|A good shepherd, Bishop James Conley of Lincoln|
Remember the old game show, To Tell the Truth?The panel of four celebrities would face a group of three individuals consisting of the real contestant who had an interesting job or story and two imposters. The host always began by asking the contestant's name. "What is your name please." All claimed to be "John Smith" the alligator wrestler (or whatever) and the panel's job was to identify the real one.
Today in the Church we find ourselves in a similar situation. Many men in miters or roman collars claim to be shepherds acting in the image of Jesus Christ.
Sadly, many are imposters who enjoy all the privileges of their pretended identity while they undermine and destroy the faith for so many. The job of the laity is not to be fooled by these wolves by learning the authentic faith so they can recognize all the imitations (heresies) being peddled by the wolves in sheep's clothing. How can you recognize the true shepherd? He defends the unchanging doctrine of the Church handed down from the apostles and refuses to endanger the souls of his flock by peddling a cheap snake oil imitation from the father of lies.
Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska recently came out with guidelines for his priests in Amoris Laetitia and points his priests to orthodox interpretations coming from other dioceses. His words are encouraging and compassionate without undermining the truth. This is true mercy not the faux mercy that tickles ears and encourages sin under the guise of compassion
Lincoln upholding the Church's 2000 year teachings on the indissolubility of marriage. He discusses the confusion brought about by certain interpretations of
Bishop Conley reassures clergy over 'Amoris laetitia'
|A wolf in bishops' clothing, Robert McElroy|
of San Diego
In opposition we find Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego instructing his priests to allow sacrilegious Communions by allowing certain parties in invalid marriages or cohabitng to return to Communion after examining the "inner forum." (I.e., follow your conscience even if it conflicts with Divine Revelation, a circumstance Bishop Conley points out is impossible.)
Both of these bishops cannot be correct. There is no way to look at a map and come to the conclusion that north and south both go in the same direction. It's pretty clear from the Church's teaching and Christ's hard words about marriage that sundering a valid marriage is impossible and that it is the Church which has the authority to determine a marriage's validity. Those who attempt a second marriage while the first remains valid are guilty of adultery, a mortal sin. Can some in invalid marriages return to the sacraments? Yes, but they must commit to living as brother and sister, a tall order but certainly not impossible. Some live that way because of medical necessity. Is spiritual necessity less compelling?
Pray for the bishops especially those who are leading souls astray. Their bones are more likely to litter the floor of hell than those they scandalize. May God have mercy on them and on all of us.