Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Can the Laity Save The Church? Or Will The Laity Destroy The Church?

Everything would have been so much easier if Jesus Christ had not given the Church to sinful human beings. I mean, c'mon Jesus! Peter was one of your weakest followers, always acting big and important, but betraying you and slinking away like the coward he was when you needed him most.

And yet Peter is the one upon whom you built your Church!

Jesus, what were you thinking?!

Why didn't you pick your sinless Mother to lead the Church? She would never steer us wrong. Or you could have even chose John, who unlike the others, at least stayed with you and your Mother through your crucifixion.

But no, you have to choose the very weakest to be our earthly leader. And then you actually command us to submit to his authority. In fact, you said that unless we submit to Peter's authority, we cannot belong to your Church.

But now things are really messed up, Jesus. The bishops, the ones we trusted the most, have completely betrayed us. They allowed wicked priests to literally prey upon the weakest and most innocent among us. These priests and bishops used the authority you gave them as a weapon against us.

Instead of looking out and protecting their flocks as a good shepherd does, they protected each other and threw the flock to the wolves. We can't trust these bishops anymore.  How can you possibly expect us to submit to their authority?

This is how many in the Church feel right now, and understandably so.  Many of our bishops have seemingly turned to Judas Iscariot right before our eyes.  

And now some in the Church are proposing that the laity be given oversight over our bishops.  From an article by National Catholic Reporter entitled, "Prominent Catholics see larger role for laity in church's abuse response":
An independent lay-run board that would hold bishops accountable for their actions, a national day for Mass or prayers of reparation, and encouragement to parishioners to become more involved in their diocese are among steps suggested by prominent lay Catholics to right the U.S. church as it deals with a new clergy sexual abuse scandal.

Those contacted by Catholic News Service said that it was time for laypeople to boost their profile within the church and help begin to dismantle long-standing clericalism that has sought to preserve the reputation of offending clergy at the expense of the safety of children.
On its face, this sounds like a really good idea.  The bishops have betrayed the laity, so it is now time for the laity to do something about it.  We need to make the bishops accountable to the laity.

There is only one problem with this.  It would destroy the Church.

As I have written many times, Our Lord made it very plain that all human authority in the Church comes through the Pope.  It doesn't matter if Judas Iscariot himself were sitting in the Chair of Peter. Peter is really no more than a conduit for the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit honors the Papacy no matter who is humanly occupying it.

This is the reason for our survival.

The Catholic Church has survived for 2000 plus years despite deadly attacks from both inside and outside the Church all throughout our history.

By all human standards, the Church should have disappeared into the dustbin of history almost from the beginning.  There is no logical reason for the continued existence of the Catholic Church for over 2000 years.  No other church has ever come even close to this.

But no other church has been governed and protected by the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit does this by centralizing all authority and power in the Chair of Peter.

All bishops receive their authority through their communion with Peter.  They must answer to him, and if they break their communion with Peter, they lose their authority.

If we give oversight of the bishops to the laity, we are taking the authority governing the bishops away from Peter, and subsequently, from the Holy Spirit.  Yes, the laity is a priesthood of believers, but that is talking about our role in evangelizing.  This has NOTHING to do with authority in the Church.

Satan's goal is to destroy the Church.  He doesn't care how he does it.  It might be through wicked evil men who prey upon the weak.  Or it might be through "solid upstanding lay members" who believe they know better than Church authority.  Either way, the result is the same:  the destruction of the Church.

From the NCR article:
"Their credibility is gone and the trust of the faithful is gone," Francesco Cesareo, chairman of the National Review Board, said of the U.S. bishops as they worked to develop steps to promote greater accountability on abuse.
The National Review Board, established by the bishops in 2002, oversees compliance by dioceses with the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People." It has no role in oversight of bishops.
"The bishops have to put their trust in lay leadership and allow that lay leadership to develop the processes and oversight when these kinds of allegations occur, particularly holding bishops accountable," Cesareo said. 
Already we can see the corruption of power here.  First this Board is given oversight to ensure compliance by dioceses.  Now they want to extend their reach to include the bishops.

This is the laity trying to do the Pope's work.

I am sure Mr. Cesareo is a very sincere man who believes he is trying to serve his Church, but the truth is, he is serving the devil with this statement.

The bishops, together with the Pope, are the Magesterium of the Church. And the laity have never been given authority over the Magesterium. That is the job of the Holy Spirit.  Anything else is of the devil.

