Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bishop D'Arcy to Fr. Jenkins: The Bishop is the Shepard of His Flock!

American Papist has some great commentary on the news that Bishop D'Arcy has published a response to Fr. Jenkins's recent defense of his decision to invite President Obama to Notre Dame despite the Bishop's judgement against the invitation.

Fr. Jenkins attempted to argue that the canon lawyers he consulted said his decision was in full conformity with "Catholics in Political Life," USCCB. But Bishop D'Arcy rightfully points out that conformity with Catholics in Political Life" is to be determined by the bishop of the diocese, i.e. Bishop D'Arcy.

This is a great day! Bishop D'Arcy has done a wonderful thing for his diocese and for the Church as a whole in reminding us that it is the bishop, no matter how imperfect, that stands in the shoes of Christ when it comes to the governance of His sheep, not universities, professors, theologians, canon lawyers or the laity.

We have been given a similar warning from St. Ignatius of Antioch, 50 A.D.-117 A.D., in his Epistle to the Ephesians: "He, therefore, that does not assemble with the Church, has even by this manifested his pride, and condemned himself. For it is written, God resists the proud. Let us be careful, then, not to set ourselves in opposition to the bishop, in order that we may be subject to God. " Id. at Chapter 5.

Moreover, we are taught to flee instruction from those who practice things unworthy of God, for example funding and supporting abortion: "For some are in the habit of carrying about the name [of Jesus Christ] in wicked guile, while yet they practise things unworthy of God, whom you must flee as you would wild beasts. For they are ravening dogs, who bite secretly, against whom you must be on your guard, inasmuch as they are men who can scarcely be cured. There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit; both made and not made; God existing in flesh; true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first passible and then impassible— even Jesus Christ our Lord." Id. at Chapter 7.

And who can be said to be "practising things unworthy of God"? Those who endorse abortion and those, who in defiance of the bishops, give these people intellectual cover and praise. We should no more deny the teaching authority of a bishop by dismissing it as partisan, than we would accuse Christ of being a Republican partisan because we disagree with His teaching: "It is manifest, therefore, that we should look upon the bishop even as we would upon the Lord Himself. " Id. at Chapter 6. Therefore, how can anyone, who is Catholic justify giving a platform, an honor and listen to President Barack Obama at Notre Dame as someone who is entitled to give instruction. Especially, when this is done in defiance of Bishop D'Arcy.

The short answer is you cannot.

P.S. St. Ignatius of Antioch's Epistles can be found at:

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