Tuesday, October 4, 2011

TFTD: What Might the Saints Think About Those Who Defy The Bishops in the Name of the Faith?

St. Ignatius of Antioch speaks about the importance of the bishop and the relation of the faithful with him:


See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.


Moreover, it is in accordance with reason that we should return to soberness [of conduct], and, while yet we have opportunity, exercise repentance towards God. It is well to reverence both God and the bishop. He who honours the bishop has been honoured by God; he who does anything without the knowledge of the bishop, does [in reality] serve the devil. Let all things, then, abound to you through grace, for ye are worthy. Ye have refreshed me in all things, and Jesus Christ [shall refresh] you. Ye have loved me when absent as well as when present. May God recompense you, for whose sake, while ye endure all things, ye shall attain unto Him.


—Ignatius of Antioch [50-117 AD] Epistle to the Smyraeans

It makes me wonder how this early Martyr for the faith and disciple of St. John the Apostle would react to the open contempt some Catholics are showing to the Bishops, while claiming to be authentically Catholic.

Are there bishops who have disappointed in their service?  To be sure.  Even so, when the bishop acts in his role as a bishop and not offering a private opinion, he is acting as a successor of the apostles.

We should certainly keep in mind what Christ has said concerning those whom He has sent:

Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”

(Luke 10:16)

No comments:

Post a Comment