Say Hello to the New Bishops!



If you want to know what an apostle looks like, his picture is to the right.

That’s Bishop Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois.  Among other things, he’s a former hockey goalie, which probably gave him pretty good training for what he went through at a church gathering in Phoenix over the weekend.

Bishop Paprocki took part in the event, billed as “Two Catholic Views of Gay Marriage,” along with renowned feminist nun and Catholic dissenter Sr. Jeannine Gramick.

It was clear from the outset that the vast majority of the audience had come looking for a fight, eager to launch every weapon in their arsenal straight at this lone Catholic bishop and the truth he stood up for.  They came ready for battle.

But so did he.

Facing what can only be described as an all out attack, Bishop Paprocki stood strong and defended the Church and her teaching against the fiercest blows the crowd could hurl at him.  The enemies of marriage were rabid and relentless, assaulting the bishop with rude interruptions, sneering sarcasm, and hostile questions clearly designed to trip him up or catch him in a contradiction.

They failed, miserably.

I haven’t seen a video of the event, and don’t even know if there is one, but I’ve excerpted an article by Michael Clancy of the Arizona Republic for some of the better quotes by Bishop Paprocki:

“This event was billed as ‘Two Catholic Views of Gay Marriage,’ ” he said. “But there is only one view that is authentically Catholic. The other view is dissenting.”

He said if same-sex marriage is allowed, sadomasochism or other practices should be, too.  “If there is no moral truth, only alternatives, then everything should be OK,” he said.

He said those who oppose the church on the issue should become Protestants. “They do a lot of good things too,” he said.

Lord, send us more bishops like Bishop Paprocki!

Bishops are called successors of the apostles.  When we consider the Church’s teaching on apostolic succession, we think not only of the first bishops, the apostles themselves, but also of the continuous line of bishops from then until now – that unbroken line of holy men that have stood tall and protected the Church through the ages, from Peter and Paul to Augustine and Athanasius, from James and Andrew to John Fisher and Thomas Becket.

becket2But perhaps, sadly, the last half century has left us with a sense of longing when it comes to this leadership we seek and  depend on among our bishops.  Not to say there haven’t been a number of worthy, even great bishops in this time, maybe more even than we were willing to acknowledge.  But we’ve also seen the tragic consequences of an episcopacy seemingly made up more of comfortable clerics concerned with administration and management than men of action who take seriously their charge of defending the Faith with ready and steadfast courage when she comes under fire, and shepherding the Church with clear voices of conviction and authority as she carries out her mission on earth.

But now, that’s changing.

As the next couple decades unfold, it will become increasingly clear that among the greatest legacies of John Paul and Benedict is the group of bishops they appointed, especially in the United States.  And as the Church is besieged more and more by an increasingly hostile culture that seeks to demoralize and discourage those who would stand up for the truth, we’re going to start seeing more instances of bishops being specifically targeted for attack.  Sheep without shepherds are the wolves’ easiest prey.

This is why Bishop Paprocki’s brave stand in Phoenix is so important.  It sends a message, not only to the faithful who have so eagerly awaited it, but to the enemies of the Church as well:

The bishops are back.




Categories:Culture Marriage New Evangelization

  • Matt

    OK, let’s take him at his word. Logically, one would assume that those in the Church who seek to “blame the victims” of sexual abuse are opposed to the Church’s teaching on sex abuse crime.

    And our very fine Bishop Paprocki is on the record as saying that victims’ lawsuits are motivated by the Devil.

    Why isn’t he leaving?

  • Dcn. Luis Mata

    I am proud of your new Bishop!

  • Robb

    I’m assuming that all the Catholics who opposed Church teaching on torture and voted for George W. Bush left too…

    I guess not all intrinsic evils count when politics are up for grabs.

  • Richard Wloszyn

    Nie damy sie!

  • Janness

    As a former protestant, and new Catholic of only 3 years, the Bishop was right. Those dissenters should join a United Church of “Christ” church … they will welcome them with open arms. Two years ago at their Synod they voted to reject “God the Father”, and probably have more openly gay pastors than not.

