Monday, December 28, 2009

Should Bishops Resign?

The bishop is the shepherd of his flock, chosen through the line of Peter coming from the Good Shepherd Himself. Should that bishop resign when he has been found wanting? Like the hireling man, should he abandon the flock and run away. I say no - bishops should stay with their flock, be they ever so guilty, ever so negligent, ever so small in the eyes of the world. Why? Because it is not the Catholic way to give up. And resignation is to give up, to say, 'I cannot be your bishop, I am not good enough'. As a Catholic I must say, you have not had the courage in your heart up to now, but think of St. Peter - if he had resigned after the cock crew, if he had gone to the disciples and said, 'I'm afraid when the moment came I was found wanting, so now I must wander back to Galilee and contemplate my failings, and leave you to find someone else', where would the Church be? It would be nowhere. Christ chose him because He knew Peter could be the rock. And Christ knew Peter would betray Him three times. How forgiving our Master is, and how flinty we are. How practical Christ was, and how foolish we are.

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