Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Episcopal Foolableness in the West

In canada, Prime Minister Paul Martin wants to have his cake and eat it to. He's pushed Canada's "gay marriage" bill successfully through parliment. He also wants everyone to know what a "faithful" Catholic he is. The trouble is that his bishop, Ottawa Archbishop Marcel Gervais, appears to agree with him. Lifesite news has the story.

Behold the tragically typical pastoral approach taken by too many Western Bishops: pointed out that "Prior to this incident the media has often referred to Mr. Martin as a 'devout Catholic' which Bishop Henry told his flock required correction. He explained further that "However, this incident goes further in that it is Mr. Martin himself claiming to be a 'very strong Catholic' while at the same time pressing for gay marriage."'s request for comment from Gervais ended by noting "This is giving a very confusing message to Catholics and worse for non-Catholics in Canada and the world who are misled in their beliefs about Catholicism and the Catholic Church."

Archbishop Marcel GervaisIn response, Gilles Ouellette the Director of Communications for Archbishop Gervais wrote, "The Archbishop has asked me to inform you that his position on this topic remains unchanged and that he stands by his previous comments on the issue."

Those previous comments sent to via Mr. Ouellete on March 23, 2005 had the Archbishop saying about the Prime Minister "To me he is also a faithful member of my cathedral parish." The Archbishop's comments concluded, "While I do not agree either with his argument or his conclusion on same sex marriage, I do not think, at this time, his position merits refusing him communion."

Contrast Archbishop Gervais' shameful enabling of Mr. Matin's dis-membering of Christ with these Bishops' bold and prophetic calling out of Mr. Mugabe's violations of Catholic Social Teaching:

Now, almost four weeks after the event, countless numbers of men, women with babies, children of school age, the old and the sick, continue to sleep in the open air at winter temperatures near to freezing. These people urgently need shelter, food, clothing, medicines, etc. Any claim to justify this operation in view of a desired orderly end becomes totally groundless in view of the cruel and inhumane means that have been used. People have a right to shelter and that has been deliberately destroyed in this operation without much warning. While we all desire orderliness, alternative accommodation and sources of income should have been identified and provided before the demolitions and stoppage of informal trading. We condemn the gross injustice done to the poor.

Sometimes the best pastoral approach is complete and blunt honesty. Mr. Mugabe abuses Christ's body to the point of gravely imperiling his own soul. He brings untold amounts of suffering and societal destruction on his own countrymen. Could any less than a bold proclaimation of his condemnable behavior suffice? While Mr. Martin has not actively ravaged his people in the same way, he has certainly sown the seeds of his country's destruction. His policies enable many people to remain in a state of grave sin. His support of "gay marriage" mocks Catholic teaching on the sanctity of marriage, which itself supports the cellular level of all society, the family. He can't claim that he is following Christ when Christ's voice on earth, the magisterium and deposit of Faith held by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, has condemned what he praises. Archbishop amy believe he is acting in the spirit of Christian compassion by not challenging Mr. Martin. What he's doing is ensuring the Prime Minister's spiritual ruin and aiding Canada's destruction.

Only in Christ are Christians truly a force that can evangelize the world. Only in Christ do all receive the salvation that restores them to Truth and Love. When Christians break from Christ, they can't pretend to be a part of him and still expect to fulfill his mission. We Catholics depend on our shepards in the Episcopacy and the Presbyterium to remind us when we have strained or broken our relationship with our savior. We deserve their honesty, not pastorally correct nicieties. Christ, the world and ourselves deserve better than that.