From the article:
Cesareo was not alone in calling for a separate body to be established to handle accusations of abuse involving bishops. While details varied, the basic premise envisions that such a board would review abuse allegations or complaints of improper handling of an abuse claim by any bishop.
Just such a body has been sought since 2002, when the abuse scandal arose in the Archdiocese of Boston, by the church reform group Voice of the Faithful, said Donna Doucette, executive director.
"Having accountability from the bishops is absolutely the key. It is not possible for the bishops to police themselves. We as an organization believe that there must be an independent lay-led and dominated board," Doucette told CNS.
"It's heartening that finally after all these years, and we hope it's more than just verbiage, that the very things that the bishops attacked us for saying, they're saying it now," she added.
Ms. Docucette is absolutely correct.  It is not possible for the bishops to police themselves.  But the answer is not to put the laity in charge of the bishops.  It is the Pope who gives the bishops their authority and the Holy Father is the one to whom they must answer.  The laity has never been given authority over the bishops, and the laity will never have authority over the bishops in the Church founded by Jesus Christ.

There is little doubt that the epicenter of the schism in the Church is the United States.  Just as the attacks against the Pope come almost exclusively from the United States, it is the United States which wants to take away the Pope's authority over the bishops.  I am sure these people do not see it this way, but that is the ultimate consequence of their proposals.

The following is very disturbing to me.  I don't believe it is a coincidence that Cardinal DiNardo is calling for "substantial involvement of the laity" and at the same time, wants to pursue Vigano's allegations while not expressing any support whatsoever for Pope Francis :
Prior to Cesareo's comments, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB president, called for laypeople to take a greater role in addressing the "moral catastrophe" of the latest abuse scandal.
He said Aug. 16 that the "substantial involvement of the laity" from law enforcement, psychology and other disciplines will be essential to the process of developing a comprehensive plan that was expected to be presented at the bishops' fall general assembly in November in Baltimore.
F. DeKarlos Blackmon, secretariat director of life, charity and justice in the Diocese of Austin, Texas, urged laypeople to "step up and speak up" to address the catastrophe described by DiNardo.
He called on the bishops to heed the advice of laity in areas in which the bishops may not have expertise, particularly when investigating abuse claims.
"We as laity need to be able to walk with the leadership. Pope Benedict stated the church can never be without the dedicated laity. I think it's really important that we keep that in mind. We have a place at the table," said Blackmon, an adviser to the bishops' Subcommittee on African American Affairs.
Teresa Tomeo, host of a syndicated radio talk show, said it is the laity's job to convince the bishops that more oversight of their actions is good for the church.
She suggested that the new scandal will "wake up a sleeping giant" as laypeople "respectfully and lovingly" address the bishops about the issue of clergy sexual abuse and help set a new course for the church.
"We need to come together as a group and ... work with the hierarchy to come up with the steps that need to be made," Tomeo said. "We need to stay, pray and get organized and be willing to make a difference for the sake of the church."
Is the laity the "sleeping giant" that has been stirred awake, or is it something else?  Tomeo is talking about usurping the Pope's authority.

The words "respectfully and lovingly" are meaningless.  A coup is a coup.  Indeed, a rose by any other name . . .

I have always had very high respect for Elizabeth Scalia, but she has completely lost it here:
By working together, laypeople can "help church officials catch up with the laity" in addressing sexual abuse, said Elizabeth Scalia, who blogs at The Anchoress.
By working together, laypeople can "help church officials catch up with the laity" in addressing sexual abuse, said Elizabeth Scalia, who blogs at The Anchoress.
"If we want to remain a eucharistic church, we're going to have to help shape the leaders. We have to help them bring about a churchwide metanoia," she said.
Does Scalia really believe that it is up to the laity to "shape the leaders"?!?  Does she really believe that the survival of the Church depends on the actions of the laity??  This goes against both scripture and Church doctrine.
Scalia urged Catholics "to become really, really noisy" and begin writing "firm but respectful" letters to their bishop about their concerns. She said a presence or vigil outside of bishops' residences also may be fruitful.
"There's no reason not to go get a little protest group outside the bishop's residence and say, 'Bishop, we're going to stay here and pray our rosary until you come out and talk with us,'" Scalia told CNS.
Scalia believes that we need to publicly protest outside of a bishop's residence?  Scalia "softens" the protest by praying the rosary, but the purpose of this is not the rosary but to protest.  Does she really believe that this is the way of Jesus Christ?  Does she believe this will be honored by the Blessed Mother?

Sorry Elizabeth, but you could not be more wrong. You are not on the side of the angels, or at least not the good angels.

Both Scalia and Tomeo start making demands of the bishops, basically giving them penance for their sins and saying this is the only way they will believe the bishops are truly repentant.
As a cornerstone of Catholic life, prayer can begin to set the proper tone for action and repentance, Tomeo and Scalia said. Both called in addition for a nationwide day of Masses or holy hours for reparation.
"The priest or bishop can lay prostrate before the Blessed Sacrament to ask for forgiveness," Scalia proposed, hoping for more than a one-time "theatrical performance."
Scalia must believe that she is now in charge of the Church and can usurp the authority of the Pope by giving orders to the Magesterium:
The blogger advocated for additional steps as well in calling on bishops to "put some actions behind their words" by, for example, selling their residence and using the proceeds for the benefit of abuse survivors.
"You can give me all those words, but until you put actions behind that, I can't judge the reality of that. It needs to be an impressive action," she added.

