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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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ARCHBISHOP MILINGO – SCHISM OVER MARRIED PRIESTS

Bishop Seeks to Change No-Marriage Rule
By WILLIAM C. MANN
The Associated Press

Wednesday, July 12, 2006WASHINGTON — Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, whose 2001 marriage caused an international scandal within the Roman Catholic Church, set out on a new mission Wednesday to override church rules and let married priests continue their ministries. / The Zambian archbishop said he was championing the cause of married priests even before his marriage, but his new goal is to end the church’s celibacy rule.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/12/AR2006071201616.html

milingo2.jpg

[Here is Archbishop Milingo on the left] He begged married priests to “come out of their Catholic prisons and be reinstated, taking once more their pastoral responsibility among the married priests.” He continued: “To those priests who may feel that by marrying they have stepped down or fallen short, unleash your burden of humiliation, exclusivity and shame. Come among your fellow `sinners,’ so considered, who were to be branded, and to be forgotten forever as weaklings.”

Archbishop Milingo was taken aside by Church officials and the late Pope John Paul II interceded to pursuade him to return to the fold and renounce the marriage, which he did four months stallingsnew.jpglater in August 2001. The attempted marriage had been conducted by Rev. Sun Myung Moon (Unification Church) and the woman was a South Korean, Maria Sung. Unsure of his stability, he remained in seclusion for a year in Argentina. His supposed wife from the arranged marriage complained bitterly about the situation. Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, chief primate of his own independent African American Catholic congregation (Imani Temple, 1989) also married an Asian woman at the ceremony. He hosted the press conference yesterday, Wednesday, July 12. [See Bishop Stallings here on the right and Archbishop Milingo below]

milingo.jpg

Now, Archbishop Milingo (76 years old) has gone over the deep end again and is back with Maria Sung. Like other dissenters, he refuses to leave the Church, desiring instead to force her to change. “My position is very clear in my understanding of my ordination by the church. Once a priest, always a priest. Even though a priest can renounce his vows and be defrocked by the church, the church avows that he always remains a priest.”

stallings.jpg

[Here above is Bishop Stallings with his wife.] The archbishop said there are some 150,000 married priests around the world and about 20,000 in the U.S. who should be returned to ministry.

Here is the text of Archbishop Milingo’s speech at the Washington Press Club:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are dealing with a very serious matter that has affected the Catholic Church for many years. In the last 35 years since the International Catholic Synod of Bishops in 1971, the struggles surrounding celibacy have worsened. If in 1971, the church listened to the appeals of Bishops to offer celibacy as an option to those who would bind themselves to it for their entire lives, but let those called to be ordained priests, yet married, to fulfill their calling, then today we would not be harvesting straw instead of divine graces.

The seriousness of the matter was emphasized once again when the US Bishops raised the issue as we entered this third millennium. Once more the authorities in the Vatican waved it off, to the detriment of the church in USA and around the world.

Married priesthood has existed as early as the time of Moses, as we read in Leviticus that they were all married, the family of the High priest Aaron. Some argue that what was demanded in that priesthood was merely a legal purity. But when God demanded sanctity as a sign of being intimate with Him, this injunction of sanctity was still more applicable to priests: “Be holy, because I, your Lord, am holy.” Sanctity or holiness is the first requirement of any priesthood, married or celibate.
The Apostles ordained priests and bishops, regardless of their marital status. St. Paul ordained Timothy and consecrated him to Bishopric. He ordained the first Bishop of the Island of Malta, who was a married man. As St. Paul said to Timothy, the one condition he imposed upon a Bishop was to marry only once.

“A Bishop must be irreproachable, married only once, temperate, self controlled, decent, hospitable,, able to teach, not a drunkard, not aggressive, but gentle, not contentious, not a lover of money.” (Timothy 3:2-3)

Some people will be surprised to hear of what became of Zacchaeus, the short man whom Jesus called down from a sycamore tree and then visited his house. He truly was converted with his whole family, and ended being consecrated Bishop of Caesarea Philippi. (History of the Church: Venturi).

