Action Alert!

The crisis in Church governance

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Nov 05, 2018

Priests and especially bishops are called to teach, to sanctify, and to govern. “So, how are we in Holy Orders doing?” Asks Msgr. Charles Pope in this must-read column for the National Catholic Register. He answers his own question: “By any reasonable measure, terribly.”

In this column, Msgr. Pope keeps his focus on the duty to govern. Today our Church is in chaos; what does that say about those responsible for governance?

Msgr. Pope ticks off the evidence:

  • “The faith is openly betrayed and denied by renegade bishops…”
  • “Teaching is on holiday…”
  • There are wandering “celebrity priests” who promote the LGBT agenda…”
  • “Catholic colleges openly teach dissent…”
  • “Liturgical abuses have abounded and remain uncorrected…”

And there’s much more. The argument is very close to the one that I advance in The Smoke of Satan. It’s gratifying to see a broad recognition that the crisis we face is not limited to the abuse scandal, and that the solution cannot be found in one more statement, one more set of policies and procedures. If our bishops (and pastors and priests) aren’t prepared to exercise their authority—as fathers, really—the chaos will continue.

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 CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Cory - Nov. 05, 2018 8:06 PM ET USA

    By their ordination, such duty belongs to priests as well. How many priests dare teach the truth. Sadly, a very tiny minority. And the ones that do get excoriated (and worse) by their bishops.