Dangers from the 2021 USCCB General Assembly

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Cropped and edited photograph by Haydn Blackey: Bishop Robert Barron – Adoremus Congress Day / flickr

There are problems brewing in the Catholic Church in the United States. Priests and bishops do not listen to the Pope, but rather to non-Catholic interests, such as Jordan peterson, who defend principles contrary to Catholic teaching. Are they not paying attention? He has already indicated that he thinks Catholics should boycott Mass, which is why it was strange that Bishop Barron in 2019 would suggest that the solution to the church’s problems, the way to bring people back to church, is to follow Peterson. Why would he promote Peterson when Peterson is not a Christian, even an agnostic or an atheist? It seems that Peterson’s interest in religion is only to take the things he loves and use them to promote his ideology while getting people to ignore or reject the things he ignores, and thus the to follow is to encourage a heretical approach to faith, an approach that chooses and chooses what to believe as heretics do. How can Christians admire Peterson, he tells us that justice is more important than mercy? The two should go together, but of course they don’t do it for him, as his view of justice is one of an authoritarian and legalistic understanding of justice, a position that ignores the point of justice itself. That is why, when he says he promotes justice, we have to look closely at what he is saying, because we will find that it is an anti-Christian position, because he will not watch and will not stand up for dignity. of others. He is the one who cannot and will not accept social justice. Many of his supporters follow him because he gives them the justification for their prejudices, such as those who use his ideology to promote misogyny. Peterson is used to get people to ignore the problems of the past in order to promote us all to go back to the way things were, which of course will not only bring back the problems of the past, but make them worse than ever before (like this is always the case when people are unable to learn from the mistakes of the past). That someone who is so strong in promoting Peterson is now the chairman of the Committee on Secularism, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, where many of Peterson’s ideologies can do the most damage, we must prepare for what might come out of the USCCB over the next two years. We must look to the Catholic teaching that Peterson denies, and the Pope’s inducements, so that we do not get distracted and think that Peterson and his followers correctly represent the authentic Catholic teaching.

Of course, the problem with the USCCB doesn’t come from Barron and Barron’s promotion of Peterson. This is just one symptom of a bigger problem. American bishops ignore, or worse, fight the initiatives of Pope Francis. They have shown their contempt by ignoring calls from the Vatican not to strengthen and continue to promote the divisive culture war. It would appear that many bishops are more willing to listen to the Napa Institute than they are the Pope. This is perhaps also the reason why they have chosen Bishop Steven Lopes, from the Anglican Ordinariate, as the next chairman of the Divine Worship Committee. A lot of people don’t know why he was elected. Michael Sean Winters, for example, wrote: “Bishop Steven Lopes of the Ordinary of the Chair of St. Peter, the canonical organization established for former Anglicans who converted to Catholicism but wanted to retain their various forms. liturgical. Why he was appointed to lead the liturgy committee, I’ll never know, but Lopes narrowly won, 121-120.[1]

If we consider what is going on between the USCCB, and several of its bishops, and the Pope regarding the liturgy issue, we might have our explanation. Lopes presents a way for those who oppose Pope Francis Traditionis Custodes to thumb his nose at him metaphorically. For, coming as he does from the Anglican Ordinariate, he stands alongside many of those former Anglicans who became Catholics because they thought their own fellowship was too “liberal” and “modernist”, that is. that is, he presides over those who often have ideals that connect with those who criticize Traditionis Custodes.

The Pope wants to ensure that the Latin rite unites under a common tradition and liturgy, adapted to the present moment instead of trying to cling to a form of liturgy that does not correspond to the needs of people today ‘hui:

It is up to the diocesan bishop, as moderator, promoter and guardian of all the liturgical life of the particular Church entrusted to him, to regulate the liturgical celebrations of his diocese. Therefore, it is his exclusive competence to authorize the use of the Roman Missal of 1962 in his diocese, according to the directives of the Apostolic See. [2]

The USCCB seems to have indicated that it has no interest in deforesting this union but will instead seek to deal with other liturgical matters instead. In this way, bishops who ignore directions given by the Apostolic See, issuing general dispensations for those who would like to continue using other forms of liturgy, are unlikely to receive any reluctance from the USCCB. When we see Traditionis Custodes, what has proven to be necessary, being ignored, we should expect to see the American Catholic Church become more and more divided between those who follow the Pope and those who follow a modern Americanist ideology that threatens to sow schism in the world. ‘Church. Many who stand against the Pope like to claim the tradition, but it is clear that they are confusing the particular contextualization of the tradition which established the Tridentine liturgy as the tradition itself, a mistake which Nicholas of Cues repudiated when ‘he defended Pope Eugene IV against those who criticized his own liturgical initiatives.

There is a serious conflict between various interests in the United States and Pope Francis, with many American bishops supporting interests that oppose the Pope. Of course, there is room for people to disagree with the Pope on prudential matters, but the disagreement goes beyond prudence, but over principles. The USCCB has promoted many supporters of these new Americanist principles, placing them in positions of power and authority. Fortunately, not all of those they tried to place in positions during the conference were victorious. Metropolitan Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Catholic Archparchy of Philadelphia was elected chair of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development in place of Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki. This shows that the Catholic Church in the United States is not yet completely destroyed. There are seeds in it for its renewal. Americanist ideology, while powerful, has yet to be fully embraced. Although many priests and bishops have been raised to accept it, there is still enough to see beyond and seek to work with the Pope and the Universal Catholic Church. And of course there are the people, the lay faithful who see through ideologies and continue to speak out when promoted, like what happened when the National Conference of Black Sisters, and others. , denounced the recent speech of Archbishop José Gómez where he attacked not only the work of social justice, but the people who suffered such injustice. The church is more than priests and bishops, and therefore the voices that rise against the ideologies promoted in the United States are a good sign that the Spirit is still at work in the church despite some of its failings. leaders. There is hope. But that hope requires everyone to work together, to promote and highlight what Americanist ideologies want to ignore. We cannot be silent now, if we are to overcome the grip that is developing on American Catholics.


[1] Michael Sean Winters, “No Explosion But Many Stirring Differences on Day 2 of Bishops Meeting” in National Catholic Reporter (11-12-2021).

[2] Pope Francis, Traditionis Custodes. Vatican translation.

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