Jesus shared fully with all his apostles, both married and non-married, all that was required to be an Apostle. He did not show favoritism to any of them. Even as He gave them responsibilities, He looked to each one’s capacity, and relied on each of them. The question of celibacy was not His preoccupation. I think that the demands presented by St. Paul to a candidate to Bishopric are more than sufficient for the life of a Bishop. Looking back to priesthood from which rank a Bishop comes the same demands are applied to the priesthood.

We hereby appeal to those Bishops who have been sent to the monasteries, condemned forever, never to appear any more to their faithful. Let them come out of their Catholic prisons and be reinstated, taking once more their pastoral responsibility among the married priests. Please let us know where you are, be in contact with us.

To those priests who may feel that by marrying they have stepped down or fallen short, unleash your burden of humiliation, exclusivity, and shame. Come among your fellow “sinners,” so considered, who were to be branded, and to be forgotten forever as weaklings. Come in, but never come with lamentations. Your burden has been loaded off, you come light, released from any weight of sinfulness. Become a Magdalene, a Paul, a Peter or Augustine, or one of the many others who never looked back to their struggling past. They all became outstanding saints, in spite of their former weaknesses.

To our beloved “Mother Church,” we beseech you to open your arms to these prodigal children who have longed to return home and have so much to offer. There is no more important healing than the reconciliation of 150,000 married priests with the Mother Church, and the healing of a Church in crisis through the renewing of marriage and family. The Church has nothing to lose by allowing priests the option to marry. Historically, out of holy marriages have come priests, popes, saints, and loving servants of God and the Church.

It is out of our love for our Faith and deep concern for its future that we proclaim this day, the end of mandatory celibacy, and the option for priests to sanctify the family as it was intended in the Garden of Eden, even as they fulfill their calling and ordination.

Sponsored by Stalling’s AACC, the archbishop is going to spend six months traveling the U.S. spreading his dissent and witnessing to his breech of promises made to God and to the Church. He is a disgrace and proof that the Church must be more careful in the future about who is made bishop.

Archbishop Milingo goes every which-a-way. He made promises of perpetual celibacy and obedience. Then he broke them and attempted marriage, making a promise he was not entitled to keep to a woman. Shortly thereafter, he put her aside and reaffirmed his promise of celibacy and pledged obedience to the Holy Father. [See the statement below] Now, he has renounced his promises to God and the Church again and has returned to his so-called spouse. What they might do in bed is not something about which I would speculate; however, he has joined himself to heretics and in Stallings, an excommunicated priest who likes to masquerade as a bishop or patriarch (his own pope)!

brokenpromise.jpg

Maverick Archbishop Weds in Manhattan
http://www.wewillstand.org/media/20010528.htm

Vatican Regrets Marriage of Bishop Milingo
http://www.cathnews.com/news/105/128.html

Married Archbishop Back to Work
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/2482321.stm

Media Coverage of Archbishop Milingo
http://www.archbishopmilingo.org/media_coverage.htm

Married Archbishop Decalres New Ministry
http://washingtontimes.com/national/20060712-110557-8071r.htm

Rome Exorcist says Archbishop Milingo Brainwashed
http://www.fatima.org/news/newsviews/amorth.asp

ARCHBISHOP MILINGO EXCOMMUNICATED!

milingobw.jpgArchbishop Emmanuel Milingo (of Zambia) was excommunicated on Tuesday, September 26 by the Vatican for his break with the Church in celebrating an unauthorized episcopal ordination and/or installation. He was already in trouble for an “attempted” marriage to Marie Sung, a Korean acupuncturist (which took place in 2001). I say “attempted” because marriages that break the rules in the Catholic Church are considered null-and-void. He is only feigning marriage and any sexual activity is fornication. He reconciled with the Church, claimed he was brainwashed, and then left again.

He used to perform unauthorised exorcisms and large scale healing services. He was known for being flamboyent and outspoken. But it looks like the Catholic Church will have the final word. This week he participated with George, wannabee Pope, Stallings in the installation of four men as bishops. His campaign, called MARRIED PRIESTS NOW! seeks to end compulsory celibacy for priests. It has been at least 20 years since such a highly ranked clergyman has been excommunicated.

