At what point does the Catholic duty of obedience to the local bishop cease?


Listening to bishops has never been easy – nor will it ever be. But obedience to our superiors is inscribed in the word of God: the Decalogue’s command to honor parents includes obedience as a necessary component. And closer to the current subject, the Letter to the Hebrews says “Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give an account.” (13:17)

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Editor’s note: This is one of those articles that deals with things – not as they really exist – but as they should be – so most everything contained in it tends towards the theoretical and academic.

When everyone (clerics and laity)  properly holds up their particular Catholic “end” of things – faithfully relying on Traditional, time-tested, Catholic philosophy, worship, sacraments, devotions and principles – then it will be a relatively simple matter to obey the bishop – since the choices the bishop makes will reflect the orderly state of an authentically faithful – and Catholic – world.  But once things have broken down – as they have in the post-Vatican II, world-wide Catholic Church – chaos – not Christ – reigns – and all bets are off!

May God have mercy on our souls.

Have you signed on to the Manhattan Declaration yet?

“We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm our right — and, more importantly, to embrace our obligation — to speak and act in defense of these truths. We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence… We recognize the duty to comply with laws whether we happen to like them or not, unless the laws are gravely unjust or require those subject to them to do something unjust or otherwise immoral… We will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriage or the equivalent or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.”

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A quick Summary (PDF)

Words of wisdom from Fr. Burke Masters


I had a very interesting conversation on the plane ride home last week from St. Paul, MN. I was sitting with two men having an interesting theological discussion. One of the men was a practicing Orthodox Jew and the other was an Evangelical Christian Sunday School teacher. The Jewish man and I were comparing our prayer books. He was very surprised that the Catholic breviary revolves around the 150 Psalms.

But the most interesting part of the conversation revolved around “truth”. The Jewish man said that his life revolved around obligation and duty. He was very familiar with the law of the Torah, which he prayed every day in his prayer book. He said that life was not about free will and choice, but about duty and following the law. And then he said that the highest form of living was living a “life of truth”, following the law faithfully and dutifully.

This made me think of this gospel reading today. Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” I shared with my new friend how I saw truth – it was personified in Jesus Christ. I shared with him that my life was motivated by following Jesus as the “truth”. He taught us that the highest form of living was living a “life of love”. My life was motivated by teaching the truth, but always in love. I shared with him that what gave my life fulfillment were the relationships in my life – with Jesus Christ and with others.

He really thought that was interesting – that we see Jesus as ‘truth’ personified and that love was our motivating factor in life. We learned a lot from each other on this trip. We both are seeking God with our whole being.

What motivates you? Jesus tells us that He is the way, the truth and the life. The way to the Father is through Him. And His way involves loving God and neighbor.

Have a blessed day!

Fr. Burke

Fr. Burke Masters is Vocations Director of the Diocese of Joliet. IL

Go Wichita! Save the Catholic Schools!

Go Wichita
Save the Catholic schools.
By William J. Bennett

One of the notable events of Pope Benedict’s recent visit to the United States was his address to Catholic educators.

While he focused most of his comments on the role of the Catholic University, he did not forget to remind us of the need to recommit to our Catholic elementary and secondary schools, “especially those in poorer areas.” And as President Bush is set to convene a summit on inner-city children and faith-based schools this week, it is worth reflecting on the decimation of America’s urban Catholic primary and secondary schools and what can be done about it.

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Submitted by Doria2