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Help My Unbelief

By Fr. Paul Mankowski, S.J. (articles ) | Jun 23, 2003

A Washington Times account reflects diverse perspectives on the bishops' accomplishments in the past year in dealing with the crisis:

Progress has been "nothing less than miraculous," said Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

As miracles go, this one seems pretty underwhelming. The article provides evidence that some are slow to believe:

Some defenders of the faith such as William Donohue of the Catholic League Against Discrimination remain critical of church leadership. "The church is in free-fall with no discipline for its leaders," he said.

Well, maybe the Catholic League is only pretending to be Catholic. Remember Bishop Gregory's address to the bishops during last November's meeting?

"Sadly, even among the baptized, there are those at extremes within the church who have chosen to exploit the vulnerability of the bishops in this moment to advance their own agendas. One cannot fail to hear in the distance -- and sometimes very nearby -- the call of the false prophet, 'let us strike the shepherd and scatter the flock.' We bishops need to recognize this call and to name it clearly for what it is."

And when the shepherd clobbers a sheep with his Buick and leaves him to die -- literally or metaphorically -- do we have a clear name for what that is? To put Bishop Gregory's quotation in its authentic (and apposite) context, perhaps a glance at Zechariah 11:15-17 is in order.

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