The Vatican described the archbishop as “spreading division and confusion among the faithful,” and so censure was necessary and we need to pray fervently for healing and fidelity during “these moments of ecclesiastical suffering.” The archbishop was guilty of “irregularity and of progressively open rupture of communion with the Church.” Both Milingo and Stallings were participants of the mass wedding celebrated by Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church in New York back in 2001. Moon picked out Asian women for both men.

Susan Gibbs, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Washington, said Archbishop Milingo’s actions in attempting to name bishops without Vatican approval were “clearly illicit.” (Unfortunately, this does not mean that the bishops are necessarily “invalid”!) The event took place on Sunday at the Imani Temple on Capitol Hill, which is operated by pseudo-Archbishop George Augustus Stallings Jr., a former Catholic priest who defected back in 1989. Stallings must have had some concern or doubt about his own episcopal orders because he was one of the men consecrated by Archbishop Milingo. The others were Peter Paul Brennan of New York; Patrick Trujillo of Newark, N.J.; and Joseph Gouthro of Las Vegas.

Some have suggested that Milingo is demon-possessed. Back in the 1970’s his healing services were so wild that he was warned by Rome. He incorporated local customs and it was said that his rituals resembled voodooism. He was told to stop but refused. Ordered to Rome in 1983, he continued his bizarre ministry and became a celebrity drawing thousands to services and for exorcisms. Now he suffers from automatic “latae sententiae” excommunication for participation in unauthorised ordinations.

It is all just too sad. Note that while the various News services assert in headlines that the Vatican excommunicated him, the truth be said, he did it to himself. All that Rome is doing is declaring the obvious, stating a fact to insure that faithful Catholics are not fooled into thinking Archbishop Milingo and his cronies are in good standing.

FATHERJOE: Milingo & Schism

WASH POST: Milingo Excommunicated By Vatican

Below is a Spanish parody of the issue, not recommended for everyone, okay, maybe not recommended for anyone! I thought Spain was more respectful of the Church. You have been warned:

DISCUSSION

JOHN PAT:

A tragic shame!!! Stallings et al are considered Valid “Old Catholic” Bishops…to what purpose for another line of Apostolic Succession. This shows how far the “Old Catholic” position has taken since 1870  with the beginning of the movement. On the other hand “Old Roman” Catholic clergy maintain the discipline and praxis of the Ancient Catholic Church of Holland which predates PIO IX’s establishing a rival heirarchy at Utrecht. One can not be a Roman  Catholic Bishop if one is not in communion with Peter! “Old Romans” pray for the Holy Father in the Una Cum at Mass, the “Old Catholics” abandoned such practices along with auricular confession, celibacy, veneration of the Saints etc. TRADITIONALISTs are cast out while PROGRESSIVE get second chances! By this account Archbishop Lefevre should be Canonized.

BISHOP CORNELIUS:

I Whole heartly Agree Bishop Cornelius ECCC UK

More about Married Priests, Celibacy & the Vocation Crisis

This is the sixth post in a discussion about married priests and breakaway groups.

ARCHBISHP PETER BRENNAN

Dear Fr. Joe, you are dealing with too little information which you are spinning into nonsense. Perhaps, that is the same spin the Vatican puts on it statements.

My baptismal vows, which are of great interest to you, were made by someone else in my name and are quite intact.

My vows as a religious were simple vows which expired and were not renewed and I did not take final vows.

I was ordained as a married man and did not take any major orders in the RC diocese.

I hate to disturb your fixation on vows but there you go now. No vows were broken. Are you sure you are a Christian, Fr. Joe? Your words sure do not show that. Didn’t Jesus say something about forgiveness and mercy — seventy times seventy? To call your brother priests a cancer is over the top.

FATHER JOE

I am not sure what you mean by too little information. The facts seem quite clear to me and I have no problem with being associated with the mind of the Vatican. Unlike you, I accept the juridical authority of the Holy See and believe that such is an essential element of true Catholicity. Where Peter is, there is the Church!

