On the Sinful Practice of Trashing Bishops

Those who accuse Pope Francis of grave errors and grave failings of faith, contrary to the ancient and constant teaching of the Church, often also attack any Bishop on the planet, if they hear that he speaks or acts, at any time, contrary to their own understanding and preferences (or contrary to the subculture that they idolize). This sinful practice, that of trashing Bishops who disagree with you, is contrary to the teaching of the Magisterium. For example:

“Bishops Belong to the Essential Constitution of the Church”

Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum: “14. But if the authority of Peter and his successors is plenary and supreme, it is not to be regarded as the sole authority. For He who made Peter the foundation of the Church also ‘chose, twelve, whom He called apostles’ (Luke vi., 13); and just as it is necessary that the authority of Peter should be perpetuated in the Roman Pontiff, so, by the fact that the bishops succeed the Apostles, they inherit their ordinary power, and thus the episcopal order necessarily belongs to the essential constitution of the Church. Although they do not receive plenary, or universal, or supreme authority, they are not to be looked as vicars of the Roman Pontiffs; because they exercise a power really their own, and are most truly called the ordinary pastors of the peoples over whom they rule.”

“But since the successor of Peter is one, and those of the Apostles are many, it is necessary to examine into the relations which exist between him and them according to the divine constitution of the Church. Above all things the need of union between the bishops and the successors of Peter is clear and undeniable. This bond once broken, Christians would be separated and scattered, and would in no wise form one body and one flock. ‘The safety of the Church depends on the dignity of the chief priest, to whom if an extraordinary and supreme power is not given, there are as many schisms to be expected in the Church as there are priests’ (S. Hieronymus [Saint Jerome], Dialog, contra Luciferianos, n. 9). It is necessary, therefore, to bear this in mind, viz., that nothing was conferred on the apostles apart from Peter, but that several things were conferred upon Peter apart from the Apostles. St. John Chrysostom in explaining the words of Christ asks: ‘Why, passing over the others, does He speak to Peter about these things?’ And he replies unhesitatingly and at once, ‘Because he was pre-eminent among the Apostles, the mouthpiece of the Disciples, and the head of the college’ (Hom. lxxxviii. in Joan., n. I). He alone was designated as the foundation of the Church. To him He gave the power of binding and loosing; to him alone was given the power of feeding. On the other hand, whatever authority and office the Apostles received, they received in conjunction with Peter. ‘If the divine benignity willed anything to be in common between him and the other princes, whatever He did not deny to the others He gave only through him. So that whereas Peter alone received many things, He conferred nothing on any of the rest without Peter participating in it’ (S. Leo M. [Pope Saint Leo the great] sermo iv., cap. 2).”

The above text not only condemns rebelling against any Bishop that has a different understanding than you, but it also condemns rebelling against the Roman Pontiff.

Ronald L Conte Jr

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25 Responses to On the Sinful Practice of Trashing Bishops

  1. James Belcher says:

    Ron,
    The continual attack against the church and its clergy is horrific. I always believed your dates of the Tribulation are very reasonable giving the scriptures, popes’ visions, Blessed Virgin Mary, saints, visionaries, etc…..
    However, I also thought the ALMIGHTY GOD could expedite, prolong or even cancel these events. I was hoping and praying these events would be cancelled by God and believed the USA would play a major role in bringing back civility, morality, righteousness, freedoms, etc. to the world.
    I am no longer of this view due to the cesspool of immorality and the complete destruction of civility in the USA.
    Since there is a complete breakdown of worldwide societies, it is almost a certainty the upcoming events are very near. I just wonder if God has had enough and wants to expedite the upcoming events.

    Bless you Always and continue your great work,
    Jim Belcher

  2. S Paol says:

    Your commentary begs the question that when Bishops are opposing other Bishops, while it may be a sin to publicly “trash” a Bishop, obviously some are correct in their teaching of church doctrine and some are not. It is not always simply a matter of a Bishop who “speaks or acts contrary to their own understanding and preferences” as you mention. Opposition to false shepherds is our moral obligation…not to be sheep towing the line as you allude to. As Jim B mentions above, we are witnessing the Tribulations predicted at Fatima and by other visionaries and Saints that predicted these troubled times for the Church…and the sheep are being scattered.

