I've made the case (in a multitude of posts over time) that possibly ALL of Canada's current crop of Catholic Bishops have disqualified themselves as good shepherds of Christ's flock, and may aptly be described as “hireling” Bishops. I realize this claim will be seen by many respected Catholics as a fantastic one and yet I expect still more disdain to come my way from too many overly sensitive and deluded souls.
Recently I made the following statement in a blog posting pertaining to two of those Bishops who are said to be “the best of us.”
Well let’s just call a spade a spade. The Cardinal—and the Archbishop—simply don’t believe these realities. That is why I call them both hireling Bishops. It’s not that they are in it for the money; it’s just that they are not in it for Christ and His kingdom. They simply do not believe in the kingdom of God and the salvation of souls; at least not in the traditional age old sense held by the Church. I don't see how any other argument can line up with the abundance of facts facing us.
It appears to me that slowly but surely—and perhaps too late—more Catholics will have to face the exceedingly painful truth about our “shepherds”. Lou Iacobelli notes,
In my parish, these issues are never mentioned and so the passive acceptance of abortion and other mortal sins is becoming the new normal.
Indeed. But this is a decades old phenomenon. Could any Catholic in his wildest imaginations dream that a parish with Christ as the Pastor would allow for such indifference and disintegration, both of which lead souls into Hell? Would not such an outcome be more expected if the Father of Lies were in charge?
There's a reflection for this Sunday's Gospel reading about the Good Shepherd from St. John (10:27-30) by Sr. Aemiliana that is worth reading, praying, studying and putting into action. Let's read it first and then make some observations that apply to us today. Here it is:
The notion of shepherd calls forth strong and manly qualities. He must have courage in the pastures of the Orient. Wild beasts often attacked his herds. When Saul doubts his strength, David says to him: 'Thy servant kept his father’s herds at pasture, and often a lion or a bear came and snatched a lamb from the midst of it; and I went out after him and struck him, and took the animal from his mouth.'
This image of the brave young shepherd well suits Christ, the victor of Eastertide who stands amongst us today and says, 'I give my life for my sheep.' In it all the images of the good shepherd from the Old Testament are fulfilled. He tells us that he is the fulfillment of the promise 'I am the good shepherd.' And now it is clear as well why this image of the shepherd belongs above all to Eastertime. It has often shown full of promise on the long road of the Pasch, from the beginning of the fasting season to the great week of suffering. But it was first the Passion which revealed the Lord properly as the good shepherd of his sheep. A hired shepherd whose sheep are not his own has not love’s courage to risk death for them. The Lord says, 'He has no concern for the sheep.' When he sees the wolf come he leaves the sheep alone and runs off. His only concern is for his pay, not for the beasts themselves. Evil shepherds such as these were the leaders of Israel whom the prophet Ezechiel accuses, and whom Christ found in places of authority when he came to visit his flock.
Christ is the good shepherd, the real shepherd. The sheep belong to him; he has created them. He is God’s Logos through whom all things are made. All things are his; they have fallen from him, and yet he loves them. He comes as a shepherd and wounds himself for this miserable flock. He fights with the wild beasts, with hell and sin, and death, to snatch these sheep, led astray, from Satan’s mouth. He does more than any human shepherd does. He throws himself to the attackers, so to speak, in place of the sheep.
(Sister Aemiliana Lohr, O.S. B. († 1972) was a German Benedictine nun who wrote about the liturgy. Magnificat, April 2016, pages 264-265)
Sr. Aemiliana has no romantic notion of shepherds. They were strong, brave and ready to defend the sheep with their lives. Shepherds must lead by example even when there is suffering and death. The Good Shepherd fights with his life. "He fights with the wild beasts, with hell and sin, and death, to snatch these sheep, led astray, from Satan’s mouth. He does more than any human shepherd does. He throws himself to the attackers, so to speak, in place of the sheep."
However, the sad reality in Canada is that we have over the decades pretty much gradually accepted many evils. The wolves have taken over much of the country. We can begin with abortion, "same-sex marriage," a radical sex curriculum for children and now the culture of death is expanding with the legalization of euthanasia. When you can kill an innocent child in the womb, all paid for by the state health care system, does anybody then believe that we can protect the old, the disabled, the depressed and the "unwanted” from being killed? Statements and press releases from our shepherds against killing other Canadians are good, but they are hardly good enough to keep away the wolves.