Heresy never prospers. What's the reason?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Aug 28, 2003

So now we have a Catholic bishop arguing that women should hear confessions.

Oh, of course he's not challenging the definitive Church teaching that women cannot be ordained as priests. And he's not suggesting that sacramental confession need not involve an ordained minister. Oh, no; nothing like that. He's just giving us a "gentle invitation to reflect." Right.

It would be refreshing if Bishop Vincent Malone could make the candid admission that he does not believe the Church's teaching regarding the ministerial priesthood or the sacraments. Failing that, it would be still more refreshing if the Holy See made that observation for him-- and took the necessary further step of relieving him from his pastoral duties.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: - Aug. 28, 2003 8:40 PM ET USA

    The word from Rome is that no action will be taken against the bishop, but the Pope will issue a shiny new encyclical. My Latin's not that good, but I believe it's to be entitled "Impotentus Pontifex Indifferentis."

  • Posted by: - Aug. 28, 2003 5:03 PM ET USA

    "So now we have a Catholic bishop arguing that women should hear confessions." Good idea. Their first confession that they hear should be from the newly laicized Bishop and Priest for her diocese. Perhaps she could absolve them of their dignity. These bishops used to resemble a Mickey Mouse operation, however, lately, they are resembling a more Warner Bros type cartoon.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 28, 2003 2:43 PM ET USA

    The penance would be interesting especially from some of the rad femme religious who have blessed me crosses to carry. "For your penance, greet the four directions and develop a liturgical dance for the Mass of the Twit-brained Femmes". These people have no sense. The problem is some in the heirarchy will probably think they are obligated to "dialogue" with these nut cases. I'm thinking of taking a vow of silence so I don't have to talk to them anymore.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 28, 2003 1:49 PM ET USA

    It seems reasonable to assume that an institution as huge as the Catholic Church is bound to have its share of nut cases, but increasingly they appear to be in the hierarchy. I would hope that Bishop Malone suffers the same fate as that of the Episcopalians where the faithful are reacting with their pocketbooks. We might start threatening to withhold "In God We Trust" to encourage a bit more sanity, faithfulness and holiness among these loonies. Yes, Phil, it would be refreshing!

  • Posted by: - Aug. 28, 2003 1:15 PM ET USA

    Good grief! What is happening to our bishops in the Roman Catholic Church! The more I read the more I wonder if I am right in trying to keep up wth what is going on in our Church outside the Caribbean! I thank God that I was firmly grounded in my faith by the beautiful nuns of the Sisters of Nortre Dame de Namur! God help my children who have not had the same privilege. Where is this nonesense going to end? The Popes of the future will certainly have their work cut out for them! God belss.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 28, 2003 1:03 PM ET USA

    Just as there will be false teachers among you, who will introduce destructive heresies and even deny the Master who ransomed them, bringing swift destruction on themselves. Their eyes are full of adultery and insatiable for Sin. They seduce unstable people, and their hearts are trained in greed. I recommend that his Excellency the auxiliary Bishop give a reading to 2 Peter chapter II. But of course such a quaint thing as the Word of God may not sway him.