    • Ron Conte says:

      “opposition to false shepherds” — The Pope can never be a false shepherd, due to the papal charisms which are the ancient and constant teaching of the Church. The same is true for the body of Bishops. For the Church is apostolic and indefectible. Therefore, the body of Bishops, like the Pope, cannot err gravely on doctrine or discipline, and cannot fail in faith. So the body of Bishops cannot be a body of false shepherds either, due to the graces and promises of Christ.

      “not to be sheep” — So you reject the teaching of Jesus in the Gospel that we are to be sheep? We absolutely must be sheep following each Pope and the body of Bishops, as they are indefectible, and the Church is apostolic. If a few Bishops break away from the Pope and the body of Bishops, then we must not follow them. They are false shepherds whom we as sheep must not follow, for they have rejected the chief Shepherd, the Pope, who is the Vicar of Christ.

      As for who is correct in Church doctrine, that is for the Pope and the body of Bishops to decide. And regardless of when the tribulation begins, the Church remains always indefectible, and that means the Pope and the body of Bishops cannot go gravely astray.

  3. Richard Waguespack says:

    There are some complex problems and interesting Theological quandaries that harsh rhetoric and unfortunate expressions mixed with solid points cannot quite penetrate holistically. It is also unfortunate that the answer leaned towards an opportunistic take on the written matter and did not address the depth of concerned presented. One of the children at Medjugorje did defend the Pope recently and that has affected my orientation. Yes, we must be sheep and listen to the voice of the shepherd… within and without… it is necessary to recognize there are extraordinary some pastoral problems that our church has experienced from internal divisions… I would like an opportunity to invite others more qualified to respond with greater depth and holistic compassion… for both sides. Yes, both sides need reform…

  4. Richard Waguespack says:

    Edit to…..depth of concerns… …some extraordinary (omit some after extraordinary) pastoral problems…

  5. Frank Hannon says:

    In Amoris Laetitia, Francis has taught that it is OK for an unrepentant adulterer to receive Holy Communion. Francis also presided over idle worship at the Vatican. Because the Church is the Bride of Christ, she is indefectible, so Francis must not be the Pope, and while perhaps he himself shouldn’t be trashed, much of what he has said and done most certainly should be, to fight the scandal that he has unleashed, per the above instances, and a number of others besides.

    • Ron Conte says:

      You are a schismatic and a heretic for rejecting the Pope accepted by the body of Bishops as the true Pope. For the Church is indefectible and apostolic. So the body of Bishops cannot go astray following a false head. Therefore, regardless of the circumstances of the election, the Pope accepted by the body of Bishops is the true Pope. And whoever rejects him is a schismatic and a heretic.

    • Frank Hannon says:

      Thanks for that pronouncement, doc. For the record, I received Holy Communion today, which, ironically enough, Francis himself wouldn’t mind, your assessment notwithstanding. Respectfully, I think you have a Vatican I problem with Francis.

  6. Stephen j Del Deo says:

    That’s funny read 2 Peter and Jude and see how the bible talks about evil Churchmen of their day.It is not wrong to expose false teachers ,heretics apostates and men who are not doing their job and are betraying the laity and Christ and are corrupting the church.The CATHOLIC church had enough silence for the last 50 years .Don’t cover up evil expose it.

    • Ron Conte says:

      1 and 2 Peter were written by Pope Saint Peter. So he certainly was not accusing any Pope of being a false teacher or a heretic. And nothing in Scripture proposes that any Pope will ever lead the Church astray, corrupt the Church, or even go astray himself into heresy. That is contrary to Mt 16:18-19 and Lk 22:32. Neither any individual Pope nor the Bishops as a body can go astray from the true faith, nor lead the Church astray.

      It is wrong to set oneself up as the judge of Popes, Councils, and the body of Bishops — or of any Bishops doing the will of the Pope. It is not for the laity to judge the Pope and the body of Bishops. The laity are not betrayed merely because the Pope made decisions or taught doctrines contrary to their understanding or preferences.

    • Ron Conte says:

      In response to various schismatic and heretical comments, not posted above, see these teachings.

