Look For The Skeleton: The Workings Of The Liberal Mind
The spectacular fall of Bishop Conry is occasion to repeat what I have already stated in the past: when a bishop is of clearly liberal tendencies, he probably has a skeleton in his closet.
Orthodox priests do what they had decided to do when they decided to become priests. Their life and ideology is aligned with their hopes and aspirations. They know and always knew (everyone does and always did, even the liberals) what is required of them, and what Christianity teaches. They know and always knew that their job consists in the salvation of souls (I mean: in doing their best for it), not in their self-promotion.
When I read about a liberal priest or bishop, I never think he could be in good faith. You can’t go against 2,000 years of Christianity and be in good faith. When I read of people like that, I know that one of the two is at work.
1. Father (or Bishop, or Cardinal) such and such has lost the faith. He does not believe there is any God, any judgment, any hell or heaven. At that point, he tries to solve the horrible conflict inside his head (along the line of: “what on earth am I doing wearing this habit?”) by becoming a social worker spreading a secular wannabe gospel that is the perfect enemy of the real one. Not infrequently, these people will not even wear the habit, in an attempt to reduce the cognitive dissonance of being, in the eyes of the world, men of a God in whose existence they do not even believe. Enter Jesus the illegal immigrant, Jesus the unjust (because only merciful), Jesus the environmentalist, and all the other Jesuses they invent to look, and feel, good.
2. Father (or Bishop, or Cardinal) has a skeleton in the closet. He is homosexual, or pedophile; or he has a mistress. Or he drinks, or gambles, or whores around. Again, an internal conflict takes place. The need to be seen as good arises as the awareness of not being the priest he is supposed to be also grows. Slowly, the zeal for the priesthood (provided it was there in the first place) fades in the background, because every thought of zeal reminds him of his betrayal of his vows. At this point, some kind of substitute goodness will have to take the place of the goodness he knows he does not have. Popularity, approval, the trust of the sheep will give him security and, he hopes, perhaps some kind of protection. But certainly, there is the internal absolution. “I may not be the best priest or bishop, but look how I fight for social justice!”, or the like. At this point, the mistress or the whiskey, the gambling or the call boys, become a secondary fault, a kind of venial sin compared to the Great Work Of (put here his favourite cause). When Christ gets smaller and smaller in the background, earthly issues become bigger and bigger as necessary compensation.
Before you can say “mistress” (or “faggot”, or whatever it is), the fact that adulterers are not allowed to receive communion becomes a problem, and our man will be in the first line to try to solve it.
He will also find it convenient to be “alternative”. Bishop Conry’s photo in sweater shows us that very probably he went around in civilian clothes in his daily life; which, in turn, made him much less conspicuous, and therefore made it much easier for him to visit his mistress. Try to move around constantly dressed as a priest, and you’ll notice that… people notice you.
Conry is not the first, but only the last one a long series of progressive bishops found with… the reasons why they were so dismissive of orthodoxy.
Almost everyone needs to feel good, or at least in harmony with the system of values he has given to himself. When he betrays his vows or loses the faith (which is the same), the values must be readjusted, and a new equilibrium must be found. The stronger the failing, the stronger the push.
It does not work only for priests. Have you noticed how many people become apostles of this or that to compensate for the fact that they are whores, or faggots? Lady Gaga? Elton John? Leonard Bernstein? Madonna (the singer)? Have you ever known a blogger who defends dissenting ideas but has no personal reasons (himself, or among his relatives or friends) to do so? No. When they complain of “exclusion”, it always is “our” exclusion; or the exclusion of their son; or “some of my best friends are gay”.
Whenever you see a priest, or a bishop, or a journalist, or a simple blogger with strange ideas, look for the skeleton.