Not long ago, Bishop Robert McManus said that, "At the beginning of Lent, Pope Francis warned us that indifference to God and to neighbor is a real danger in the modern world. The Holy Father urged us to use Lent as a time of interior renewal to reject indifference toward others and to shun a dangerous withdrawal into ourselves. Love, he wrote, conquers indifference."
This is the same Bishop who ignores letters from faithful Catholics expressing concern over doctrinal dissent and liturgical abuse. The same Bishop who callously rescinded Robert Spencer's invitation to speak at the Catholic Men's Conference in Worcester. The same Bishop who has ignored my letters expressing interest in discerning a vocation to the ministerial priesthood. See here for example.
The same Bishop who laughed when I told him my "pastor" wouldn't allow me to have a Mass said for my departed father.
The same Bishop who had too much to drink one day, struck another vehicle, and simply took off- a hit and run as they call it- which resulted in his arrest.
Indifference to God and neighbor IS a real danger in the "modern world."
If only the Bishop could pay more than lip service to this truth. Maybe more of the clerics who serve under him would also catch on.
In his Encyclical Letter Caritas In Veritate, Pope Benedict XVI wrote, Charity is at the heart of the Church's social doctrine. Every responsibility and every commitment spelt out by that doctrine is derived from charity which, according to the teaching of Jesus, is the synthesis of the entire Law (cf. Mt 22:36- 40). It gives real substance to the personal relationship with God and with neighbour; it is the principle not only of micro-relationships (with friends, with family members or within small groups) but also of macro-relationships (social, economic and political ones). For the Church, instructed by the Gospel, charity is everything because, as Saint John teaches (cf. 1 Jn 4:8, 16) and as I recalled in my first Encyclical Letter, “God is love” (Deus Caritas Est): everything has its origin in God's love, everything is shaped by it, everything is directed towards it. Love is God's greatest gift to humanity, it is his promise and our hope."
The Worcester Diocese is not thriving. In fact, it is gradually disintegrating. Parishes are closing. Many are deserting the Church. They sense the lack of commitment toward authentic charity. Many just don't feel welcome.
The Diocese of Worcester is betraying love. It operates as more of a private clique where a few individuals determine who is welcome at the table and who is not. Who gets the sacraments and who does not. Who gets to apply for the priesthood and who doesn't. Who may participate in the life of a parish and who may not.
Saint Gregory the Great said that, "The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it works great things. But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist."
Related reading: A deacon who sows hatred.