The CCCB has posted a slick media release on their website concerning the issues discussed in the closed door sessions of the Canadian Bishops this past week. You can read it in its entirety here. Let me give you my commentary on each section of the media release.
(CCCB – Cornwall, October 29, 2010) – The annual Plenary Assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) ended today after some 90 Bishops gathered for a week (25-29 October 2010) at the NavCanada Centre in Cornwall. This meeting is an important event in the life of the Church in Canada. Relations with Muslims and interfaith greetings and reflections were at the heart of the first session.
And largely irrelevant too. When they talk to other “Christian bodies”, their “partners” are invariably very liberal, represent dying congregations, and virtually non-Christian by even their own historical creeds and standards. And when the bishops talk to Muslims, it’s the PC variety. When you have real discussion with real Muslims, you don’t talk to Muslim women. It’s not that talking to liberal Muslim women is bad. It’s just that…well…they don’t represent the radical Islam that we need to deal with. Then again, relevancy and reality on the major issues of the day are not characteristics prevalent among our bishops.
In addition to reviewing the work carried out over the past year by the various CCCB Committees and Commissions, the Most Reverend Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, was invited to address the Assembly over two sessions on the theme of “New Evangelization and Contemporary Society.” Each of these sessions was followed by lively discussions among the Bishops and the soon-to-be Cardinal Ravasi.
Perhaps the most curious phrase in this whole media release is the one that I have highlighted in red above.
“Lively discussions”. Indeed.
I wonder what the liveliest session was? Could it be that the most animated discussion centered around the hundreds of millions of dollars pumped in to the Global South these past 40+ years to overturn pro-life culture and laws? The same millions of dollars which the bishops have sent into pro-aborts’ hands to prop up and enable the death and dismemberment of unborn children in the poorest countries of the world? Was that the hottest topic? I sure as hell hope so. Because I am pretty damn sure it will be the hottest topic after the Judgement among these bishops if they don’t repent. Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if a riot broke out over the debate on using bottled water at the Conference. Let’s get our priorities straight, after all.
“The Christian notion of truth is founded on the transcendence and objectivity of reality. Truth precedes us and exceeds us. We do not possess the truth, we are possessed by it,” explained Archbishop Ravasi.
If the Canadian bishops had such a respect for the truth of what they were participating in, they would have never permitted this scandal to go on for 40 years, let alone the last 2 years.
During their meeting, the Bishops reflected seriously on the international sexual abuse crisis, and asked the Permanent Council to conduct an evaluation of how the Conference could best continue to reflect on this issue.
More “reflection”. I am so sick of that word. Why not some “action”, instead? We’ve had two years of reflection and recycling and renewal. Just when is that going to translate into some concrete changes? It must be hard simply NOT to write that cheque to Development & Peace after the Lenten collection, huh?
They also had an in-depth discussion on parish renewal and various means of integrating young adults into Church life. This will be an ongoing study for the Bishops. “How to bring the Word of God in today’s society is fundamental,” said the Most Reverend Pierre Morissette, Bishop of Saint-Jérôme and President of the CCCB.
My dear fathers, were that really true! Sadly, it is not you who now bring the Word of God to us. It is we who are bringing it to you…but you are refusing to hear the Gospel of Life and cling to your religion of revolution instead.
As a follow up to their work, the Bishops of Canada have called for a new Standing Committee to advise the CCCB and the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP). This new Committee will further strengthen the close bonds that already exist between the Bishops and CCODP.
So, let me get this straight. When this whole scandal broke, you sent a Committee to Mexico to “investigate” the allegations, after which this “investigating committee” issued a disgraceful white-washed report, falsely exonerating Development & Peace of any wrongdoing. Then, when you realized that the lies and cover-ups wouldn’t sell to all of the useful idiots in the pews, you set up your Ad Hoc Committee last year at this same Plenary Assembly. And now, one year later, you are setting up yet another damn committee, a “Standing Committee”, to work with the corrupt management of Development & Peace to ”strengthen the close bonds that already exist.” My. good. lord. Have you no shame? Just when is this football going to stop being punted around, Payton? The Faithful don’t want anymore punting. We want to see results. We want to see a touchdown…or preferably a sack.
It will provide a forum to share information and collaborate more closely on achieving their common goal, which is to help the world’s most vulnerable persons.
O the very bitter irony!
A more detailed report containing further information on the work of the Ad Hoc Committee and the duties of the new Standing Committee will be released before the end of next week.
Death by Committee. That’s what this is. The endless loop of bureacracy and committees and bullshit. It never ends. Why can they not just hold fast to the Gospel, as St. Paul taught?
