Part Seven:

Drawing a line in the sands of time: Separating the Conspirators from those in concord with Rome

In this last part of the second millennium, through the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, whose leadership skills and credentials we treated in the last issue, we can see Holy Mother Church as the ship which will carry us through the rough seas of this earth to the heavenly shores of eternity. But the voyage, as we have indicated in past installments, is anything but smooth. But we know it can't be for Christ told us as much. Continuing in our multi-part feature on the direction we as Catholics, as the mystical Body of Christ, are heading as the clock ticks down on the twentieth century, we reveal the mutiny that is taking place on the good ship H.M.C. Great, holy efforts are being made to offset this mutiny, spawned by those factions who followed their own will during thirty years of undermining the doctrines, dogmas, and traditions of the Roman Catholic faith. The Holy Father has stressed over and over that the Church will not do an "about face" on such issues as the ordination of women as priests, nor will Holy Mother Church abandon her stand against abortion, birth control, murder, homosexuality, etc. In fact, his holiness John Paul II has reiterated the need to return to the basis of our faith - the Sacraments, specifically the vital need for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with the fervent reception of Jesus Christ, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in Holy Communion after a good, sincere Confession through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He has emphasized the need for all of us to pray, echoing Our Lady's call to "Pray! Pray! Pray!" Realizing the power of prayer, the Holy Father has further stressed the return to contemplative prayer, calling for a renewal of the cloistered, contemplative life in Religious Orders. In a move similar to St. Pius V after the Council of Trent in the 1570's, John Paul II has approved the Priestly Order of St. Peter, a congregation of priests whose calling is to preserve the Latin traditions of the Church in order to feed not only the growing number of souls who long for their Latin roots, but an equally growing group of faithful who realize both the beauty of the Latin language and liturgy and the essence of its meaning to our faith.

In a further effort to offset efforts by liberal elements to lead us down the rosy path to perdition, the Pope has stated in pastoral letters and through Cardinal Josef Ratzinger that for all liturgical functions of the Church the New Revised Standard Version and the New American Bible are not acceptable and cannot be used. In his wisdom, that priceless gift of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Father chose this route to keep at bay the linguists who would otherwise thrust down our throats the all-inclusive language these editions promote. Rather than forcing the ICEL and other linguistic groups into schism outright, the Pope's method embraces the wisdom of Solomon and invites these divergent groups into obedience by clearly stating what it is that Holy Mother Church will not use or tolerate.

But sometimes those in power must stand up and draw that line in the sand. While the Pope has done it diplomatically, but firmly, a few bishops have had enough and are standing totally behind the Vicar of Christ by drawing a line in the sand. It's time to either step forward and be counted as a loyal member of the Roman Catholic Church or take a hike. Such was the case recently when Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, head of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, threatened excommunication to those who were not obedient, including such groups as Catholics for a Free Choice, Planned Parenthood, and Call to Action to name a few. In other words, enough was enough. He even set a deadline of April 15 to cease and desist or else! It was a fitting date for the bishop was telling them to render to Caesar (or Clinton) the things that are Caesar's (the government's)...such as taxes, laws, but render to God the things that are God's...such as obedience to His One, True Church and God's Laws which overrule any of man's laws. Bishop Bruskewitz spoke out firmly, reminding all that to be Roman Catholic and be involved in those organizations he named, is a contradiction and cannot be tolerated for "people of good will be led astray...and some "have been trying to sell their evils to the unwary or uninformed"...giving others "the impression" that Holy Mother Church..."is divided or undecided about"..what she teaches. Kudos to this loyal bishop who flatly stated to the Lincoln Call to Action group, "the difference between a dissenting Catholic and a Protestant is that the Protestant has integrity." That's telling it like it is, though naturally the false prophets of today - the secular media, went right to the liberals' main big mouth, Rev. Richard McBrien of Notre Dame who replied that his actions were insane and that Bruskewitz was on "shaky ground" even intimidating that Church law won't support him. Church law will, the question is will the United States Bishops? Bishop Bruskewitz set the tone when he quoted Vatican II, stating "the faithful should be as closely attached to the Bishop as the Church is to Jesus Christ." The problem is there are too many bishops who many faithful in the flock don't want to be closely attached to because their shepherds are not in compliance with the Bishop of Rome - the Vicar of Christ. The Church needs more staunch leaders in the episcopacy to exhibit the gifts of the Holy Spirit such as Wisdom, Knowledge, Understanding, Counsel and, above all Fortitude. It's time for them to stand up for what Jesus demands from His Church. While many will criticize Bishop Bruskewitz for being too harsh, we applaud his convictions and commitment to being a true shepherd in tending his flock which is in danger of being ravaged by the wolves of satan. We call on more bishops to follow suit and to preserve and protect their flocks as loyal shepherds.

Jesus the Good Shepherd said in John 10: 11-16, "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for His sheep. But the hireling, who is not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees. And the wolf snatches and scatters the sheep; but the hireling flees because he is a hireling, and has no concern for the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd, and I know Mine and Mine know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for My sheep. And other sheep I have that are not of this fold. Them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd." How many bishops are mere hirelings who flee when liberal factions pressure and cajole? How many bishops are mere hirelings who cave in when government threatens to cut off their funds if they speak out against abortion or violations against God's Laws? How many bishops are mere hirelings who disregard the sheep because of peer pressure from their fellow bishops? Fearing that the wolf would snatch and scatter his sheep, Bishop Bruskewitz has corraled his sheep in the Lincoln Diocese to protect them as he continues to heed Christ's words in John 21: 15, "Feed My sheep." It is proof of one bishop's love for Jesus. We pray that many other bishops will follow suit and suppress the growing conspiracy.

How does this conspiracy spread? What keeps nurturing this wicked weed that threatens to choke Holy Mother Church? In the next installment we will delve into this menace that surrounds the faithful as many go about their daily lives oblivious to the deadly barnacles that boldly cling to the hull of the Church, eating away at the fibers of the One, True, Catholic and Apostolic Faith.