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It's been a tough year for America's Catholic bishops. Years ago they "put the scandals behind us," but they're still hounded by investigations, bankruptcies, lawsuits, corruption and debt. They've closed countless schools and parishes. Worst of all, they've virtually closed down the Church for months.
Blaming the China virus, they capitulated to Caesar without a fight.
They deprived the faithful of the Mass — in the midst of a crisis! — just when we needed it most. Now they dither in their chanceries, wondering how many of the faithful will come back at all.
They admit it. Their credibility is shredded.
And, in the words of Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò, the faithful are "bewildered, scandalized and abandoned."
While our shepherds have abandoned their teaching authority on the tough moral questions, they spend their time conferring their imprimatur on the political agenda of the Democrat Party.
That's right — for years, our beloved bishops have spent their time (and our money) doing things that, according to Church teaching, the laity can do better.
Meanwhile, there are responsibilities that only our consecrated shepherds can fulfill. Why don't they?
Only our bishops have the authority to apply canon 915 and tell Joe Biden to stop calling himself a "practicing Catholic." But they don't. Instead, they criticize priests who dare to criticize Biden's pro-abortion agenda.
Only our bishops can faithfully proclaim the Church's doctrine on sex, love and marriage, but they don't. Instead, most of them treat Humanae Vitae as "hate speech." The Democrats' full-scale attack on the family is off-limits.
Only Virginia's bishops can join Protestants in fighting our blackface governor's bigoted anti-Catholic, anti-Christian lockdowns, but they don’t. Instead, they're too busy defending illegals, paying off abuse victims and fighting "systemic racism."
Right now the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is a train wreck, but the bishops, insulated by layers of burgeoning bureaucracy, keep chugging along. Their flakes at every level applaud them — "Great job!!!" — and why not? They're prominent members of the ruling class, right up there with the rest of America's elites. So what's the problem?
The sad fact: They'll get a warm reception only so long as they keep sending out mountains of missives supporting the Democrats' political agenda. Behind the curtain, they are merely another government client, favored and funded by the elites only so long as they behave.
And they have behaved indeed.
When the abuse-and-cover-up scandals blew up in 2002, then-cardinal Theodore McCarrick teamed up with USCCB president and then-bishop Wilton Gregory of Belleville to respond to the crisis. The result? The Charter for the Protection of Guilty Cover-up Bishops.
In April 2003, McCarrick chaired a bishops' task force that was supposed to deal with Catholic politicians who defy Church doctrine. This is not a misprint — the marauding monster McCarrick was leading the American Catholic Church in its efforts to deal with those who persist in manifest grave sin!
The result? Nothing, of course.
In 2006, with thousands of lawsuits and billions already spent on their defense lawyers and settlements, key bishops met with a group of high-end business experts to come up with a plan for "best practices" to conduct a thorough reform. With the conference in disarray, the USCCB needed a thorough housecleaning.
It never happened. Why?
Guess who chaired the meeting? McCarrick!
America's bishops are living in the house that McCarrick built. It is collapsing into a fetid swamp of lies, crime and corruption. Only bishops can tear it down, and tear it down they must. Only then can they do the required rehab.
Well, consider: If your parish priests took some time off, how soon would you miss them? By Sunday at the latest, right?
How long would it take to miss your bishop?
That's right. You wouldn't.
Our bishops need a break. However long it takes, they've got to meet face-to-face in an abandoned seminary somewhere and duke it out. Forget the McCarrick Report — the bishops know full well who among their number belongs to the McCarrick Machine. That's why they're afraid of each other.
Well, get over it. Your Excellencies, get your house in order. No matter how long it takes. Stop hiding from each other, from us and from the truth. Meet face-to-face. Cleanse the hierarchy. Prune your frivolous forays. Do the job you were consecrated to do. Take your time. We won't miss you. In fact, the faithful will support you and pray for you.
And please don't put it off.