just before bedtime

By Diogenes (articles ) | Dec 04, 2004

Progress has been "nothing less than miraculous," said Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. -- news item, June 2003

Mommy, why do we go to church?

Because, Melissa, we believe God raised his Son Jesus from the dead.

Well, how do we know it's true?

The apostles saw it, and they told bishops who told other bishops who told us.

But didn't Bishop Michael lie to Mrs. Schafer when she asked if Fr. Jeff molested Rickey?

Yes ...

And didn't he lie about whether he knew Father Jeff had molested boys back at St. Polycarp's?

Well, yes, he did.

And Bishop Michael didn't tell the truth, did he, about the real reason he sent Fr. Jeff to Queen of Martyrs? Or about the stuff he had heard from other people? Or about whether he told Mrs. Schafer not to say anything?

I'm afraid he did not.

Does Rickey believe God raised Jesus from the dead?

Well, no, not any more.

Why not?

He stopped believing in God because Bishop Michael told his mother he was safe when he wasn't.

Are all bishops liars?

Of course not. You should be ashamed to ask such a thing.

Well, did the good bishops visit Rickey and tell him that Bishop Michael was a bad bishop and he should believe in God anyway?

I really don't think they did, no.

But how couldn't they? Don't the good bishops think it's important that Rickey believes in God?

I'm sure they do, honey, but Bishop Michael is just --

Wait. You said we only believe in Jesus because we believe the bishops are telling the truth about him. But Rickey doesn't believe because of Bishop Michael's lies. And the other bishops don't think it matters if Rickey comes to church, or else they'd throw Bishop Michael out or at least tell Rickey they know he was lying all along. So if it doesn't matter to bishops whether another bishop made a whole bunch of stuff up, why do we think they're not telling a fib about Jesus?

Oh dear. It's all so com- ... the bishops ... I don't have a clear ... Go ask your father!

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  • Posted by: - Dec. 09, 2004 11:42 AM ET USA

    Ricky's plight is sad but true. It is profoundly important that Catholic pastors teach Truth to their people. If they don't feel comfortable doing so, then let them refer everyone able to read to indisputable works of reference as crystal clear as Denziger, the Catechism of Trent, the Baltimore Catechism, the 1962 Missale Romanum (in translation of course!). We do not want to be anticlerical Protestants, but it is time to put a stake through the heart of militant Clericalism in the Church.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 08, 2004 12:30 AM ET USA

    Well, I didn't know we had to believe God raised Jesus from the dead just because our Bishops tell us. If this is what we as Catholics believe, we've lost part of our faith. We may not be sola scriptura but were not sola traditio either. We have the Sacred Scriptures and 1949 years of Tradition (assuming we skip everything since 1950 as an aberration) to rest on. Diogenes' point is well made and well taken but the Bishops are not the foundation of my faith. I hope not "Rickey"'s either.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 05, 2004 12:57 PM ET USA

    I am unaware of any incidences of Bishop Bruskewitz dropping into other dioceses to apologize to victims for the shoddy behavior of their own bishops, but he has not shied away from criticizing his brother bishops for their own cowardice, ineptitude and felonious negligence. Of course, that is only one out of 281 bishops, but one is better than none. Too bad that more of us do not live in Lincoln...

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Dec. 04, 2004 6:17 PM ET USA

    Rom 11:24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural [branches], be graffed into their own olive tree? Translation: What God the Father did to Jerusalem He can do to Rome... He did NOT spare His Chosen People. What arrogance exists in Rome that He will spare them???

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Dec. 04, 2004 4:05 PM ET USA

    Another bull's eye, Diogenes. But I wonder about your premise. Are there really any bishops today who believe and teach, plainly, clearly and unequivocally, without circumlocution, that God raised Jesus from the dead? As I've said before, if we stay it's because of one doctrine alone. We keep saying to ourselves, over and over, ex opere operato, ex opere operato.