Promises made by another when we are infants or made by ourselves after the age of reason, either way baptism in the Catholic Church makes one an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven, remits original sin, infuses sanctifying grace, and incorporates one as a member of the Catholic Church. If you are no longer a real or practical member of that Church, and as an excommunicant you are not, then you have breached your baptismal promises. If we are baptized as children, we make those vows or promises consciously our own as we get older and reflect upon them. We give thanks for the arms that carried us to the baptismal font and the parents and godparents who formed us in the faith. They gave us a priceless gift.

I cannot speak for you but I know that one of the priests recently consecrated with you, if you are indeed “Archbishop” Peter Brennan, was always driven by a deep-seated need for power and authority. His ambition drove him from Catholic unity and fueled his efforts to create a Church in his own image.

Our parents and sponsors witness on our behalf. As we receive the other sacraments of Penance, Holy Communion and Confirmation those promises are further ratified and made our own.

The priest or deacon says: “By the mystery of your death and resurrection, bathe this child in light, give him the new life of baptism and welcome him into your holy Church.” All respond, “Lord, hear our prayer.” If your baptism took place in a Catholic Church, then it is into this faith community that you were incorporated. The Holy See has clarified again and again, that references in the ritual do not refer to a generic or interdenominational church. In the context of the Church’s prayers and rituals, they always apply specifically to the Catholic Church under the Pope in Rome.

The promise of the Creed also referred directly to the Roman Catholic Church, in which all four marks of the Church are present and undiminished:

The priest or deacon says, “Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, the Forgiveness of Sins, the Resurrection of the Body, and Life Everlasting?”

Parents and godparents respond, “I do.”

The priest continues: “This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Everyone answers, “Amen.”

This particular I DO and the baptism that followed constituted the most important event in my life. I was too young to remember it, but I became a Christian and a member of the Roman Catholic Church. More important than ordination or even the honors of the episcopacy, is the day when we become adopted sons and daughters of the Father and are reborn in the womb of Mother Church.

You may still espouse a faith in Jesus, but it is not the same as your baptismal faith. You broke away from Catholic unity and joined yourself to schismatics. Now you have excommunicated yourself with Archbishop Milingo. God’s mercy may truly embrace those who through no fault of their own are born into non-Catholic churches; however, as with the Protestant reformers of old, I suspect God’s judgment will be severe for those who abandon Catholicism and lead others to do so as well.

There is no Catholic Church without the Magisterium in union with the Pope. All who would be in this Church must be under the authority of the Holy See and the power of the keys. Even the Orthodox churches, which still possess the sacraments, suffer because of their separation from the Chair of Peter.

Given what you say now, you were not a fully professed religious and should not have claimed as much. My father was a monk for a while but left after a few months. There is a big difference. I wonder what you vows stipulated though.

You write, “I was ordained as a married man and did not take any major orders in the RC diocese.” I suspected this much by looking up your long pedigree. Some critics like me would judge that ordination as dubious.

You write: “I hate to disturb your fixation on vows but there you go now. No vows were broken.” No, I still do not buy it. Any Catholic who turns renegade, breeches his promises before God, even if they were only made on his behalf. I suspect your situation was more complicated than that. Further, look at your associations with Milingo and Stallings. They made all sorts of promises, George as a priest who pledged obedience to Cardinal Hickey and his successors and Milingo who made another special pledge prior to his elevation to the episcopacy. These are your bedfellows. There is an old saying, you know a man by the company he keeps!

Milingo and Stallings attempted marriage in a Moonie ceremony. Violating their promises of celibacy and obedience was bad enough, but they sought marriage in the Unification Church. Their doctrines are so bizarre that they cannot even be reckoned as truly Christian! This was no interfaith ceremony; this was a Moonie service, presided over by the so-called new Messiah himself. Milingo and Stallings thus participated in FALSE WORSHIP!

Now you are in ecclesial communion with them. Beware what “spirit” you might have really received in your so-called consecration!

Finally, yes, I am a Christian, but I will never subscribe to the counterfeit churches that pretend to be Catholic and worship the false Christs that tolerate all sorts of perversity and rebellion but never the hard truths that come from the successors of Peter and the actual Church established by our Lord. If you want mercy then you must be disposed to mercy. Return to an authentic Catholic unity, seek the absolution of the Church and regularize your status as a son of the Church. Accept whatever humiliation that is placed upon your shoulders and do penance for the souls that are lost to the world, the flesh and the devil. Will you do this?

