‘My brother bishops, you face many challenges in your apostolic ministry in England and Wales. Perhaps you can identify with Peter and John as they are dragged before the Sanhedrin to be pressured, threatened and even beaten to stop proclaiming the saving Truth of Jesus Christ.
Perhaps you can sense viscerally the pressure to obey men rather than God, to see yourself as a mere manager or functionary rather than a disciple and an apostle.’
The Cardinal quotes the Holy Father's words in a recent sermon, about how bishops and others in the Church should not be 'mere functionaries', but real disciples. This means, Ouellet reminds us, standing up for the truth and for justice, even against the powerful. The Holy Father had some rocky times with his own native government, of course, when in Argentina. Sometimes it is necessary to do things the establishment thinks are difficult, obstructive, offensive, the 'wrong side of history' and so on.
God will not judge us on how many chums we had in high places, or how easy people found us to work with as they implemented the culture of death. He requires us to be witnesses to some uncomfortable truths. This requires diplomacy, restraint, and charity - and courage and fortitude.
It is good to know that Cardinal Ouellet understands the situation in England and Wales. Let us pray for our bishops, and for good appointments in the future.