Ravenous Sheep and the Story of Former Bishop Gabino Zavala

The Catholic Bloggersphere is ablaze with news about Bishop Gabino Zavala of the Archidiocese of Los Angeles.  Jimmy Akin, a senior Catholic Apologist for Catholic Answer shares that “it has come to light that Bishop Gabino Zavala, an assistant bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles since 1994, has fathered two children, who are now teenagers and live out of state with their mother. He has subsequently left ministry and his resignation from his episcopal duties has been accepted by Pope Benedict.”

(http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/my-dad-fallen-catholic-bishop)

I thought it would be appropriate for Team Orthodoxy to add to the discussion.  Sadly, we cannot ignore the fact that what has occurred is wrong.  A Bishop, who was given charge to lead the flock in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles,  ignored his duties and chose to live in disobedience. This act is something that is beyond reprehensable.  But, amidst the flaming arrows that are coming from all sides, most especially within the church, from priests to laity, I feel one thing needs to be said.

THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD, GO I

I believe that the act has received its just punishment.  This Bishop, (and he is a Bishop forever like St. Peter of old), though without faculties, is ruined.  His good name is smeared.  Granted, he betrayed an entire flock, and that action must be justly dealt with, and many would say “He’s getting what he deserves”, but the truth is that as a Catholic people, we are called to act in Charity.  Obviously the Truth must be proclaimed, but with charity.  It is completely against our character to continue to destroy the name of a man, however sinful, because in one flash of an instant, our Blessed Lord can remove His grace from our lives and allow us to turn into serial killers.

“ALL IS GRACE” as St. Therese of Lisieux says.

As Catholics, we are becoming well acquainted with the fallen humanity of our Pastors.  There is one thing to remember through it all: as St. Paul tells us, “None are perfect” except for Our Blessed Lord and Lady.  We cannot place our hope in men, and most especially not in ourselves.  Even the strongest can fall.  Humility is quintessential for us as Catholics. Without it, as Julie spoke of in her talk on humility, we will not go to Heaven.  Therefore, we must remain in humility, because we can fall just as easily.

Sometimes a shepherd becomes the wolf, and sometimes a shepherd abandons his sheep.  In either case, they destroy the flock.  All this said, it is not fitting if the shepherd abandons the sheep, for the flock to hunt him down and tear him apart.

Let us live in love and pray for our Shepherds before we slander them.

In the Immaculata,

Chris

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About catholichris

Catholic. Married. Secular Discalced Carmelite. Hipster. Foodie. Board Game Aficionado. Beard.

Posted on January 7, 2012, in Apologetics, Catholic, Catholic Clergy, chastity, Church Corruption and Renewal, Current Events, faith, Orthodoxy, Pope, prayer, Saints and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Perhaps the real failure in this matter is an ecclesiology and sacramentality which roots its view of the priesthood in an ancient tradition originally established for monastics and religious communities that has been universalized much to the chagrin of many. And which truth be told many priests around the world do not follow.

    Richard Sipe’s survey of priests in the U.S. revealed over 50% had had some form of sexual relations after they were ordained.

    The real task remains of doing the work the episcopacy and Rome refuse to do. Pray, fast, begin funding studies to look at what the church of the future with married clergy will look like.

    • Tom, thank you for your comment!
      I would really like to see that survey. Where could one find access to that?
      In regard to your final comment, I was wondering if you could clarify what you are saying. Are you stating that priestly celibacy is wrong and needs to be changed based on the finding’s of Sipe’s survey?
      I look forward to hearing from you!

      In the Immaculata,

      Chris

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