Absolution cannot be offered when there is no sorrow for sin or contrition and firm amendment of life.

The real Jesus forgave sins and healed bodies. But, he also whipped the money-changers out of the temple, he called the Pharisees and scribes whited sepulchers and dead-men’s bones, and he warned us again and again about the terrible tragedy of hell.

ARCHBISHOP PETER BRENNAN

[THE FIRST PART OF THIS COMMENT HAS BEEN DELETED. A MAGAZINE THAT SPECIALIZES IN RUINOUS GOSSIP AGAINST CLERGY WAS CITED AND I HAVE DECIDED IN THIS INSTANCE TO CENSOR THE COMMENTS. THE GIST OF THE COMMENTS REMAIN.–Father Joe]

I wonder how many more celibate priests keep the vow like the good [DELETED]? Celibacy is fine for those like you who say they have the charism and are happy with this enforced obligation. But some are not, and it should be optional. No one is calling for the abolition of celibacy, only that it should be optional. Remember Jesus called married men first. What was good for Jesus should be good for the church. The church will be well blessed when priests can marry again.

FATHER JOE

Actually Jesus initially called married and single men to his priesthood. Given the travels of some of the apostles like Peter, it is evident that a higher premium was placed upon ministry than upon marriage. It is possible that some if not many married clergy also practiced periodic or permanent celibacy. IGNATIUS PRESS has a number of books on this subject. (The early model that comes to light is that of married men practicing perpetual continence.)

The Church already has married clergy, our permanent deacons. They can do everything a Baptist minister can do, and are truly within holy orders as well. They can preach, offer communion services, baptize, witness marriages, take communion to the sick, offer instructions and bible studies, and even administer parishes. This is sufficient and we can treasure our priests and their wonderful commitment to celibacy on the behalf of God and his people.

MATTHEW

Frater, one last comment and I’m finished with this… as I am certain will be a relief to you. The discipline (your word) of celibacy is arbitrary in that our Eastern rite brethren in union with the Papacy still have married priests. It is only in the West that it is mandated. Clearly, since this has been a constant practice in the East, celibacy is not a necessary element to priestly ministry. Rome itself does not insist on this. To put your mind at ease, I am and always have been a member in good standing of the Catholic Church. I have been a lector, have taught religious education classes and have counted many members of the clergy as my friends.

However, I am concerned at the decline in members of the ordained ministry. It is not wrong, or disloyal, or heretical to suggest that it might be possible to ordain married men to the priesthood. I am not suggesting the abolition of celibacy, only the expansion of the sacrament to another area of the faithful.

The right to “regulate the sacraments as she sees fit” must be understood in the context of the whole community. The restriction of one sacrament to the point that the others are effectively denied to the faithful is a misuse of power. I grieve to acknowledge that the Albany diocese has just closed another parish, not because of a lack of parishioners, or a lack of offertory receipts, but because of a shortage of priests. My own pastor presides at a Saturday evening vigil, and two or three Sunday Eucharistic celebrations. We discussed this last Sunday, and he agreed that one is draining, two exhausting and a third done almost automatically. This is hardly how we are to be treated by our clergy or how we should treat our clergy, but it is becoming more and more difficult for it to be otherwise.

As a final note, I received some time ago, a missive from my mother. It contained an article from the Michigan Catholic reporting the assignment of the former archbishop of Detroit to a new position in Rome. Cardinal Maida’s new posting was as an administrator. Reading through the list of his new duties, I recognized that he had been made city manager of Vatican City. To take a priest and assign him a full time position outside of priestly ministry rather than putting him back into pastoral service is just poor human resources management. But priestly formation programs do not contain courses in business, accounting, or management. And the hierarchy still hasn’t figured out that they are answerable to us, the faithful.

