Three Cheers For Bishop Egan
Bishop Egan of Portsmouth is, how should I say it, not exactly made in the mould of a Jorge Bergoglio.
The last example is here, where the Bishop does not limit himself to the usual mild and whiny criticism of the liberal classes, but finds words uncommonly clear for a Bishop of the rapidly declining – not in numbers; in faith – Church of the beginning of the XXI century.
“When people are not in communion with the Catholic Church on such a central thing as the value of life of the unborn child and also in terms of the teachings of the church on marriage and family life – they are voting in favor of same-sex marriage – then they shouldn’t be receiving Holy Communion,”
I can’t believe that. After Francis’ antics and Dolan’s blabber, a bishop actually speaking like a Catholic certainly makes news.
Bishop Egan explained that rather than a punitive measure, the denial of Holy Communion is “always an act of mercy.” It is done, he said, “with the hope and prayer that that person can be wooed back into full communion with the Church.”
Pope Francis less than politely disagrees. Pick one of two dozen adjectives he has used for the likes of Bishop Egan. Fun game.
We must not go looking for a fight, “but we will, being Christian, have to suffer, and have to go to the cross,” he said. “This is one of the ways, particularly as a priest or a bishop, in which that cross is going to come out, because you have to witness to the truth.”
Glad he said that. I thought we had to find ways to overcome the hiatus between what the Church says and what Catholics have been encouraged to think by Catholic clergy. In a pastoral spirit, of course.
Bishop Egan stressed that the witness to truth in the Church is made in love for “all persons especially those of same-sex attraction.” He noted that God has designed us for happiness and that “happiness is found only in God — it is found ultimately in our relationship with God.”
Exactly. Charity. He who points out to the abomination of sodomy and the perversion of abomination is being exactly that, charitable. On the contrary, the “who am I to judge” mentality is the contrary of being charitable, it is being accessory in another’s sin.
Looking to the future for Catholics in England, Bishop Egan’s views are mixed. He is at times “not very hopeful” because of the fact that “in the Catholic community we’ve not effectively communicated the beautiful vision of marriage and family life that Christ gives us through the teachings of the Church.” Bishop Egan said that in order to evangelize and woo people toward Christ and the truth, Catholics themselves must first be convicted.
However, he adds “the prospects are still good if we can hold the line and not lose our nerve.”
Let me translate this for you in practical English: “Dear colleagues, stop being little pansies and start preaching clear words about sexual abominations; if we work together as a team, we can still win this”.
As to the future regarding withholding Holy Communion from Catholic politicians who support abortion and same-sex ‘marriage’, Bishop Egan says, “I personally would be in favor of saying that somebody should not be receiving Communion myself here within the diocese.”
He added however that he’d “have to act really with the other members of the bishops’ conference.”
“We need to discuss this as a bishops’ conference,” he said. “I’ve already indicated to you my sympathies – if somebody is not in communion with the Catholic Church they should not be receiving communion.”
Once again: translated, this means “I alone cannot start a crusade without the Bishop’s conference, because this is the dratted way the post V II church is supposed to work, at least unofficially. But you see I do as much as I can alone anyway”.
I can’t avoid thinking this man has traits increasingly more rare among his colleague clergymen: he takes his job seriously, and is concerned about his own salvation.
All things you can’t say of this Cardinal here, or of many others. Starting from the very top.