Church leadership of Rome and Canada live in ivory towers

The Editor: Rome’s Archbishop Roche’s address to the Canadian bishops’ annual plenary (PM, Sept. 24) states the “liturgical renewal and reform already taken place, giving rites that balance” Catholic tradition with “the needs of a modern church.”

This is another reaffirmation of the virtual reality, the ivory towers, in which leadership of Rome and the Canadian church live. Evidently, he has never talked with any weekly churchgoer, let alone those many that have faded away due to the “irrelevant” Sunday liturgy.

Even more damning is the leadership of the Canadian bishops, who did not reject the Rome-inspired regressive liturgical changes.

Roche’s comment that “it is lay people who will achieve our cultural renewal” is interesting and contradictory. The laity had no empowered voice in the forced liturgical changes in Canada.

The frankness of the four Canadian bishops regarding the results of preparation for the Synod on the Family’s working document is refreshing. A brief synopsis of the first and fourth reports is:

No one will read it! The non-reception of a large number of the faithful of the Catholic teaching on marriage and family. Faithful know biblical teachings (do the bishops?). A gap between the teachings of the church and the experience of the faithful, even among the more committed.

The number of Catholics has doubled, marriages have dropped by half. The language of the questionnaire was so dense and so theological — trouble to answer it. Respondents rejected, questioned, or challenged the church’s stance to artificial birth control, divorce, remarriage and homosexuality. What the episcopal conference may perceive as balance is not perceived that way.

Archbishop Durocher reported on the optimal and beautiful relationship between the CCCB and the CCODP, after the CCCB bullied the CCODP’s lay leadership to define God’s mercy in terms of acceptable “Catholic norms.”

Too bad the Canadian bishops (toothless tigers) cannot stand up to the interference from Rome — in the enacted irrelevant liturgy! But Rome is staffed by other bishops of equal status, but with teeth! — Bob Burns, Richmond, B.C.

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