Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


When a Bishop is led by the sheep …

September 25th, 2019, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Looking for more ‘Troubles’

Trouble didn’t come looking for Irish Bishop John Fleming of Killala; he sought it out on his own. Now he claims the spark was lit by an  estimate that there will be but “three to six priests serving the 22 parishes of the rural diocese by 2037.” 2037! Yes, you read that right. He’s so worried, so untrusting in the Holy Spirit’s protection, and perhaps so interested in getting the Pope’s attention and approving smile, that he is making 2037 such an issue that he used a “poll” of his parishes to take on the mantle of crusader for women’s ordination. Huh?

Voting on Church Teaching and Doctrine?

Bp. Fleming  took it on himself to poll the parishioners (aka his ‘flock’), and now reports, to his own shame, that “80% of the assembly voted in favor of a female diaconate, while 69% voted for female priests.”  Please, may I be so bold as to ask “Who cares?” Those who don’t come to Mass at all? Those who support abortion? Or who suffer from same sex disorders? Well, maybe so, given their conclusions. Especially when a bishop discards the vestment of teaching, ruling and sanctifying!

“In the balloting, 80% of the assembly voted in favor of a female diaconate, while 69% voted for female priests. The vote found that 85% want married priests. The vote also found that 86% want the Catholic Church to change its teaching regarding homosexual relations and to include persons regardless of marital status, family status, or sexual orientation.” (aha!) Evidence of poorly catechized or disordered minds should indicate a questionable ability to adequately input on matters of obedience and governance. Moreover, how naive is Bp. Fleming about his own broader image that the flock for which he is responsible is now publicized as advocates for disobedience and sin! Moreover, since the Bishop clearly has no capability to implement his poll, he looks quite foolish for having taken the poll in the first place. Leave that to CNN, who can make a poll say anything it wants to say.

Bp. Fleming’s comment? He said “These proposals, when accepted, will then become diocesan policy and form the basis of our Pastoral Plan for the Diocese.” Duuh! And, as hard as it is to believe, the voting was on matters over which the laity has no authority, and no control.  Unfortunately, people are easily swayed in focus groups, and such a methodology is deeply flawed in collecting data. It is more like “creating” data.  Shall we also note that 356 of the 1500 ‘voters’ were teenagers, especially impressionable? Why would any bishop be asking them, rather than teaching them, and rather than relying on 2000 years of authority, doctrine and Church Teaching?

Power and Authority

Calling the process an “inclusive initiative,” Bp. Fleming said he wants to hear from inactive Catholics, as well as young people. Previously he said he had been inspired by Pope Francis, who said in his message for the 2016 World Communications Day that “listening … means being able to share questions and doubts, to journey side by side, to banish all claims to absolute power and to put our abilities and gifts at the service of the common good.” “Banish all claims to absolute power?” No. That is exactly what Christ gave to his Church. People like Bp. Fleming are just afraid, or maybe too self-serving, to use that power. The Killala diocese has promised to implement their initiatives in 2020. Sorry, Bp. Fleming; you don’t get to have “initiatives” which change Church Teaching.

The Lifesite article states: “In the Killala diocese, there is apparently little provision made for traditionalist Catholics.” No surprise. Read the link to learn more, including forbidding the Mass of the Ages to be celebrated. The dissidents are nesting together in Dublin in October, with We Are Church Ireland which advocates among its six goals the abolition of a celibate male priesthood.

Why do I particularly care?

Well, the Diocese of Killala “includes portions of Counties Mayo and Sligo.”  Since my family comes in part from Mayo, I am pained to learn of the dissipation of the faith which they brought to America, circa 1860. Will somebody please take the scissors out of Bp. Fleming’s hand, as he runs roughshod through the doctrine, tradition, Church Law and pastoral practice of two millennia?


“The Episcopal See of Killala appears to have been founded between the years 434 and 441 by St. Patrick, who, during that period, was propagating the faith of Christianity in the province of Connaught; and built a church at this place, called Kill-Aladh, over which he placed one of his disciples, St. Muredach, as bishop.”

(Samuel Lewis, writing in his 1837 Topographical Dictionary).


One Response to “When a Bishop is led by the sheep …”

  1. avatar militia says:

    The reason bishops get away with such poor shepherding and with ignoble purposes is that they too are victims of the same thing. And they know they can do their worst with impunity. But there is one bright side, believe it or not. I am now able to sort through solicitations for donations much more quickly. Anything which contains a picture or quote or made up prayer by “Pope Francis” is immediately discarded. No need to read further. I’m just being honest about it. May God please forgive me, and help us all.

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