"The use of the rod can actually be a service of love."
Pope Benedict XVI
Every parent knows that discipline is a necessary part of child rearing. "Spare the rod and spoil the child," as Proverbs says.
But there's been precious little of the rod applied to the dissenters and heretics of the American Church.
If a parent fails to discipline, children run rampant. Not only that - they get hurt and hurt others. And that's exactly what's happening in the United States within the Church. Heretics like Frances Kissling of Catholic for a Free Choice and Catholics for Contraception has encouraged women to make the ultimate bad choice of killing their own children. Groups like Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good lend respectibility to cafeteria Catholicism jeopardizing the souls of many. Magazines like U.S. Catholic and America bless dissident positions. Millions of dead babies testify to the damage of pro-abortion voices including those who claim a place in the Church. Catholic Pro-abortion politiicans like Ted Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi are responsible for laws that enabled killing millions of children, unlike the mother who kills one. And yet she is automatically excommunicated, while Catholic politicians continue to be honored, embraced by cardinals, and offered pulpits at Catholic schools around the country.
Most of the bishops in the U.S. have failed in their duty to discipline within their dioceses. They will not lift their shepherds' crooks to defend the flock against wolves or to snatch back the lamb teetering on the edge of hell's abyss.
In his homily for the Mass closing the year of the priest, the pope called on clergy to use the rod:
"Your rod and your staff – they comfort me”: the shepherd needs the rod as protection against savage beasts ready to pounce on the flock; against robbers looking for prey. Along with the rod there is the staff which gives support and helps to make difficult crossings. Both of these are likewise part of the Church’s ministry, of the priest’s ministry. The Church too must use the shepherd’s rod, the rod with which he protects the faith against those who falsify it, against currents which lead the flock astray. The use of the rod can actually be a service of love. Today we can see that it has nothing to do with love when conduct unworthy of the priestly life is tolerated. Nor does it have to do with love if heresy is allowed to spread and the faith twisted and chipped away, as if it were something that we ourselves had invented. As if it were no longer God’s gift, the precious pearl which we cannot let be taken from us. Even so, the rod must always become once again the shepherd’s staff – a staff which helps men and women to tread difficult paths and to follow the Lord. (Pope Benedict's complete homily here.... )