  7. Edward J English says:

    The answer is prayer! For the Pope and all the Bishops and priests to be united and enlightened by the Holy Spirit. A point of reflection to ponder is the confusion during the time of Saint Catherine of Sienna where there were multiple Popes which of course is not true there was only one true Pope but many of the flock were confused. The true Pope was not even in Rome and our Lord Jesus Christ worked through Saint Catherine to urge the Pope back to his proper place in Rome. Why didn’t our Lord directly communicate with the true Pope? This is for your ears Ron – because at that time our Lord complained his own ministers were not listening to his voice therefore he needed to use women Mystics to ensure his will be done! Saint Brigid of Sweden was another, etc. The key points or takeaways are that the Lord does ensure his church does get back on track but he uses humble souls who do not criticize the Pope or Bishops but rather sacrifice and pray for them and then take action prayerfully. To criticize is all too easy today but to pray, mortify, and sacrifice is all too rare today! Yours in JMJ, Ted

    • Ron Conte says:

      False. The Church is indefectible. That is dogma. Any story of what supposedly happened centuries ago or behind the scenes today, if it is contrary to indefectibility, is false. The Church has never gone off track. The Pope and the body of Bishops are each and together indefectible.

      Read what St. Catherine actually wrote. She is nothing like the papal accusers, nothing like those who “recognize and resist”, nothing like those who accuse many Pope of heresy and other grave errors and grave failings of faith. As for the true Pope being outside Rome, that should be viewed as providential. The Pope never errs gravely in guiding the Church.

      It will happen again soon that the Holy See will move from Rome and Europe, during the approaching war. That is by providence.

      It is heretical to claim that the Pope and the body of Bishops are not listening to the voice of the Lord, since they have the charism of truth and of never failing faith: the Pope has it as an individual, and the Bishops have it only as a body united and led by the Pope.

    • Edward J English says:

      Ron, in your pride you are not listening which is now very easy to understand the phrase PRIDE BLINDS – I never said to criticize the Pope – Saint Catherine never criticized the Pope even the false Pope during her life but rather chose prayer and letters to accomplish the mission God was clearly giving her this is FACT not opinion and Holy Mother Church as pronounced her a DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH which means her teachings were truly reviewed to the point where Mother church backs up what she taught in the Dialouge. If you want to pray for humility that would be a good thing since I never stated that the Pope and Bishops were not following the will of the Lord in general but rather were not open on key points that our Lord had to then use Saint Catherine to communicate his will. The Pope and Bishops are men and therefore are not perfect and anyone at any time can choose not to listen to the will of the Lord that is called FREE WILL and a gift God has given and will not take away. I really become dismayed at so called Theologians who might be head smart in certain things but lack true humility and therefore are not Heart smart following the complete will of the Lord. Take heed as you have been instructed and not to pray and listen proceed at your own peril. I will continue to pray for you – are you praying for me?
      Yours in JMJ,
      Ted

    • Ron Conte says:

      Saint and Doctors of the Church can err, to some extent. If they erred to too great an extent, they would not have been made Saints or Doctors (unless they repented). You err by attributing to Saint Catherine an indefectibility that is given only to the Pope and to the body of Bishops with the Pope.

      It is wrong for you to assume pride on my part. Also, saying you will pray for someone as a way to assert that they are wrong and you are right is an error.

    • Edward J English says:

      Ron, just finished praying for you. Let me please add that I have always been a defender of the Holy Father and the Holy Magisterium and I am against anyone who goes after the Pope directly or indirectly as the evil one jumps on the opportunity to pour it on so to speak to bring more chaos and division. That being said there is no way you have a complete knowledge of private revelation, The Mystical City of God by Venerable Mary of Agreda or Divine Mercy in my Soul by Saint Faustina, or The Dialogue by Saint Catherine of Sienna. If you had a great knowledge of these approved mystical works and revelations given to us by our Lord through these humble women you would understand more the point I am making. I remain a true son of the church and will always will defend the Holy Father and those united to him. I will also point out that he is not free from error except when speaking from the chair of Peter. He has said some very controversial things which has led to division. This is not good. I know the evil one is behind it obviously and the Pope is his #1 target therefore I choose to pray and sacrifice for him as I hope all your readers are doing. Saint Thomas Aquinas when given a small glimpse of what he did not know about God put down his pen and never wrote again stating my words are but straw. In other words he realized he knew nothing compared to what there is to know. Humility is suggested again – strive for it – pray for it daily.
      Yours in JMJ,
      Ted

