The public portion of the annual November meeting of the US Bishops has just concluded.

It was certainly an eventful — and at times dramatic — three days. The week began with the news that the Vatican, through the Congregation of Bishops, requested that the US bishops delay their vote on accountability measures for US Bishops involved in the sex abuse scandal until after the February meeting of the global bishops’ conference leaders in Rome.

While many reacted with consternation and shock, there were a number of reasonable explanations for this delay. For analysis from America, click here.

Obviously, much of the discussion focused on ex-Cardinal McCarrick and how he rose to power in the Church despite many in the hierarchy being aware of some of his predatory behavior. CNS created a video of some of the comments made by bishops during the discussion.

Finally, the body of bishops approved a statement entitled, “Open Wide our Hearts,” which addresses the evils of racism in our society.

The statement concludes with the following prayer to the Blessed Mother:

Mary, friend and mother to all,
through your Son, God has found a way
to unite himself to every human being,
called to be one people,
sisters and brothers to each other.

We ask for your help in calling on your Son,
seeking forgiveness for the times when
we have failed to love and respect one another.

We ask for your help in obtaining from your Son
the grace we need to overcome the evil of racism
and to build a just society.

We ask for your help in following your Son,
so that prejudice and animosity
will no longer infect our minds or hearts
but will be replaced with a love that respects
the dignity of each person.

Mother of the Church,
the Spirit of your Son Jesus
warms our hearts:
pray for us.

Mike Lewis is a writer and graphic designer from Maryland, having worked for many years in Catholic publishing. He’s a husband, father of four, and a lifelong Catholic. He’s active in his parish and community. He is a founding editor for Where Peter Is.

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  1. Peter Aiello says:

    Jesus is the only human heavenly High Priest intercessor who intercedes for us; and who Scripture specifically authorizes us to interact with. We neglect Him at our own peril.
    Hebrews 4:14-16 says: “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
    Does this sound like, because of our sins, we are not worthy to approach Jesus’ infinite holiness directly on our own? To the contrary, we are encouraged to do it. This is what He is there for. Because of Jesus’ human intercessory function, Hebrews is telling us to not be hesitant to go directly to Him.
    Hebrews 7:25 says that Jesus “is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

    • Mike Lewis says:

      Unsure what point you are trying to make.

      • Peter Aiello says:

        My comment was in reference to your prayer.

        • Christopher Lake says:

          Peter,

          Jesus is the one and only perfect intercessor for our salvation on the Cross. Mary’s intercession for us is that of intercessory prayer. Those are two very different forms of intercession. Mary prays for us in Heaven, similarly to how we pray for each other (at least, we should be praying for each other, that is!) here on earth.

          You continue to comment negatively here, whenever and wherever you can, on the teachings and practices of Mariology in the Catholic Church– a Church to which you belong as a professing Catholic. Do you truly think that you are going to convince your fellow Catholics here to adopt your ironically Protestant approach to Mary? You’re not even close to convincing me, partially because I have been there and done that and I’m not going back. I’ve seen the inherent problems involved in judging all Catholic teachings and practices (such as those of Mariology) according to *my personal interpretation* of Scripture. That is the road to heresy.

          As I’ve written here at WPI before, I was a strongly anti-Catholic Protestant for years, and my view of Mariology, at that time, was basically the *exact same view* that you now hold. In my case, it was logical for me to hold that view though. I was a professing Protestant. You’re a professing Catholic.

          The Popes and Saints, through the centuries, have directly apposed your interpretations of Scripture (and Tradition) on Mary, and on other subjects too. From your previous comments on other articles, I know that you want to claim that your interpretations of Scripture are simply the *actual teachings* of Scripture. That, too, is a Protestant heresy.

          I really hate to sound so non-ecumenical here by using terms such as “Protestant heresy,” because I love my Protestant brothers and sisters in Christ, and I love you too, as my fellow Catholic brother in Christ. However, if you are going to continue to all but state, outright, that you understand Mary’s proper, Scriptural place in Christianity better than *all of the Popes and Saints*, then I’m going to continue to respond to you, as your fellow Catholic, and say that you are just as misguided and Scripturally off, about Mariology, now, as I was when I was an anti-Catholic Protestant.

