Written by Michael Baker
April 27th, 2022—St Peter Canisius, Doctor of the Church
Australia’s bishops have fallen victim to the view the Catholic Church is a democratic rather than a monarchical institution. They are preoccupied with ‘synods’, thinking they must listen to anyone and everyone before exercising their duties. The synodal church they support, a product of their collective imaginations, is not the Catholic Church but a counterfeit.
The Catholic Church is concerned with eternal salvation, the salvation of her members and non-members alike. She sees the common good of society for what it is, a good of finality, one that respects the eternal salvation of all. If she looks to other and more immediate issues, it is always in the light of that end.
In contrast the bishops’ synodal church is absorbed in what it conceives to be the temporal welfare of its members. It accepts the zeitgeist, the spirit of the age. It ignores man’s ultimate end or, at best, pays it lip service. It sees the common good of society as convertible with the aggregation of present social and material goods. Their church is hardly distinguishable from a secular body like Rotary or the Lions Club.
The Catholic Church is concerned with man’s absolute, and moral, freedom, the freedom of the children of God (Romans 8: 21). She condemns the irrationality which refuses acknowledgement of, or deference to, the Creator and Conserver of the universe as the worst of sins, rejection of the first and second Commandments as well as the abandonment of common sense, for no man exists who is not contingent and dependent. She insists on what God has revealed, that He created all men in love, and she identifies those who indulge in atheism as slaves. She sees a nation immersed in atheism – as is the Australian nation – as one in which slavery is institutionalised.
The synodal church, in contrast, accepts the nation’s atheistic ambience as something inevitable; defers to the secular spirit.
The President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, has outlined in an ‘Election Statement’ a series of issues members of that Conference think should influence Australian citizens in the coming Federal election. He says he does so in line with the call of Pope Francis for “a better kind of politics… one truly at the service of the common good”. But not one word in the ‘Statement’ refers to this chief evil ravaging the Australian people, atheism. Not one word will be found condemning the ubiquitous evils atheism has brought – contraception, abortion and sexual perversion. Not one word addresses the aberrations building on these evils which sees her people wracked by division and driven by ideologies, a rejection of the order established by Almighty God, the natural order, and the extirpation from public debate of the canons of logical truth by a mindless subjectivism.
The reader will see plenty of appeal in the Archbishop’s ‘Election Statement’ to topical shibboleths—‘religious freedom’, ‘Catholic education’, ‘First Nation’ or ‘First People’, ‘climate change’, ‘carbon emissions’, ‘discrimination’—expressions which distract from a rational understanding of the chaos besetting the Australian people. He will see nothing on which a voter could focus which would assist them escaping from the burdens of a slavery daily growing more ominous, a slavery signaled by the appalling treatment meted out by governments of every hue over the SARS-Cov-2 virus.
And who would be surprised at this? The bishops, preferring to act as functionaries of their synodal church rather than as bishops of the Catholic Church, rushed to embrace the secular protocols. They did more: they forced their priests and people to conform to them!
There are numerous issues any Catholic bishop, as opposed to a bishop content to defer to the zeitgeist, would think it necessary to draw to the attention of Australia’s citizens on how to vote to enhance their own freedom and protect the freedom of the country. For example—
· The moral perversion involved in the platforms of the Labor and Green parties which have contraception, abortion, euthanasia and same-sex ‘marriage’ embedded in their constitutions.
· The lack of true leadership demonstrated by politicians of either of the major parties.
· The failure of the present Liberal government to limit State government interference in the lives of the country’s citizens during the recent pandemic, notably its failure to have resort to the provisions of the Commonwealth Constitution.
· The submission by Federal and State governments to the narrative, or legend, promoted by self-interested multi-national companies in urging recourse to drugs which were never more than experimental, as if they had been properly tested for their efficacy and side effects.
· The outrageous conduct of the Federal government in outlawing the use of other, cheaper and more effective remedies in breach of its citizens’ personal freedoms.
· The exaggeration by governments, Federal and State, and their instrumentalities, of the effects of the virus to the collective harm of the country’s citizens, if not at the outset, at least once it became clear that they were nowhere as bad as had been forecast.
· The gross mismanagement of the virus involved in the elevation of health from a relative to an absolute value.
· The indulgence by successive federal governments for more than a decade in policies which have operated to threaten the very security of the country by encouraging reliance on foreign imports at the expense of local manufacturing and industry, with the inevitable growth of extraneous influence over the country’s integrity.
· The failure of the federal government to address the present needs of the country’s defence facilities by embracing current solutions rather than promises for the future.
· The failure to resist the demands of a vocal atheistic minority over ‘green energy’.
· The failure to recognise the impossibility of ‘net-zero emissions’, and the refusal to acknowledge the evils for the country, both economic and strategic, that pursuit of this chimera will bring.
· The failure to insist on upholding the natural order, the order laid down by Almighty God, in pandering to those promoting ‘gender studies’ with its disruptive effects on the lives and freedoms of its citizens.
· The failure to address and control the subjectivist perils to the country involved in social media.
The silence of Australia’s bishops on any of these topics, but particularly the first, demonstrates that they regard themselves primarily as functionaries of their synodal church rather than bishops of the Catholic Church. They show no qualms about subverting Catholic principle to the ends favoured by its counterfeit. Their refusal on September 22nd last to allow 75 of their priests to publish their fidelity to Catholic principle is eloquent of their duplicity. The real reason for their refusal is that it would have exposed their weaknesses for all to see.
John Milton summed up the issues for Australia’s voters in a quatrain. Any Catholic bishop would be proud to quote it to those committed to his care.
But what more oft in nations grown corrupt,
And by their vices brought to servitude,
Than to love bondage more than liberty;
Bondage with ease, than strenuous liberty…