HAS NOT THE BISHOP ALLOWED HIMSELF TO BE USED BY A GOVERNMENT THAT IS HOSTILE TO THE CHURCH?

The second after-effect of the 1830 Revolution was seen in the request that Father Courtès become the Vicar General of the newly-appointed Bishop Rey to the Diocese of Dijon. This new bishop had openly supported the King despite the latter’s public hostility to the Church.

… The proposal made to you by Bishop Rey would arouse my gratitude, if his only purpose were to show you his esteem. I am a little less impressed in the view of the position he is in and the advantages he would hope to derive from your services.
You are right to conclude that his proposal is unacceptable. First because of your health …. I see no less difficulty on the moral side. Bishop Rey has been installed by the Sovereign Pontiff, but is there anyone who does not know that this installation was extracted by force? Has not Bishop Rey allowed himself to be used by a government that is hostile to the Church? To receive his patronage would be in everyone’s eyes a frank admission of complicity. The very idea fills me with horror….

To Hippolyte Courtès, 11 March 1832, EO VIII n 417

The question of collaboration with unjust rulers has been present for centuries – not just in action, but sometimes silence in the face of injustice can be collaboration.

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One Response to HAS NOT THE BISHOP ALLOWED HIMSELF TO BE USED BY A GOVERNMENT THAT IS HOSTILE TO THE CHURCH?

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    There is a place within us – sometimes buried deep, and its voice may be only a quiet, uncomfortable murmur. Still it is there and once we listen and hear it we must then either try to bury it deeper or join in with it and speak up. To be silent can be passive agreement, collaboration. To be speak up is to dare and to risk – sometimes everything that we care for or about. And love demands – yes love demands that we speak up, that we confront and that we set about to change. And even as I sit here my eyes fill with tears because there can be a price to pay for that. If we love, if we have compassion then we must speak up and instigate or join in the change. Jesus on the cross comes to mind.

    I think of the picture of a painting which I saw recently of two women hugging and consoling each other. And in the distance behind one of the women is the image of a cross with someone on it and in the distance behind the other woman is the image of a man hanging on tree. Jesus who saw injustice and was not silent, who spoke out – but out of and with love – on the cross and then resurrected to give new life. And the other who got caught up in the injustice for whatever reason, and who gave in to it – actively but still gave into to it and was left empty knowing only despair.

    Again I see Jesus – and it scares me a little because I look at what happened to him. During my course I kept hearing “when his eyes met mine” – a joy yes – but there was and is a price to pay. I don’t want to stay silent, I can’t stay silent. My only choice then is ‘how’ speak out and go about change. Please God give me the strength to be it and do it in and with and through love. Listening to Eugene and reflecting each day – a reminder of that silent, uncomfortable murmur.

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