Sunday, March 23, 2003

Tom and Mark are wondering about how "this tendency to be so dismissive of statements from bishops and the pope has arisen in faithful, good-willed, intelligent Catholics." I will save for another day the question of the proximate cause of the question (a substantive disagreement over the prudence of the present war), and stipulate the observation for the moment.

Mightn't the fact that many bishops appear to have stopped teaching the Faith account for some portion? Warmed-over left-wing social programs may have some coincidence with the Faith--heck, I'll even grant a subtantial grounding in it for the sake of argument--but they are not the Faith itself. Possibly, our autodidactic efforts are a result of the Bishop's failings, not a cause of them.

After all: how many "faithful Catholics" even understand they are supposed to listen to their Bishops? I'm certainly struggling with their statements these days, but the only reason it's even a struggle, rather than a complete victory on my part is, I *want* to be able to follow what they offer, even when I disagree. But I can't honestly say I know that many Catholics who even struggle that much. And when the regular guy in the pews knows that little about his Faith, it may be his own fault, but there is probably quite a bit of blame to go to his teachers in the Faith too.


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