My dear Catholic Brothers and Sisters:
The authority of the Apostles is handed down by Jesus. As the laity, we make up the One Body of Christ, but “we” are not the Head, which is made up of the hierarchy.
We laity do not shepherd the faithful; we do not teach on matters of faith and morals with the same authority as the Apostles; we are not responsible as they are for the salvation of souls.
Today there are a great many supposed shepherds who have absolutely no heart for their flocks. Only one thing matters to them: fleecing and sinking their craven teeth into victim sheep.
You know who I am talking about.
One such wolf prefers sheep to rabbits in their holes.
Another coos “Nighty-night, baby”.
There is one who tells our sons to call him “Uncle”.
Still another accuses dissenting sheep of crimes against the Holy Spirit.
Then there is one who commissioned a mural in his cathedral of himself in the throes of homoerotic ecstasy.
Several pretend to have pioneered protections, gaining fame and accolades along the way.
Such shepherds do not bother to leave the flock, save to devour lost sheep. If the sheep is returned, it is beaten, bruised and bloodied.
We know the victims, or perhaps have been prey ourselves. There can be no bigger agenda than for true shepherds, and all who work in service of them, to stop this evil.
It is not surprising that lay men and women in this present crisis — so justifiably outraged and rightfully fed up — are looking for ways to “force change”, “bring about action”, or “take control”. However, none of this, no matter how well-planned, will succeed.
The sheep cannot oversee the shepherds, because that is not the model Christ instituted. To suggest a new model that overturns the authority of the successors of the Apostles is to throw away the structure we have been given, which would have the effect of rendering the Church no longer the Church.
There is a distinction between proposing to eliminate the authority of the successors of the Apostles (which we cannot do) and rejecting individuals who have apostatized (which we can do).
Thus, the only path to change is for the sheep to utterly reject every wolf cloaked as a shepherd, who no longer merits the office he holds. These unrepentant monsters have no right to make us their victims.
We can’t control the wolves, but we can run from them. We can’t punish them, but we can reject them. We can’t force them to stop, but we can stop furnishing them resources. We can’t shepherd ourselves, but shepherds need a flock; without one, they are no longer shepherds.
This “nuclear option” is the only viable choice that we have: to deprive the wolves of willing flocks and to make ourselves pilgrims in search of true shepherds.
As for the wolves, the exposed must be expelled. Protectors, collaborators and cooperators of theirs can go also. They already are burdened by millstones. Let them be thrown into the sea.
Only then can healing actually begin.