If Saint Peter or Saint Paul came down from heaven and asked you to change something about your life would you do it? If they asked you to stop wearing makeup, or to dress in black, would you really mind? What if they asked you to do something really silly, like wear a pink tutu, would you do it?
I think the issue here is trust. Do you really have the trust in the apostles to know that they have your best interest at heart, even if it doesn’t make sense? Obviously, if they ask you to do something that is clearly immoral, that is an issue, but if it isn’t, wouldn’t you trust them? I mean, after all, they are apostles, the very leaders chosen by Christ right? Would you accept their leadership?
I think we often forget that we have apostles here, now. Christ has carefully appointed men to lead his flock, and they deserve the same amount of trust that the first apostles did. I’m not saying that they are perfect men, they are not. All of them have made mistakes, some of them very serious. But let’s be honest, so have you.
I fully realize that the clergy has been given a bad name in America. I know some of them made serious errors, and they should be held accountable for that. That is not however the norm, far from it. Nearly all of our bishops throughout the world are deeply faithful men committed to the well being of the People of God. Why would we not trust them?
There is one bishop I would especially point out. He is truly a great man, and has sacrificed his life for the Church. He has remained faithful through great hardships, even though he is constantly under fire from the media. His name is Benedict the XVI.
I am amazed at how many Catholics really just don’t pay attention to him at all. It truly frightens me. They seem to feel he is some kind of staunch, mean old man trying to tell them what to do. Here is a man totally dedicated to the health and well being of every person on earth, given the shoes of St. Peter for that very purpose, and people just want to ignore him like he is yesterday’s news.
I won’t lie, I just don’t understand it. From a non Catholic, I get it, they don’t really understand what is going on, but a Catholic should know better.
If the Pope says abortion is a bad idea, then how can any true Catholic pretend it’s great? If the Pope has made it clear that birth control is a bad idea, then why do women continue to pump their bodies full of chemicals? I get so confused over this. This is the Pope of “every man”, the pope that loves and cares for the poor, the Pope desperately trying to defend the world against the pervasive evils in our culture, and we treat him like old meat.
And then there are our bishops. The men called by God to be our own personal Shepherd. It used to be that every good Catholic would have a picture of the Holy Father and their bishop in their home, right next to their family photos. Now we don’t even think of them unless our kids or grand kids are getting confirmed. Very few take the time to read his pastoral letters, few seem to care about his advice to the diocese that he is called to head.
He is your bishop. How can he truly be of service if he is ignored? For God’s sake, pay a little attention. Even many clergy seem to refer to their ordinaries with indifference. I know they are just men, but they are your men. I just don’t get it.
If any bishops have graced my pages with your presence, know that there are many who love you and pray every day for the work you do. Do not be afraid to be bold and shepherd us ever closer to Christ. We want and respect bold men. Be the fathers that you are called to be, and know that even though the tide of culture may flow against you, that the faithful are proud to have at their helm a Catholic bishop.