done about
that? Did anyone hear of anything? The Catholic
World News heard of nothing. Neither
did we. The
Eucharist is the source and summit of our lives as Catholics. This is a year of the Eucharist. We just had a semi-annual meeting of the United States
bishops. Did our shepherds really, truly
do nothing to promote reverence for
and understanding of the Eucharist?
Sadly, it would appear to be the case.
In fact, the “majority of the center” will not decisively say that the
Eucharist must (note the word,
“must”, not “should”) be protected against sacrilege.
The proceeds from this
latest bishops’ meeting bode ill for the Church in the United States. That is why we must pray, frequent the
Sacraments and make our voices heard.
Perhaps the only voice that they’ll hear comes from our wallets and
checkbooks. Let them know that we’ll make that voice heard!