    • Jack Bechtold

      Janess, congratulations on joining the one true faith. What church were you evangelized from? There are many more churches and synagogues that a homosexual would feel more comfortable with than Catholicism. However, they must accept the fact that only Catholics get to Heaven. There is a paradox that the church is embroiled in… the sacrament of matrimony can only be performed by a Catholic Priest, yet they seem to suggest otherwise. The use of the term “Christian” injects confusion. One might say “this is real ecumenism”. But, wait! Pope John Paul II said not all that far back that “other Christian Religions are fundamentally flawed”. If a convert was married in a Protestant Church or a Synagogue they must be remarried by a priest. I want to know what would happen if you decided not to remarry?

      • Slats

        Jack, according to the 1983 Code of Canon Law, if a person who was never baptized Catholic (or baptized Protestant and then welcomed into the Catholic Church) gets married prior to joining they Catholic Church, they in fact do not need to be “remarried” by a priest. A person who was at one time Catholic, left to join a Protestant ecclesial community, and got married before a Protestant minister would indeed not be married in the eyes of the Catholic Church. If that individual chose to adjure their Protestantism and return to the Catholic faith, he or she would need to be re-married (“have his or her marriage convalidated”) in order in fact to be married by the Catholic Church.

        Moreover, sacramental theology in the Latin rite Catholic Church has taught for centuries that the Sacrament of Matrimony is “performed” by the spouses. They are the ministers of the Sacrament. This is in contrast to the Orthodox Churches, who maintain that the priest is the minister of the sacrament. The sacramental form of Matrimony to which Catholics are bound (Mt. 16:19) does require that the marriage take place before the Church’s minister (priest or deacon) and two other witnesses. In any event, it is an objectively untrue statement according to Catholic teaching to say that “the sacrament of matrimony can only be performed by a Catholic priest,” or even if that statement were modified to say “the sacrament of matrimony can only be witnessed by a Catholic priest.” If two validly-baptized Protestants are married without any interfering prior bonds, the Catholic Church would hold that they are sacramentally married.

      • D’Anne Means

        I hope you don’t mind, Jack, when I join you in heaven! I belong to the Nazarene church and will be there with you!!!

        Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me”.

        I claim the blood of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of my sins…believe He is my Lord and Saviour. I’ll be there to celebrate eternity with you. I promise.

  • Maggie

    Wow! There is nothing I would like better than for the Church to come back to its’ beliefs and original teachings. I am so sick of progressive secular clergy who scream social justice at their members and Nuns who act like lesbian Nazi feminists.
    I left the Church many years ago, miss the comfort of the old Church who did indeed stand up to evil as this Bishop did. Must be the air in AZ, makes people actually use common sense.
    If this keeps up I may consider returning to my Church. I pray that it does.

    • Peggy

      If you believe in the truths of the faith, why did you leave? Your heart is calling you to the Eucharist… come back home, and welcome :)

      • Claudia

        Come home to Holy Mother Church. We need you and God bless you!

    • Brandy Miller

      So you left the Church because you saw the wolves? Don’t you remember that Christ said there would be wolves among us? Don’t abandon your mother just because there’s danger all around her! That’s the time you need to gird up your loins and get ready for battle :)

      • Maggie

        Well I physically left but I never forgot the teaching I received and never a day went by that I did not pray for Her to return to us.
        I found more spiritual peace away from the “hippie” element that took over.
        When there are enough people within the Church who get back to what is real in the messages of Jesus Christ,I am sure many more who have left will return to truly worship together in peace.
        There are times when the Mother abandons the child. That Brandy is what the Church has done. Many elements in my Church gave way to the thinking that they had to modernize and change to keep members. I think they lost members in doing so. Sometimes running from the wolves to fight them when you have some help is the smarter way. This Bishop offers hope that help may be coming.

    • Greg Aitchison


      Come on back home! I think many of us have been frustrated with the lukewarmness of our own Church, especially in America. But instead of jumping ship I think we’re called to settle in and bring about some of the change we wish to see. I know that might not always be fun, or easy, but the road to holiness isn’t always either. But it’s worth it – for ourselves and others.



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