The Bishops have left Cornwall for Montreal to celebrate the Mass of Thanksgiving for the canonization of Saint Brother André.
That’s appropriate. It might have been the best thing that they did the whole time they were together.
During the Plenary, the Bishops also received the report from the Ad Hoc Committee for Life and Family. This Committee had been formed last year to discuss the leadership role of Bishops in promoting a culture of life and family. “The Bishops need to exercise real leadership on questions of life and family,” said the Most Reverend Ronald Fabbro, C.S.B., Bishop of London and Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee. “These questions require a spiritual revival, a chance of hearts. It is the work of the new evangelization.”
These are certainly encouraging words from Bishop Fabbro. It may indeed involve a genuine and earnest desire on the part of the bishop to encourage his brother bishops to provide more leadership on the pro-life question. But here’s the problem with what he said.
#1 – He said the same thing last year:
“If Bishops don’t step up,” he said, “others will who may present a distorted view of the Church’s teaching. We need to inform our people on the foundations of our faith.” (Source)
It’s been a full year since he first made his remarks and what has changed? Nothing much, really. In fact, he’s still saying the same thing but, aside from more <hurumph> committees and bureaucracy, nothing of substance has been put into place. Certainly no leadership has been exercised. In fact, there would be no need for all of this rancour and conflict with pro-life lay people if they actually did lead. There would be none of this kind of harsh criticism if they just did nothing at all; if they were neutral, in other words (which is a scandal in itself, truth be told, but beggars can’t be choosers). We would just ignore them and move on with our work. But now that they know they are giving money to the enemies of the unborn in a real and direct way that makes our work harder. Therefore, they can’t complain about getting criticized.
# 2 – Bishop Fabbro has some cleaning up to do in his own backyard. His fetal euthanasia centre is still humming along on all cylinders, from what I can see. Has there been a change in policy there? I don’t think so. If there has been, there’s been no report about it. In fact, back in March 2009, Bishop Fabbro “ordered” an investigation into the anti-life practice of St. Joseph’s:
“The investigation is still in process,” Mark Adkinson, spokesman for Bishop Fabbro said. “The bishop does see it as a priority.” Fabbro has written to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, the Church body responsible for maintaining Catholic doctrine throughout the world, to advise them of the situation. (Source)
So, uh, has anyone heard of the result of that investigation? Yes, yes, I know. 18 months is too short a time to expect some kind of report or resolution of a “top priority”. I’m sure it will get resolved before the Second Coming.
#3 – If the bishops of the Catholic Church want to exercise some leadership, then here’s a few modest proposals to get the ball rolling…
a. Stop giving money to the enemies of Christ and His unborn. Stop permitting abortions and sterilizations at Catholic hospitals.
b. Why don’t the bishops all grab a clue and show up for the National March for Life each year and make it sort of a pilgrimage to galvinize the pro-life movement? Is that so much to ask? To show up once a year and show their support? They could even make it convenient for themselves and change their annual plenary assembly date from October to May (when the March occurs) and bus it up from Cornwall each year. If they can bus it to Montreal to pray to Saint Brother André, they can do the same for the unborn. After all, Saint Brother André and the unborn play for the same team.
c. The bishops can start putting some real money into pro-life work, instead of making the pro-life movement divide the crumbs that fall from the “social justice” table.
As a clear signal of their commitment, the Bishops voted to extend the term of the Ad Hoc Committee by at least one year. During this time, the Committee will reflect on a specific structure and concrete plan for future action, which would rely also on the resources, support and work of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF).
A couple of noteworthy points here. They set up this commitee over one year ago. If they were serious about abortion, this committee would have had ample time to corroborate the evidence against Development and Peace and setup the specific structure in how to deal with it by now. But we don’t need another damn structure. That’s part of the problem. The bishops need to stop delegating their individual responsibilities into this endless, bureaucratic, recycling loops where nothing gets accomplished. And the future action that they mention? It never translates into immediate action. It just gets delayed, deferred, and eventually declined. Sorry, bishops, there’s nothing clear about your signal, except that you prefer foolish delegation instead of taking responsibility for the blood money that continues to flow in your names. While you dither in your decisions, the unborn die.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is the national assembly of the Bishops of Canada. It was founded in 1943 and officially recognized by the Holy See in 1948. After the Second Vatican Council (1962–65), the CCCB became part of a worldwide network of Episcopal Conferences, established in 1965 as an integral part of the life of the universal Church.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has traditionally represented the greatest obstacle to promoting the Culture of Life in Canada. It is also one of the greatest enablers of the Culture of Death in the Global South.
To this day, the CCCB has refused to acknowledge their gross negligence during these past 40 years. They have refused to repent.