Christopher Ferrara on priestly obedience and bishop’s failings

Bishop Zurek’s power play against Father Pavone is a prime example of why the pro-life movement has yet to win a major victory in America: the Bishops are not behind it.  The closest they have come to unity of action in the public sphere is support for Obama’s “Dream Act”—a federal gift basket for illegal aliens. Their chanceries and seminaries riddled with modernists and homosexuals, the American bishops—of course there are noble exceptions—have betrayed the greatest civil rights movement of our time, just as they have betrayed the defense of Holy Matrimony by their cowardly failure to offer a serious and united opposition to “same-sex marriage” initiatives.

How is it that their demands for “obedience” so rarely  advance the cause of Gospel, but so often advance the Church’s surrender to modernity?

Yet the power of the Catholic episcopacy is not entirely dormant elsewhere. In 2008 one Catholic commentator noted the “seemingly miraculous transformation” of the Brazilian hierarchy, producing a “pro-life Pentecost” that has led the Brazilian bishops to adopt strategies that “are a lesson to the whole Catholic world,” including the direct confrontation of “pro-choice politicians,” the excommunication of doctors performing abortions, and a massive educational campaign depicting abortion  procedures in graphic detail, with the result that “Brazilian lay Catholics  are horrified by what they see, and are inspired to act against abortion.” The Brazilian bishops’ goal is not only to “stop new anti-life legislation, but to eliminate all exceptions in Brazil’s penal code regarding abortion.”

The same commentator asks:

“What effect would such an approach have if all of the Catholic bishops of the world were to imitate the Brazilian bishops, and declare war on abortion, euthanasia, and other offenses against human life?”

While the American population is only twenty-five percent Catholic, he notes, “[i]f this ‘sleeping giant’ were to awaken, galvanized by clear preaching and educational campaigns that clearly reveal the crime of abortion, how could any political party stand against it?” 

How indeed?

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