Bishop Weisgerber is upset that this whole story is becoming very well-known in North America through the tireless work of John Pacheco, Lifesite News and other Catholic media outlets.
The Catholic Register reports: "The role of web sites in stirring controversy has become a challenge for bishops." Weisgerber told the Register: "These bloggers who claim to be more Catholic than anyone -- I think first of all they're not part of the church, they're not Catholic in the sense that they have no mandate, they have no authority, they have no accountability. And they speak very, very definitively about what it means to be Catholic, and they're followed by so many people."It is sad that a Catholic blogger like myself must point out the theological blunders of a bishop but, at the risk of being excommunicated for telling the truth, here goes:
1) Catholic bloggers do have a mandate. This mandate is endowed on us through baptism, confirmation and Eucharist, the sacraments of initiation, which empower every Catholic to preach the Gospel to all nations. Certainly a Catholic bishop should know this.
2) Catholic bloggers do have authority. This authority is endowed on us through baptism, confirmation and Eucharist, the sacraments of initiation, which authorize every Catholic to preach the Gospel to all nations. Certainly a Catholic bishop should know this.
3) Catholic bloggers are accountable. If the local ordinary over any Catholic blogger doesn't like what that blogger writes, he can call that blogger into his office and chew him out. Catholic bloggers are exactly as accountable as Catholic politicians, Catholic book publishers and Catholic universities. Of course, most bloggers are safe in the knowledge that a bishop who won't even get rid of the homosexuals on the parish staff or the pro-abortion parish priest is unlikely to be willing to tangle with a Catholic blogger.
But, the lack of courage on any particular bishop's part is not a commentary on the accountability of the Catholic blogger. If bloggers aren't held accountable, that would be the bishop's fault.
4) More Catholics would follow their bishops instead of their bloggers if Catholic bishops taught the Faith with the same level of assiduous care that is found amongst Catholic bloggers. Everyone gravitate towards people who are serious about being orthodox because the Truth is enticing. Everyone ignores "politically astute" types who, for fear of offending others, never take a stand for Truth. We ignore them if only because they make us throw up a little bit in our mouth.
6. The Church's mission is concerned with the salvation of men; and men win salvation through the grace of Christ and faith in him. The apostolate of the Church therefore, and of each of its members, aims primarily at announcing to the world by word and action the message of Christ and communicating to it the grace of Christ. The principal means of bringing this about is the ministry of the word and of the sacraments. At a time when new questions are being put and when grave errors aiming at undermining religion, the moral order and human society itself are rampant, the Council earnestly exhorts the laity to take a more active part, each according to his talents and knowledge and in fidelity to the mind of the Church, in the explanation and defense of Christian principles and in the correct application of them to the problems of our times. (Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People, Apostolicam Actuositatem, Pope Paul VI, Nov 18, 1965).It's a pretty sad commentary when you hear more about the doctrines of the Faith from the laity then you do from their leaders.
It's also a sad commentary when the very bishops who claim to be in tune with "the spirit of Vatican II" seem to be completely unaware of the actual contents of Vatican II.
Bishop Weisgerber's commentary reminds me of nothing so much as the whining whimper made by the MSM as it slowly declines into obscurity, if only because the reasons for obscurity are identical in both cases.
The politics of major North American newspapers and television shows are indistinguishable from the politics of many North American bishops. Anyone who holds views like Bishop Weisgerber's are going to be ignored. That's not a call to ignore him, it's just a simple statement of fact, a fact that he has already implicitly acknowledged.
As Vatican II remarks, we have to "read the signs of the times."
And today's sign is, "Nobody likes a whiner."