Bishop Olmstead releases 23 page exhortation to men October 2, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Domestic Church, episcopate, General Catholic, manhood, mortification, sanctity, Society, true leadership, Virtue.
I found it a bit too redolent of the “New Evangelization” in parts, but Bishop Thomas Olmstead of Phoenix has released a fairly novel, for this day and age, exhortation/challenge to the men of his Diocese to step up and get engaged in the spiritual maelstrom raging all around us. Overall, I think this a welcome development, even if I wish the exhortation was more grounded in Tradition than it is (the great preponderance of the language is decidedly post-conciliar). It’s a rare thing in this day and age to see a bishop actually throw down a gauntlet, spiritually, rather than continue the production of vast quantities of happy gas. I say, good for him.
A review from Fr. Richard Heilmann:
In a powerfully worded apostolic exhortation addressed to the men of his diocese, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, Arizona, has urged them to “not hesitate to engage in the battle that is raging around you.”
In a 23-page exhortation, entitled “Into the Breach,” Bishop Olmsted challenges men to join in a “primarily spiritual” battle against forces that are “progressively killing the remaining Christian ethos in our society and culture, and even in our homes.”
Bishop Olmsted writes that the cultural crisis has arisen primarily because “Catholic men have not been willing to ‘step into the breach,’ and his purpose in the document, released on September 29, is to rally good men to the cause. [Yes, men’s failings have been a significant part of the problem, but how are sheep to rally without a shepherd to guide them? I very much appreciate Bishop Olmstead’s exhortation in that regard, but let’s be real: the crisis in the Church is a crisis of a mass failure of leadership by the clergy. THAT IS NOT TO EXCUSE MEN OF THEIR DUTY! Not at all, but it is a a recognition of reality, though should fathers/men return en masse to their duty, one would hope and pray that within a few generations the crisis would be resolved through a huge influx of very good priests]
Bishop Olmsted explains that Catholic men are needed to conduct the “New Evangelization,” to re-introduce Christian principles in a society that has come to neglect them. He also cites the image offered by Pope Francis, of the Church as a “field hospital,” providing urgent care for those wounded by societal problems. [The only problem with the “old evangelization” is that it was dropped for no good reason. I am very dubious of this “new evangelization,” because it is grounded in the modernist concept that the world and humanity have somehow undergone a change so fundamental that the old means and methods – so effective for centuries – no longer work. They only no longer work, because they are no longer tried. It is one of the signal achievements of the modernist camp, in getting the Church to embrace this mentality, by and large]
Reflecting on the complementarity of the sexes, the bishop calls for active resistance against “gender ideology” and a dedication to living out male virtues, particularly the virtues of fortitude and chastity.
Addressing the question of what it means to be a man, Bishop Olmsted reminds his readers of how Pontius Pilate referred to Jesus: Ecce homo– “Here is the man!” The bishop observes: “Only in Jesus Christ can we find the highest display of masculine virtue and strength that we need in our personal lives and in society itself.” [Good]
The bishop urges men to undertake a campaign of spiritual growth, advising regular prayer and use of the sacraments, reading of Scripture, and unselfish service to wives and children. He recommends imitation of the great males saints. [Ooh Ooh! I pick Saint Jerome!] He cites the words of one of these models, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati: “To live without faith, without a patrimony to defend, without a steady struggle for truth – that is not living, but existing.”
In closing his apostolic exhortation, Bishop Olmsted calls readers’ attention to the scandal of Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the sale of fetal tissues. “We need to get off the sidelines and stand up for life on the front lines,” he writes, adding:
“We need faith like that of our fathers who defended the children of previous generations and who gave up their own lives rather than abandon their faith in Christ. My sons and brothers, men of the Diocese of Phoenix, we need you to step into the breach!”
Men of the Dallas Diocese (and nearby environs), you have two opportunities in the next week to step up and take on some additional effort to for the good of souls, the restoration of the moral order, and in opposition to grave evil. The first is next Wednesday, October 7 in the prayer vigil outside ‘The Men’s Club,’ and the other is on Saturday, October 10, in the Rosary Rally outside Planned Butcherhood. There is also a Life Chain being held this Sunday Oct. 4 at Mater Dei Parish from 2-3:30 pm. So you can’t say: “Well, what can I do?” You can go to any or all of those!!!
I pray I see you there!