the Vortex
You are not signed in as a Premium user; you are viewing the free version of this program. Premium users have access to full-length programs with limited commercials and receive a 10% discount in the store! Sign in or Sign up today!


Just how far does a bishop's authority extend?

September 9, 2022  0

Please consider donating using the form below to further advance the mission.


Church Militant has learned of a very troubling controversy emanating from the archdiocese of Washington and Cdl. Wilton Gregory. It involves a question of obedience versus sacrilege. 

If you are a seminarian anywhere in the United States, you need to think deeply about this question, because the way things are going in the Church, you may be faced with this situation.

Here is the information privately revealed to Church Militant. In some unofficial-yet-clearly-understood message from Cdl. Gregory, his priests were instructed not to deny Holy Communion to President Biden. When Biden attends Mass locally in Washington, D.C., the apparent protocol is for the Secret Service and White House staff to contact a local parish and give them a heads-up that POTUS will be there for Mass.

However, Church Militant has learned that some priests will not go along with this. They have said that if they get an advance call from the White House or Secret Service, they will notify the archdiocese they refuse to distribute sacrilegious Holy Communion. If the cardinal wants this to happen, he must send a priest who will go along with it, because they refuse.

They will notify the archdiocese they refuse to distribute sacrilegious Holy Communion.

If you were a seminarian, what would you do?

This controversy has arisen because of the bishops' disobedience of canon law. According to canon 915 in the Code of Canon Law, "Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion."

A bishop commands you to join him in disobeying canon law, under the pretext that you have made a promise of obedience to him. What do you do? Do you distribute sacrilegious Holy Communion, thereby disobeying canon law? Or do you refuse and disobey the bishop?  

How is a young man discerning a possible vocation to the priesthood supposed to consider all this? A firestorm should erupt in every seminary in the country over this question. Seminarians deserve clarity on this from seminary faculty and formation teams. 

If you are a seminarian and are thinking, "Biden won't be president forever, so this won't really impact me," think again. Biden is the most high-profile example, but he is hardly alone. All over the country, there are hundreds of local, state and federal politicians who claim to be Catholic yet who vote for abortion so-called rights. Their bishops have turned a blind eye to all this for almost half a century.

Seminarians, any one of them can wind up in your Communion line in your future parish at any moment — not just on Sundays, but at weddings, funerals, confirmations and so forth. What will you do? More to the point, what will you do if you have one of those suck-up bishops, one-third of whom are registered Democrats?

Are you prepared to be "iced" for refusing? Are you psychologically prepared to be sidelined indefinitely for that? Before your "I want to be a martyr" bravado kicks in, remember that not everyone is built the same way and has the same constitution. Or are you the type who will pawn off your own moral responsibility because of a promise to "obey"? You are going to be disobedient to canon law or the bishop, so which one will it be?

You are going to be disobedient to canon law or the bishop, so which one will it be?

If you become one of the few priests who will not distribute sacrilegious Holy Communion, good for you. God bless you.

However, consider all this from a 60,000-feet perspective. These weak men, some of whom are truly wicked and do not believe the Faith, hold over your head a promise of "obedience." But what if they lead you into conflict with your well-formed conscience? The continuing breakdown and dissolution of the Church will present more of these troublesome cases as the years go by. What will you do?

All of you seminarians need to bring up this specific example and demand clear answers from your bishop before he lays hands on you and forces you into a spiritual dilemma. Moms or dads of seminarians, you also need to raise this deep concern. What is your son's duty in obedience to a bishop who is disobedient? Just how far does a bishop's "authority" extend? 

These questions are brought to you courtesy of weak men who are modernist bishops and have not believed, taught or lived the Faith for decades.

Church Militant is not creating the division — we are merely shining a light on the pre-existing division.

By commenting on you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our comment posting guidelines

Never miss a Vortex!

Search The Site

Previous Episode
In My Opinion
Words matter.
September 8, 2022
Subscribe to the Vortex audio podcast

Latest Shows

The Vortex
Christian Nationalism? Yes, Please!
David Knight interviews the Vortex.
October 5, 2022
Evening News
October 5, 2022
Hard-hitting news and analysis through an authentic Catholic lens.
The Daily Beat
October 4, 2022
Theology, politics and culture through an authentic Catholic lens.
October 5, 2022
Get briefed on today's top stories with Christine Niles.
Mic’d Up
Christianity Isn't for Wimps
Ultimate Faithful Catholic.
October 2, 2022