          • Peter Aiello says:

            Look closely at the Hail Holy Queen prayer and let me know how many of its sentiments are backed up by the New Testament. Shouldn’t we be shown the blessed fruit of Mary’s womb during our earthly stay instead of after? Jesus’ Spirit presence is for the here and now. The Father sends the Spirit of His Son into our hearts crying Abba, Father. We receive the Spirit of His Son by our faith directly in the Son. I am sounding Scriptural rather than Protestant. Any similarities are coincidental.

  2. carn says:

    “While many reacted with consternation and shock, there were a number of reasonable explanations for this delay.”

    The first impression seems to be that quite a number of people do not think the explanations to be reasonable and/or convincing.

  3. jong says:

    The Wisdom of God will prevails over the College of Bishops;
    “Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”(Proverbs19:21)
    There’s a greater good that will come out of the Bishops having a dialogue like this, it is like separating the good from the bad.
    The coming Bishop Summit on February will reveals all the Bishops who are loyal to Pope Francis and who are the Bishops against His Papacy.
    Pope Benedict XVI predictions and Marian apparition messages are unfolding esp. Akita and LaSalette..
    What is the end result?
    The Church will become small as Pope Benedict XVI predicted, it will only be composed of a few Bishops and Clergy together with religious,consecrated & victims souls and laity but it is a humble and repentant church united fully with Pope Francis and totally Consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
    This is small humble and repentant church will rise-up as the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart.why?
    this small church endures the great humiliation and attacks of satan human cohorts and still standing and faithful to Pope Francis.

    May the Wisdom of God in these end times be reveal to all the Marian Faithful to defend Pope Francis and the Church in the coming Final Confrontation.
    My Jesus mercy.S&IHMMP4us.Amen

  4. Christopher Lake says:

    Peter, you wrote to me in your reply:

    “Look closely at the Hail Holy Queen prayer and let me know how many of its sentiments are backed up by the New Testament. Shouldn’t we be shown the blessed fruit of Mary’s womb during our earthly stay instead of after? Jesus’ Spirit presence is for the here and now. The Father sends the Spirit of His Son into our hearts crying Abba, Father. We receive the Spirit of His Son by our faith directly in the Son. I am sounding Scriptural rather than Protestant. Any similarities are coincidental.”

    I know the “Hail, Holy Queen” prayer. You ask me how many of its sentiments are (in your words) “backed up by the New Testament.” To me, and to centuries of Popes and Saints, the “Hail, Holy Queen” is completely in accord with the New Testament, and with all of Scripture.

    Peter, please, consider this question, seriously. Have all of the Popes and Saints on record been wrong in their interpretation of Scripture, when it comes to Mary, while *you* are somehow the one who understands the Bible (at least on Mary) better than all of them? Do you truly believe that to be the case?

    The “Hail, Holy Queen” is a request to Mary to pray for us, that we may increase in obedience to Christ. Since Mary is alive with God in Heaven, there is absolutely no reason that we should not ask her to pray for us to become more holy and obedient to Christ. It is an utterly Scriptural prayer.

    You state that in opposing such prayers, and other Papally-approved Catholic Marian practices, you are “sounding Scriptural” rather than Protestant. There is a very serious problem with this assertion, especially when it comes from you as a *professing Catholic*.

    The problem is that virtually very professing Christian who has ever opposed *any* Papally=approved teaching or practice of the Catholic Church on faith and morals has thought that he/she was being “Scriptural” in doing so.

    Every non-Trinitarian who professes to be a Christian believes that he/she is being “Scriptural” in opposing the Trinity. The same is true of every professing Christian who opposes Mariology. Every heretic believes that he/she is being “Scriptural.”

    This stance that you take of “sounding (supposedly) Scriptural,” while opposing teachings of the Church that gave us the Biblical canon, is one of the sadly predictable hallmarks of a heretic. It’s part of a very long, and *anti-Scriptural*, tradition.

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