Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Bishop Robert J. McManus has personally approved dissident theologian Elizabeth Dreyer to speak at the 2011 "Gather Us In" Conference?

Pope John Paul II, in his book entitled "Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way," in a chapter entitled simply "The Shepherd," writes, "Christian tradition has adopted the biblical image of the shepherd in three forms: as the one who carries the lost sheep on his shoulders, as the one who leads his flocks to green pastures, and as the one who gathers his sheep with his staff and protects them from danger

In all three images there is a recurring theme: The shepherd is for the sheep, not the sheep for the shepherd.  He is bound so closely to them, if he is a real shepherd, that he is ready to lay down his life for the sheep (John 10:11).  Every year during the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth week of Ordinary Time, the Liturgy of the Hours presents Saint Augustine's long sermon 'On the Shepherds.'  With reference to the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel, the bishop of Hippo strongly rebukes evil shepherds, who are concerned not for the sheep but only for themselves.  'Let us see how the word of God, that flatters no one, addresses the shepherds who are feeding themselves, not the sheep.  'You take the milk, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed my sheep.  The weak you have not strenghtened, the sick you have not healed, the crippled you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought; any strong one you have killed; and my sheep are scattered because there is no shepherd.'" (pp. 63-64).

And in the chapter entitled "Courageous in Faith," the Holy Father, citing Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski, writes, "'The bishop has the duty to serve not only through his words and through the liturgy, but also through offering up his sufferings.'  Cardinal Wyszynski returned to these thoughts again on another occasion: 'Lack of courage in a bishop is the beginning of disaster.  Can he still be an apostle?  Witnessing to the Truth is essential for an apostle.  And this always demands courage.'  These words are also his: 'The greatest weakness in an apostle is fear.  What gives rise to fear is lack of confidence in the power of the Lord; this is what oppresses the heart and tightens the throat.  The apostle then ceases to offer witness.  Does he remain an apostle?  The disciples who abandoned the Master increased the courage of the executioners.  Silence in the presence of the enemies of a cause encourages them.  Fear in an apostle is the principal ally of the enemies of the cause'...Truly, there can be no turning one's back upon the truth, ceasing to proclaim it, hiding it, even if it is a hard truth that can only be revealed at the cost of great suffering.  'You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free' (John 8:32): this is our duty and our source of strength!  Here there is no room for compromise nor for an opportunistic recourse to human diplomacy.  We have to bear witness to the truth, even at the cost of persecutions, even to the shedding of our blood, like Christ Himself..." (pp. 190-191).

Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz (God love him) has displayed the courage of a real shepherd.  Back in 1996, His Excellency warned that membership in certain dissenting groups "is always perilous to the Catholic Faith and most often is totally incompatible with the Catholic Faith."  See here.

It would appear that the Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, lacks this same courage.  I say this because according to Susan W. Bailey of the Diocese's "Commission for Women," all of the speakers for the Commission's 2011 "Gather Us In" Conference "were vetted and approved of by Bishop McManus."  See the comments at this thread of the Commission's Blog here.

This would have to include Elizabeth Dreyer, who has agitated for a long time in support of women's ordination   The same radical feminist theologian who has asserted that "There's a lot of misogyny and oppression" in the Catholic Church.  See here.

This represents a real prayer need.  Pray for the Bishop of Worcester, His Excellency The Most Rev. Robert J. McManus.  That he may have the courage to speak out against such dissent and the fortitude to insist that those who dissent from the mind of Christ will not be permitted to speak at Catholic functions within his diocese.


ACatholicinClinton said...

The Bishop personally vetted and approved of Dreyer? That is a positively scary thought. It doesn't bode well for our diocese - which is already having so many problems.

God help us!

Rory McGinn said...

Papal nucio.

Also: Bring a tape recorder and then post a transcript. Putting something embarrassing out on the internet has a wonderful effect sometimes.

Stewart said...

The diocese of worcester is out of control. The CFP is just as bad as the commission for women.

Ann Duclos said...

When I left my comment at the Commission for Women weblog, I never thought I would be told that the Bishop personally approved this angry dissident radical feminist to speak at the CFW conference. I guess he also approved of Paula D'Arcy and Joyce Rupp then. And that thought really concerns me as well.

Amanda said...

Two tornados touched down in Massachusetts today. Springfield has had much damage. I don't think God is very happy with us. This is unprecedented.

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