The ordained ministers exercise their service for the People of God by teaching (munus docendi), divine worship (munus liturgicum) and pastoral governance (munus regendi).
1592: Catechism of the Catholic Church
Which part of the ministerial service is covered by a priest encouraging people to sign a petition directed against their Bishops? Am I wrong to be horrified? It is worse than the bad ol' days when some priests would tell their congregations to vote Labour (admittedly in the days when the Labour party still had a backbone). Who has the authority to make such a petition, who has the authority to sign it, who has the authority to direct the faithful to sign it?
Do our brother Priests not have some mechanism whereby they can talk to their Bishops, expressing their concerns for their flock and asking for prayerful guidance. Is our hierarchy so far removed from its people that even our priests feel they can't talk to the Bishops and feel the need to sign a petition?
The bottom line is, our schools are NOT Catholic (as in true to the Magisterium, they have to render too much to Caesar for this to be the case) they are only Catholic in a cultural sense, there are not enough Catholic teachers in most Catholic schools to ensure things are done properly. Though I'm sure many non-Catholics are equally horrified by the proposals for sex-ed in our Primary Schools. Individual parents and teachers are going to have to make a stand and it is these that the Bishops will have to support. Outright, open criticism of the government by the Bishops could make this very difficult.
I don't know how far off we are from needing Bishops like "the Lion of Munster", (we are certainly not being openly persecuted yet)but without prayer and unity great men like that will not arise again. Incidentally, strong, outspoken Bishops are always patriots who love their country. Is not one of the greatest threats to England and Wales, that patriotism is considered such a dirty word within these shores?
ps. No links on this post, no criticism of any individual, just incredulity, puzzlement and a real concern that we are being divided by forces that want to destroy our witness, charity and unity.