As the Pope proclaims – by why of footnote + letter – a heretical doctrine, the bishops of Alberta, Canada, state the obvious: (emphasis mine)
In the case where the tribunal upholds the validity of the first union, obedience in faith to the indissolubility of marriage as revealed by Christ will make clear to them the actions that must follow. They are bound to live with the consequences of that truth as part of their witness to Christ and his teaching on marriage.
(I will, out of pure mercy, spare you the rant about the “brother ans sister” thingy, which is now truly going to my nerves. However, see here).
What a world has this become where bishops must intervene, very publicly, to reaffirm with their sheep the most elementary truths of Catholicism, because the Pope himself is spreading heresy.
And what another troubling sign of the time, that Bishops must intervene to correct the Pope’s heresy, but do not think it fit to say that he is.
One is obviously happy that at least something is being done. But from a bishop one expects more than something. One expects the clear denunciation of heresy within the Church no matter who is the heretic.
I know that it is not asking a little. But being a bishop is not “a little”, either. being a bishop should bring with itself the understood, unquestioned preparedness to whatever fight, whatever suffering, whatever persecution. Bishops are the descendants of the Apostles, almost all of them martyrs. They aren’t the descendants of diplomats or politicians. When they have accepted the purple, they knew they were treading on the blood of the martyrs who preceded them from the very start. They knew the job required and required of them to unquestioningly accept every sacrifice their position demands.
They are not the poor baker forced to bake cakes for perverts in order not to lose his house. Their moral position is eminently different from the one of the poor quisque de populo, squashed by a hostile environment and trying (be it for reasons of prudence, or weakness) to be as Catholic as he can without making of himself a beggar. More than anyone else, a bishop is required to invite and accept persecution for the sake of Christ, because this is exactly what is in his job description.
We need bishop martyrs. We need to give to the generations that will come after our disgraceful one the example that some bishops resisted, that the Church was not all rotten, that a shameless rapscallion of a Pope was not allowed to affirm heresy one footnote, one letter and many off-the-cuff speeches at a time and no single “Vatican” bishop dared to confront him openly, no matter what the consequences.
And by the way – I say this only as a fact; it has no bearing on the duty of a bishop – many thousand priests and missionaries, and countless simple faithful in dangerous zones, give witness of their faith every day at a far greater peril for their life and limb, and for the welfare of their families, than Francis will ever be able to do to bishops daring to challenge him as a heretic.
The Pope spreads heresy. Some bishops mumble something to the contrary. Nobody challenges him directly. Most of the (if memory serves) 8,000 bishops of the Catholic world just shuts up, and wait for this to pass (which it won’t, because the Evil Clown keeps appointing Cardinals).
It truly is a bizarro world.