    • Ron Conte says:

      The same comment you made about my lack of full knowledge applies to you as well. See these teachings on the Roman Pontiff. When the Pope is not speaking ex cathedra, but is still exercising the Keys of Saint Peter, he is free from grave error. In addition, he has the charism of truth and never failing faith. No Pope can exercise the Keys under the influence of Satan. What you think you see, by way of error in the Pope, is perhaps due to your own misunderstandings or lack of knowledge. The papal charisms protect the Pope from the influence of Satan, under the promise of Christ that the gates of Hell will never prevail over the Church.

    • Edward J English says:

      Ron, the Blessed Mother is forming prayer warriors around the globe as these times are truly in dire need of men and women answering the call to prayer – we need to stay united to the Holy Father and the Magisterium and support all by our prayers and sacrifices. That being said there is a time soon coming when all including you and I will see our sins as God sees them in order for us to seek his healing and accept his Mercy and then complete the mission he has for each of us. When I said I was praying for you it was not because you were right or wrong but because we are called to pray for each other and this is vital today as ever. You never responded you would pray for me. That is very telling to me.
      Prayer enables God to illuminate us to see more clearly his will and the truth.
      Keep defending the Holy Father and the church but know that there are some within the church that are in the Vatican that are attempting to weaken if not destroy the church from within.
      Yours in JMJ,
      Ted

  8. James Belcher says:

    Ron,
    I try to grasp the various schismatic and heretical comments and I am appalled to read about that our pope is not the true pope. I, myself will not call these persons schismatic and/or heretical but I will say their comments are. I make this distinction due to several reasons:

    1. Since the 1960s’, the slogan of “Nothing is Absolute – Be Free Thinkers” has permeated our society with increasing speed each and every following decade. This has led us to a point where there are no rules, regulations and laws being enforced. The persons who try to enforce the laws and often criticized, maimed or even killed.

    2. I remember back in the 1960s,’ where the clergy was telling people including myself not to rush in to marriage but to live together first to see if we were both compatible.

    3. Many Catholics were telling the clergy we now have you on our level – you are not so almighty. This was in reference in where the priest would now face the people in Mass.

    4. My uncle who was pastor of St. Gregory Church in New York and whom we spent many breakfasts together after Mass related a parable to us back in the 1960s. The story was about a wristwatch where the Hour Hand was the direction of where society and the church were heading to, you may not see its movement but the fact remains it is moving and it now moves to the detriment of society. Many years from now, the hour hand will move like the second hand where there will be chaos in the church and society. Oh how right he was.

    Unfortunately, our societies and members of the clergy have reached a point where Nothing is Absolute – I will think and say what I want regardless of the facts.

    We now have generations of many Catholics who never heard of the word “Magisterium” let a lone its meaning. All peoples who are taught today have no idea of the difference between immoral and amoral.
    In closing, I cannot say with certitude which people are schismatic and/or heretical due to their foundation years of becoming an a adult and what teachings they have received.

    God Bless,
    Jim Belcher

    • Ron Conte says:

      They are certainly asserting material heresy. As for schism, they reject the doctrines, disciplines, and authority per se of Pope Francis, Vatican I and II, and often other Popes. This seems to me to be more than mere material schism. How much of the Church’s authority can someone reject, who knows the Faith fairly well, and not be culpable to the extent of formal schism? (But this does not necessarily mean they are guilty of actual mortal sin.)

      It is a dogmatic fact that Pope Francis is the true Pope, and that the 21 general Councils have the full authority of Christ. Rejecting the current Pope, accepted by the body of Bishops, is formal schism. But every heretic and every schismatic thinks that they are in the right.

  9. James Belcher says:

    Ron,
    I do concur with your assessment of persons who knows the Faith well are performing the acts of Heresy and Schism when they attack the principles of the Church’s teachings, deny the pope is a true pope, Vatican I and II.
    Thanks for your input and continue your great work.

    Jim Belcher

  10. Daniel says:

    Hi Ron! In one of the above comments you said, “It will happen again soon that the Holy See will move from Rome and Europe, during the approaching war. That is by providence.”

    I don’t understand that line. Can you expound more details on that?

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