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Who will free us of these hirelings?

With the faithful in turmoil across the globe, reeling from the multiple revelations of 70 years of clerical pederasty, of the episcopal sodomizing of seminarians, of a culture of moral dissolution from the smallest diocese to the very top of the hierarchy, of bishops transferring offending priests from parish to parish so they could take more altar boys to their beds, of the shuffling of priest to other dioceses in order to run out the statute of limitations for prosecution, and of the widespread practice of bishops buying victims’ silence, Rome stands silent.

Yet more than silent. The Pope has surrounded himself with trusted advisers who actively took part in all of these sins. In homily after homily, he rails against those vocal faithful demanding reform, calling them barking dogs, referring to them as the devil, telling them that they are scandalous, and that they must be quiet. Anyone with the fortitude to call a spade a spade is derided. Those who assent to the doctrines of the Faith are referred to as fringe political radicals, and the dissenters and abusers are raised to positions of high honor. They don’t smell like the sheep, they are hirelings:

 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and flieth: and the wolf catcheth, and scattereth the sheep: [13] And the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling: and he hath no care for the sheep.” John 10:11-14

Today’s readings from the Liturgy of the Hours Office of Readings give insight to our present day, where Ezekiel’s vision of God enthroned the cherubim, and speaking to Ezekiel that he was about to gather his people back to Israel where they would free the land of it’s abominations.

“Thus saith the Lord God: I will gather you from among the peoples, and assemble you out of the countries wherein you are scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. And they shall go in thither, and shall take away all the scandals, and all the abominations thereof from thence.And I will give them one heart, and will put a new spirit in their bowels: and I will take away the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: That they may walk in my commandments, and keep my judgments, and do them: and that they may be my people, and I may be their God. But as for them whose heart walketh after their scandals and abominations, I will lay their way upon their head, saith the Lord God.” Ezekiel 11:17-21

Those who remain devoted to their detestable abominations, “I will bring down their conduct upon their heads,” says the Lord God. Saint Augustine warns them in the second reading for the memorial of St. Januarius:

Indeed, it terrifies me to think that I could take more pleasure in the honor attached to my office, which is where its danger lies, than in your salvation, which ought to be its fruit. This is why being set above you fills me with alarm, whereas being with you gives me comfort. Danger lies in the first; salvation in the second. Augustine, Sermon 340, 1: PL 38

As he was presenting the phial of St. Januarius’ liquefying blood to the faithful this morning, shortly after 10 a.m. Naples time, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, the Archbishop of Naples, fell ill and had to be moved to a seat by clergymen, where he struggled for breath. St. Januarius, pray for us.

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