The Catholic Church is not a democracy. The authority in the Catholic Church comes from one source: the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit works through one man: the Pope.

That is not to say that the laity should just shut up and let the hierachy run wild. But that is another problem, which Pope Francis has been addressing for the entirety of his papacy:  clericalism.

The bishops need to be told that they are not the high and mighty here to be served by the laity.  They are the servants of the laity.  The bishops are to spiritually get down on their knees and wash our feet. They are to give their lives for us.  And of course, the Pope is the servant of the servants.

But the Holy Spirit does not work through the laity to punish bad bishops.  We are not the judge and jury of the Magesterium.  That is the job of the Holy Spirit.

There is another article which is also proposing lay oversight of the bishops.  This is also from National Catholic Reporter entitled, "Amid abuse crisis, sisters call for healing, changes to church structure."  

From the article:
As revelations of the scope of sexual abuse and infighting among church leadership continue to shake the Catholic world, women religious say they can be the key to structural changes in the church as well as the healing the church and churchgoers alike need.
Sisters say solutions include giving women religious and laypeople authority in sexual abuse cases so the decision-makers are outside the power structure that in the past has protected abusers instead of victims; putting women religious in positions of authority within the church to end a climate of clericalism; and including more women religious in the vocation process for priests.
Not all of the Sisters mentioned in this article are pushing for women priests, but they nonetheless are calling for change in the power structure of the Church:
[Holy Cross Sr. Sharlet Wagner, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious] said women religious should be a part of any commission the church sets up.
"Women religious have a certain credibility that they could bring to the commission," she said. "Women religious are intimately involved in the church, have a deep love of the church, have committed our lives to the church, but we are not part of the hierarchal institution. I believe women hear stories of abuse in a different way, so the commission certainly needs women and needs women religious."
It is unclear what, if any, authority such a commission would have, another example of how change must include examining the existing power structure of the church, said St. Joseph Sr. Amy Hereford, a civil attorney and a canon lawyer.
"Currently, the local bishop is the chief legislator, chief judge and the chief executive of the diocese," Hereford said. "Expanding participation in this power structure will be critical for any change."
. . .
[Tim Lennon, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests] said he is unsure what role, if any, sisters could play in changing policies to prevent abuse.
"We have no faith or trust in the church protecting children or telling the truth. We want the church out of the process entirely. We want civil society to investigate," Lennon said. "We are calling on the U.S. Department of Justice for a third time to conduct a national investigation, and we're calling on all of our network to write to their attorneys general to demand, implore or beg to have a grand jury investigation in their state."
As you can see, the attacks coming from within the Church are coming from both the "conservatives" and the "liberals." Satan is not an ideologue. He doesn't care who does his work or how.  He just wants to see the destruction of the Church.  The destroyer will take it any way he can get it.  And these people mentioned in the article, no matter how good their intentions, seem intent on remaking the Church, which would destroy her.

The attacks against the Church are coming fast and furious. In addition, all of these attacks are coming from within the Church and are centered in the United States. I am truly concerned about the future of the Catholic Church in the United States.

The old cliche is that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. There is no doubt that if the laity were to start overseeing the bishops, eventually it would be the laity who would be deciding which bishops stay and which go. The bishops would no longer be answerable to the Pope, but to the laity. There can be little doubt that the laity would soon want to elect our bishops just as the Episcopal Church does, and fire these same bishops when they don't measure up to our standards.

As I keep repeating, we are living in very evil times. Test the spirits. One sure test for anyone is how they view the Papacy. Do they see the Pope as just another fallible man who must be opposed when he does something wrong? Or do they recognize the Divine Authority that backs up the Papacy?

There is no Church without Peter.


  1. Catholic in Brooklyn, go to the following URL:


    By the way, Michael Voris recently called Teresa Tomeo a "hypocrite." If you don't believe me, go to the following URL:


    1. I saw that article about the pontifical secret. The guy who wrote it is Father Michael X. Hard to take that serious. Anyway, the article does admit that Viganò did break his oath regarding the pontifical secret, but Father “X” feels the ends justifies the means. Wow.

      I can believe that Voris doesn’t like Tomeo. She is not a rad trad. I personally never liked her but it was just me, nothing substantive. She just came off as phony to me.

      I am surprised at Elizabeth Scalia. I thougt she was better grounded than that.

  2. *sigh*


  3. https://www.churchmilitant.com/video/episode/vortex-business-as-usual


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