What Can Catholics Do To Signal Disapproval to the Bishops – including the Bishop of Rome?

What Can Catholics Do To Signal Disapproval to the Bishops – including the Bishop of Rome?

ImageHere are just a couple of shocking reports about bishops to hit the headlines this week alone:

“In a stunning and breathtaking letter, the Most Rev. Michael Olson, the newly-ordained bishop of the Fort Worth Diocese and the second-youngest bishop in the United States, has fully and totally banned the offering of the Traditional Latin Mass in the chapel of Fisher More College, where it has been offered for the last three years on a daily basis by chaplains all approved by his predecessor bishop according to the college. This blow comes after the students of the college raised $300,000 in about a week to keep the school open for the spring semester (see here).  Source

Next up this one:

(CNN) – Pope Francis reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s opposition to gay marriage on Wednesday, but suggested in a newspaper interview that it could support some types of civil unions.

The Pope reiterated the church’s longstanding teaching that “marriage is between a man and a woman.” However, he said, “We have to look at different cases and evaluate them in their variety.”  Source   [NB Click on photo for another report about Pope Francis).


We are obliged to respect every human being, for the simple reason that they are created in the image and likeness of God. We are not obliged to respect people because of their job, career or position within the Church. Catholics have traditionally made the distinction between respecting “the man” and “the office”.

Since today’s hierarchy, generally speaking, do not appear to respect their own episcopal / papal office, is there any need for the laity to make such a distinction any more?

Way back at the very beginning of the post-Vatican II era,  in correspondence with the author  Evelyn Waugh, Cardinal Heenan (Westminster) expressed concern that the faithful might lose respect for the Bishops. I think he would be amazed today if that question still hung in the air. Does any informed Catholic in Scotland, for example,  truly respect any of the Bishops here? And what about Bishop Olson (see above report). Who could possibly respect him?  As for the new Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis – I, personally, am speechless right now but determined to get it together in time for the next newsletter editorial…

Of course, when they uphold the authentic teaching of the Church, Catholics must accept the authority of the Pope and Bishops. But, “respect”?  With all that’s going on in the current crisis?  You kidding?

The frustrating thing for Catholics today is that, while we can vote with our feet when discontented with any other institution, it’s not so easy to “vote with our feet” to express our concerns about the Church. We can’t just pop along to the nearest Kirk or Episcopalian place of worship – so what to do? IS there anything we can do to leave the hierarchy in no doubt as to our concerns? Or do we simply keep on doing what we’re doing, which means that, as the old saying goes, we’ll keep on getting what we’re getting. Is there really nothing we can do to signal our disapproval to the Bishops and Pope about the worsening crisis caused by their statements and behaviour? 

Comments (191)

  • laguna2002


    That link is exactly what I’m after. Thank you. That’s given me some bedtime reading to do!

    March 15, 2014 at 6:54 pm
    • editor

      We have the Mass in Pictures on our website.

      Doesn’t anybody READ it?

      March 15, 2014 at 7:37 pm
      • Vianney

        No, they just look at the pictures.

        March 15, 2014 at 10:55 pm
      • editor

        Speak for yourself ❗

        PS I’ve not had a minute to rewrite the lengthy post which I lost last night. But I will… why should you escape?

        March 15, 2014 at 11:39 pm
      • 3littleshepherds

        😆 That was a good one Vianney. I can’t tell who’s funnier, Frankier or Vianney!

        March 16, 2014 at 2:57 am
  • laguna2002

    Sorry Editor, I’m new and haven’t had the time to explore the website properly. I’ve just arrived and I’m in the dog-house already!

    But both of those links help. What would REALLY help is somewhere that I can find that will give phonetics to the Latin. I’m learning from scratch, so the pronunciation is a bit of a problem. But I’ll get there I hope!

    March 15, 2014 at 9:03 pm
    • editor

      I’ll ask our sacristan about that – I know he had phonetics (text) to help my little nephews learn Latin for serving. I know there are audios to help with pronunciation, too, but will see if there is anything in writing to help you.

      Unless some pesky smart alec beats me to it 😀

      March 15, 2014 at 9:40 pm
      • Vianney

        Talking about learning to serve, I used to have a little book for helping servers and it told you and what to do and when. It contained a great little bit of advice that I’ve never forgotten, “if in doubt, genuflect.”

        March 15, 2014 at 10:59 pm
    • Michaela


      I’m a pesky smart alec! I think you would find the FSSP videos online very useful for learning the traditional Mass whether you’re a priest or a server. There’s about twenty of them, so I’m copying just the first one.

      March 15, 2014 at 11:19 pm
  • benedict


    You can find / obtain server cards with phonetics here:


    I am sure there are many more sites but these two are a good place to start. Especially the second as you can save the pdf document and print it out by yourself.

    March 15, 2014 at 11:30 pm
    • editor


      What did I tell you? Not one, but TWO smart alecs… and that’s not even counting Vianney ❗ 😯

      March 15, 2014 at 11:39 pm
  • benedict


    Looking at your earlier post concerning learning to offer the Vetus Ordo I have spare copies of an excellent DVD produced by the FSSP especially for priests to learn the Tridentine Mass. Contact me through the editor if you wish to explore this further.

    March 16, 2014 at 12:21 am
  • laguna2002

    Thank you everyone for all the information. Editor, better to have quick smart alecs than none at all!

    Benedict, I think I’ve got enough material now to be going on with, but I’ll keep your very kind offer in mind.

    Editor, to come back to the discussion about diocesan funds etc. Who would have signed off the purchase of this house at £725,000? There seems to be no connection to reality here – and the Archdiocese is awash with empty rooms in presbyteries which were often built for three or four priests – to say nothing of empty presbyteries.

    I am absolutely astounded that +Conti would stay put in the house he occupied as Archbishop – and even more astounded that anyone would see the solution to run out and spend almost three quarters of a million on a house for the new Archbishop! Or am I missing something here?

    March 16, 2014 at 8:34 am
  • Graeme Taylor

    Listen, you can not expect the right very rev +Conti to leave “his” house. Remember the right rev +Conti is the same “prelate” who a weeks after concelebrating Mass with the Holy Father in Glasgow, wrote in the SCO that Catholics should ignore the Pope and stand and receive Our Lord in the hand.
    So if you think for a minute that the very rev. +Conti, who contradicts Christ’s Vicar, is going to listen to the Catholic peasantry and move into an empty parish house rather than give up the Arch-bishops residence, then, I am afraid your a dreamer. The very rev. +Conti expects the peasants to keep him in the luxury he has been accustomed to, after all he has reached the top in his “career”, he deserves to live in a three quarter of a million pound house and we should be honoured to keep him in it. Keep your collections coming.

    March 16, 2014 at 4:54 pm
  • Graeme Taylor

    Another wee heads up, these very rev “prelates” have a plan:- to sell of some of those empty parish houses and the proceeds will easily balance the budget to keep the very rev. +Tartaglia in his new three quarters of a million pounds house, it is only right after all, as he too has reached the top of his “profession”. You really are very judgemental. If you had worked hard all your life wouldn’t you too, deserve to live in a three quarters of a million pound house ( till death do we part), I mean, come on! Be fair! Show some respect!

    March 16, 2014 at 5:02 pm

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