I can remember, like it was yesterday, the day I knelt before my bishop. On the day of my priestly ordination, I promised my bishop respect and obedience. Thanks be to God I have never perceived this obligation as a juridical bond, but as a hierarchical communion willed by Jesus, Eternal High Priest, in the relationship of the priest with his own bishop. In such a way, I consider myself a participant ontologically in the priesthood and ministry of Christ.
By submission to this authority I am better equipped to live the words of St. John the Baptist: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John3:30).
Here’s where I see the root of the tension stems from today: We are experiencing a secular war on the supernatural and it is being played out in many different arenas.
Dr. Alice Von Hildebrand put it best: “Now let us abolish the terms “conservative” or “liberal”, the terms “left” and “right” which are secularistic. I suggest that we say from now on “those who have kept the sense of the supernatural and those who have lost it”. That is the great divide, that is the essence.”
She goes on to say:
“Do you look at the Church and her teaching, whether dogmatic or moral, with a supernatural eye, or do you look at it with secular lenses? That is the divide. Left and right confuses the issue. Let us re-discover the greatness and the beauty of the supernatural and I claim that it is so difficult in the polluted world in which we live, that if we don’t pray for it every single day, we are going to be infected. It is the air that you breathe, the newspaper that you read, the television show that you see, time and again you will see this is a fight and attack on the supernatural.”