FATHER JOE

Dear Matthew,

The Church herself calls celibacy a “discipline” as opposed to something that would be “doctrinally” or “sacramentally” mandated as necessary. However, in the West it is not viewed as utterly extrinsic to the sacrament of holy orders, but rather as something that gives our form of priesthood its particular flavor and enhanced meaning. It is a great sacrifice that most men will not embrace; this amplifies something of the sacrificial nature of the priesthood and its operation. I never denied the reality of married clergy or the holiness of married priests, either the few in the West or the many in the East.

I am also concerned about the decline of vocations, although in many places and among certain groups there seems to be a turn-around. I think that it is no accident that in a society where marriage should be in trouble, that a celibate priesthood should also be threatened. We are formed it seems, more by the world than by the faith.

I have never said it was wrong or heretical to ordain married men for the priesthood. Indeed, I count several married Catholic priests, formerly Episcopalians, among my friends. All I am saying is that such has not been our tradition for the last thousand years or so and that a celibate priesthood has roots going back to the very beginning. The Holy Father and the Magisterium certainly have the authority and right to preserve this tradition, whether or not changes are made regarding married men. I have a personal bias in favor of a celibate priesthood, but would never presume to tell Pope Benedict XVI what to do.

If he makes a sweeping concession to conservative Episcopalians we could very soon see hundreds if not thousands of married priests in fully Catholic but Anglican-Use parishes. The rumor is that they would operate as another version of the Western rite, retaining their current disciplines and operating their own seminaries, allowing a married priesthood, although probably no remarriage. But who knows?

One of the more conservative Cardinals was in the press recently when he argued that the Eucharist was a privilege, not a right. I am not sure I can wholly go along with this, given how much at the heart of our faith is the Eucharistic mystery. Certainly, for one reason or another, people must sometimes excuse themselves from the reception of Holy Communion. Nevertheless, I suppose that those who view it as a privilege would fail to see any misuse of power when imposed structures seriously restrict the availability of a priest. They might argue that the real issue is faith and a willingness of candidates to sacrifice their sexual and personal lives for the sake of the needs in the community. It is not entirely clear that a married priesthood would resolve the shortages in clergy. Over half of Lutheran ministers are divorced and remarried. Married Catholic priests in such a situation could hardly get annulments and would have to be suspended just like the renegade celibates who left ministry for marriage in the past. I am not even sure such a lifestyle would be attractive to most men, married or not?

Regulation of the Church’s sacraments is up to the hierarchy established by Christ. We can make suggestions; however, I would hesitate to make moral judgments about those who have been given this sacred trust. I think they care very much for God’s people and feel, at least at present, that a celibate priesthood is still the form that best serves God’s people. That is my feeling, but you are quite right that the governing Church could modify the discipline of celibacy.

I cannot speak to what the Albany diocese is doing or what the overall reasons might be. A number of places are suffering from a priest crunch, but again, other places are seeing numbers go up. Maybe we have to look at what the dioceses are doing and learn from those places that are having success with recruitment?

It is routine practice for a Catholic priest to offer the Saturday anticipatory Mass (not technically a vigil) and a couple of Sunday Masses. This may be draining, but it is the principal work of a priest and should be no big deal. More hands would make for lighter work, but most priests I know are alright with it. We are supposed to get the bishop’s permission before we trinate (say three Masses) on any given Sunday but many bishops give this authority in our priestly faculties for the good of God’s people.

There has been a push to ordain some of the older permanent deacons as priests, since they have shown long-term stability and fidelity in their marriages. This would probably be reserved to retired men. Whether anything will come of it, I do not know.

As for the Cardinal that is going to essentially run Rome for the Holy Father, he will still offer Mass and many thousands of people visit the Vatican daily. I suppose the Pope has great trust in him. Clerics traditional run the small city-state. I never second-guess these moves since I know few of the pertinent details.

Some priestly formation programs today do include courses in accounting and management; although even small parishes hire professionals to do much of the accounting work.

You write: “And the hierarchy still hasn’t figured out that they are answerable to us, the faithful.” Well, yes, there is some truth that the Church leadership should be good stewards for God’s people; but the faithful are also required to offer filial obedience to their pastors and respect to the bishops and the Holy See. The hierarchy of the Church is answerable first, to Almighty God.

Peace, Father Joe