Tuesday, September 16, 2008

FFM Parishes: O'Donaghue on being Catholic, 11

Another of our extracts from 'Fit for Mission? - Parishes' by Bishop O'Donaghue of Lancaster. Click on the 'label' FFM Parishes to see others. See the 'Fit for Mission?' website and download the full document. The previous title in the series, 'Fit for Mission? - Schools' is downloadable here (pdf). This generated a Facebook support group.

This extract is of special importance for an understanding of the situation in the Church today: Bishops' Conferences are usurping the teaching role of bishops and making it harder for orthodox ones to speak out.

From section 9.9, p61
We must keep it clearly in mind that the Bishop is not the manager of his local branch of the Catholic Church, who reports to the board of the national Episcopal Conference. Rather the Bishop is ‘a visible source and foundation of the unity of the particular Church entrusted to his pastoral ministry’ (LG 23).
The presence of confident, courageous and prophetic bishops is vital for the well-being of the Church during this time of increasingly aggressive secularism. We need to remind ourselves of the authority and dignity of bishops:
Bishops preside in the place of God over the flock whose shepherds they are, as teachers of doctrine, priests of sacred worship and ministers of government.
By divine institution, Bishops have succeeded to the Apostles as Shepherds of the Church.
Bishops govern the particular churches entrusted to them as the vicars and ambassadors of Christ, by their counsel, exhortations and example, but also by their authority and sacred power. (Pope John Paul, Apostolos Suos, 19).

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen