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dumb dogs and unseasonable silence

By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 07, 2008

An OTR reader tipped us off to this homily preached by Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis at the ordination of James Vann Johnston as bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. The best part is Burke's admonition to the bishop-elect:

May the cathedra or bishop's seat, which gives the name to the chief and mother church of every diocese, symbolize for you and all of the faithful your fundamental responsibility to teach the faith and to safeguard the integrity of the faith and of its practice. As chief teacher of the faith, guide and direct all who are catechists, so that the greatest treasure which is ours may be handed on faithfully, in all its richness, to succeeding generations. Recall the wise counsel of Saint Paul to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:1-5), and the admonition of Saint Gregory the Great, inspired by his reading of the prophet Isaiah and the Parable of the Good Shepherd:
The ruler should be discreet in keeping silence and profitable in speech, lest he utter what should be kept secret, or keep secret what should be uttered. For just as incautious speech leads men into error, so, too, unseasonable silence leaves in error those who might have been instructed. Often, indeed, incautious rulers, being afraid of losing human favor, fear to speak freely of what is right, and, in the words of the truth, do not exercise the zeal of shepherds caring for the flock, but serve the role of mercenaries; for when the wolf appears, they flee and hide themselves in silence. Wherefore, the Lord reproves them through the prophet, saying: They are all dumb dogs, not able to bark.
By your tireless care to be a loyal and selfless teacher of the faith, you will draw all to Him Whose glorious pierced Heart never ceases to pour out upon souls the truth and love of God the Father.


"When the wolf appears, they flee and hide themselves in silence." Perhaps Pope Gregory wouldn't have been so stern had he lived in the 1960s when, as you remember, it was discovered that wolves are vegetarians.

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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Apr. 08, 2008 11:44 AM ET USA

    Wolves are vegetarians? This new breed must be an UN/EU species of wolf.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 07, 2008 9:55 AM ET USA

    I have personally seen a pure blood wolf devour the carcass of a caribou. Deo Gratias.

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