Unless something changes in between the time this Vortex was recorded and Saturday, October 21, a Lutheran female "bishop" will have her installation ceremony at the Catholic Cathedral of St. Peter's in Marquette, Michigan, in the Upper Peninsula. The Catholic bishop who has granted permission for this is the ordinary for the diocese of Marquette — John F. Doerfler.
By all accounts Doerfler is a decent man, who cares about the Church and his flock, defending traditional teachings of the Church and so forth. When the story started circulating around the Catholic world, he issued a letter explaining his actions, which are permitted according to Vatican guidelines. The last line of his letter says, "Let the warm hospitality that we show our Lutheran brothers and sisters be a public witness of how people can and should love each other even when we are divided."
That sounds good and all that, but here's the issue for so many faithful Catholics: It seems like everyone is always being accommodated, everyone's needs and desires and feelings and thoughts and concerns — except faithful Catholics.
Frankly, many people are shocked by this action, greatly disturbed, despite whatever good intentions. Speaking plainly, this is just a bad move. Every time you turn around these days in the Church, it's faithful Catholics who are taking it on the chin. If it's not clergy who are generally younger and more tradition-minded, then it's laity being told they cannot kneel for Holy Communion, must hold hands, must receive Holy Communion in the hand, are too rigid, too doctrinal, unloving, not caring — you name it. It's always the few remaining faithful who are completely overlooked, taken for granted and disregarded.
For a bishop, Doerfler or any others, to not understand that this perception is the reality actually makes the situation even worse. The opposite of love is not hate but indifference. All of this is having a cumulative effect. It starts to feel like piling on, and at some point that feeling becomes the reality. It discourages the faithful.
Consider in this case a female who thinks she is a "bishop" (she's not) is going to be installed as one, accompanied by two females pretending to be "priests" (they aren't) in a cathedral built by the first bishop of the area, Frederic Baraga, who came from Europe to ensure that the Catholic faith would be preserved in the mission territories. He even wrote a catechism in 1837 in a local language to promote the authentic faith. He was declared venerable by Pope Benedict in 2012 for his intrepid work to promote and preserve the Catholic faith, even earning the nickname the "Snowshoe Priest" because he traveled hundreds of miles over the snow-covered countryside of upper Michigan to bring the sacraments to Catholics.
This is the patrimony, the glories of the Faith that faithful Catholics see being squandered for the sake of "unity" and so forth. It's a slap in the face, intended or not, to so many faithful who have had to endure and still do the watering down of the Faith and the presentation of the teachings at every turn. This is a bad move, period. Faithful Catholics again feel like they are thrown under the bus for the sake of what? Ecumenism, false ecumenism, sending the signal that all religions are essentially the same. No insult intended here, but for the Catholic bishop to refer to the female being installed (and it doesn't matter if it was a male) as "bishop" is completely wrong. He actually calls her "bishop" in the first sentence of his letter. That has the effect of sounding like other faiths and their offices have equal value. She is not a bishop, and the other Lutheran women standing in the Catholic sanctuary pretending to be priests are not priests, either.
The title "bishop" is reserved for those who are successors of the Apostles. It is not a term of office handed out to whoever calls themselves by that name. The office of priest, as the name implies, is one who offers sacrifice. These Lutheran women have no authority or power to offer sacrifice, and they should not be accorded that honor — that pretense — because to do otherwise implies they do. They most certainly do not.
Yet once again, here we are, the faithful, being smacked in the face. For the sake of "feelings" and "emotions" — the only thing powering the engine of the Church of Nice these days — we are to sit down, be quiet and pretend this is all nice. It isn't. It's wrong, whether it's technically permitted by ecumenical guidelines or not. It completely disregards the current climate of psychological abuse so many faithful Catholics have to endure continually within the walls of their own church.
In the Church of Nice, where feelings reign supreme, everyone's feelings it seems must be taken into account except those of faithful Catholics. To the point here, couldn't the Lutherans go find another building? Think about this: This branch of Lutheranism accepts that abortion (child murder) is permissible in various circumstances. Additionally, they support active homosexuality, even "ordaining" active gays.
So this is quite the conundrum here, isn't it, for Bp. Doerfler? He preaches the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage yet opens up his cathedral for the installation of a woman to be a bishop who isn't a bishop, and once she leaves the cathedral will be working directly against what the Catholic bishop is trying to uphold and support. What "unity" precisely are we talking about here?
If the bishop can't see how completely cock-eyed and confusing and hurtful this is to faithful Catholics, an act perpetrated against them, whether he intends it or not, then we're not sure what would make him realize this — another in a steady line of episcopal belts in the face to faithful Catholics.