Thursday, January 31, 2019
Episcopal failure. . .
Perhaps there is another aspect of this to further illustrate the hesitance of the bishops to be bishops. Cuomo is divorced, living with another woman, and, though claiming to be Roman Catholic, apparently has not presented himself for communion in more than a year. So he claims without impunity to be a good and faithful Roman Catholic and yet has publicly violated church teaching without showing any repentance, contrition, or remorse.
Lest we Lutherans think too smugly of the sins of Roman Catholics in this, we have our own episcopal failures that should grieve our conscience and cause us concern. The whole issue here is one of integrity. Bishops are charged, in large measure, with preserving the public integrity of the Church by watching over doctrine and practice and holding congregation, clergy, and public figures accountable. Indeed, if we are not so concerned about the integrity of the faith, at least we should be concerned for the salvation of the individual's soul. The role of ecclesiastical supervisor is to walk the often difficult but essential line between the care of the soul and the preservation of the integrity of what is believed, confessed, and taught. While it might be a heavy burden to bear and a difficult tightrope to walk, no one compels a man to be a bishop (or whatever other name you choose for those who fulfill this role and purpose). If it is important for the Church to be a faithful administrator and good steward of the resources entrusted to her, then it is no less important to maintain the unity of the faith and manifest the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.