You've no doubt heard the story of the committee of blind men who tried to describe an elephant. Each touched a different part of the beast. The one who touched the side said he was like a wall. The one who touched the trunk said he was like giant snake. The one who touched his leg said he was like a very large cow. None of them got it right.
Every year the bishops get together twice at great cost to Catholics across the country. They jabber and hob-nob, make nice with each other, talk to the press, and accomplish pretty much NOTHING. Like the blind men who failed to "see" the elephant, they continue to embrace their willful blindness toward the little ones in the womb, refusing to call child murder the preeminent issue of our day or call proabortion politicians to repentance.
This latest meeting, which ends today, seems to be no exception. The document on the Eucharist, The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church, which was made so much of at the last meeting, appears to be a big nothing burger illustrated by the vote: 222 for, 8 against, and three abstentions. You can bet that it's a watered down expression in order not to offend anyone and to please as many as possible, or at least not displease them by sharing the hard truth!
So why bother? We already have many eloquent documents on the Eucharist more worth reading than anything coming out of the USCCB. And who will read their dozens of pages of blather anyway?
Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, TX, a vigorous defender of life, stepped to the microphone several times urging his brother bishops to include language explicitly mentioning denial of Communion to pro-abortion politicians. His brother bishops were unmoved and did not support him. They approved an amendment linking the murder of babies with a host of "seamless garment" social issues. It was one more pathetic example of the bishops' good old boys club doing nothing to defend life or the sanctity of the Eucharist.
LifeSiteNews reported Bishop Strickland's plea to defend the unborn:
I can’t remain silent as too many in our nation and in our world vigorously promote abortion: I must speak for the babies. The murder of unborn children is the pre-eminent issue and it leads to many other evils.
The murder of unborn children is an industry that destroys countless lives and produces wealth, that is used to promote much of the evil that is destroying our world. The murder of unborn children destroys women, men, marriages and families. It destroys the very foundation of our civilization – I must speak.
If as a shepherd I do not speak with all my power against this evil, I am a noisy gong and a crashing cymbal, because I have no love.
The tentacles of abortion are woven into all the evils we face, because when the value of the life of the poorest, weakest and most vulnerable among us is not guarded, then no life is valued.
Abortion opens the door to evil and allows Satan to run rampant through every aspect of human life. We must call the world back to God and guard the joyous and precious gift of life God gives at conception until natural death.
Life is a gift out of God’s loving heart.
I've said many times that the good bishops, no matter how few, should withdraw from the USCCB and start a new conference like the faithful nuns did two decades ago when they withdrew from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Maybe they would only start with a remnant that could meet in the conference room at a retreat house. Wouldn't that be refreshing to see a group of bishops meeting in humble surroundings instead of four and five star hotels. The new conference could start with Bishop Joseph Strickland, Bishop Joseph Coffey, and Bishop Joseph Hanefeldt who were the only bishops to show up at the Men's March to End Abortion on Monday. The organizer, Jim Havens, acknowledged them in his talk at the rally. It was great to see a real man address the bishops boldly but respectfully.
The bishops really are a hapless group as Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz described them at the Dallas Meeting in 2002. Nothing much has changed since then. We've been fighting for the bishops to enact Canon 915 for years. With very few exceptions, they won't do it. As Havens makes clear the bishops do not love those endangering their souls through sacrilegious Communion. They would rather "dialogue" with the rich and powerful and keep the federal dollars flowing. Money appears to be preeminent over souls.
It seems to me that the only answer is for good bishops to begin to withdraw from the USCCB and stop pretending there is unity between those willing to shrug off the murder of the innocent and those who defend them. Pull out, good shepherds, and cut off the money. Refuse to pay the diocesan tax that goes to the national office. The USCCB has no authority in any bishop's diocese.
I've often used Havens' analogy about what the bishops would do if the law allowed the legal murder of bishops and clergy. I don't think there's any question that they would be hot to, not only deny Communion to politicians who voted for such a law, but would excommunicate them in a heartbeat. But most of the bishops don't care about babies' heartbeats. The little ones in the womb are invisible to them like the elephant was invisible to the blind men.
The bishops need to wake up! It will go hard for them on Judgment Day when Jesus says, "Whatever you did to the least of my little ones, you did to Me."
The meeting ends today and the bishops go home. Ho-hum! Back to business as usual ignoring the most important issue of our day, the mass murder of little ones in the womb. God forgive this "hapless bench of bishops" and all of us who do so little to stop the killing.
Pray for your bishop and write to him. How about making an Advent resolution to pray for your bishop by name every day and write him a letter every week. Let's all be like the widow with the unjust judge.
Will it do any good? Only God knows, but it sure can't hurt!