Bishops, Enough is Enough!
Video of my remarks at the event.
My Remarks at the Church Militant Rally in Baltimore 11.16.21
There is much to the backstory of my remarks at the Church Militant “Enough is Enough” Prayer Rally and Conference in Baltimore, opposite the USCCB meeting, on November 16, 2021. But the short version is this: I was asked to speak, prayerfully discerned, and agreed to do so. I then asked God what He wanted me to say and set aside time in the early mornings leading up to the event to listen and to write.
I believe my remarks were guided by the Holy Spirit and humbly offer them for your consideration.
The version below includes a section with words from the Old Testament prophets that I cut out of my remarks at the event because as I was backstage I heard Jesse Romero, who spoke just before me, including many of the same quotes in his presentation. The event was running late, so I considered it wise to cut them out, but I include them back in here as they are important to the overall message I was striving to transmit faithfully.
Bishops, Enough is Enough! by Jim Havens
It’s clear – the human element of the Church is gravely corrupt.
There’s clear corruption at the top with the bishops and those they surround themselves with; clear corruption in the institutional bureaucracies that extend from them. We’re not talking just incompetence (there is plenty of that too), we’re talking grave corruption and we’re here to say ENOUGH is ENOUGH.
We’re not calling for revolution, we’re calling for repentance. We’re not calling for perfection, we’re calling for a basic standard of integrity.
Bishops, we reverence the office, we care about souls, yours and those entrusted to you, which is why we must call out your sacrilegious abuse of the sacred offices you hold – in the hope of your sincere repentance, and conversion; that you might begin again with our Lord Jesus for your own good, and the good of all.
Hear the words of the prophets of old:
Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. Woe to you that are wise in your own eyes, and prudent in your own view. Isaiah 5:20-21
“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” says the LORD. Jeremiah 23:1
Woe to them, for they have strayed from me! Destruction to them, for they have rebelled against me! I would redeem them, but they speak lies against me. Hosea 7:13
Woe to him who builds a town with blood, and founds a city on iniquity! Habakkuk 2:12
And hear the words of Jesus Himself:
Woe to you…hypocrites! because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in. Matthew 23:13
Jesus said to his disciples, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the person through whom they occur…Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.” Luke 17:1-3
Could it be more clear? – Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. This is not complicated. ENOUGH is ENOUGH.
But what do we see? We see political games by political men who claim they don’t want to be political.
It is not political to clearly proclaim and apply the teachings of our Lord Jesus and His Catholic Church. That’s the mission! It’s political not to.
Bishops, fulfilling the demands of your office is not being political, it’s being faithful, and it’s what you took a sacred vow to do.
Ending abortion includes a political process, but fighting for the end of the daily mass murder of the preborn is not playing politics, it’s believing in morality and having the integrity to truly love as God has called us to, even when politics, and those churchmen who are truly playing politics try to stand in our way. Enforcing Canon 915 in regard to pro-abortion politicians is a no-brainer.
Do you see the scandal that it is to the world? That you bishops are not united in utilizing the full magnitude of your moral authority and influence to END this ongoing, daily mass murder?
If you cannot stand up for natural law and for innocent children that are being mass murdered every day, that which is knowable by reason alone, why would anyone listen to you on Divine Revelation, on matters of faith? You have undermined the authority of your office with your foolishness and cowardice. You think you are proclaiming Jesus with any level of credibility when you do not stand up for his little ones with everything you’ve got?
“But many will leave,” you may say.
You must be willing to let them.
You’re afraid to live the truth as you ought, because you don’t want those in the pews who reject the truth to leave? Then you don’t love them. You may love their numbers, or their money, but you don’t love them. They may be sitting in the pews, but in their hearts they are already gone if they reject the truth. If you really loved them, you’d make that clear to them.
It is better that they leave physically, and actually have to contend with the reality that they are outside of communion with Jesus and His Catholic Church, and hopefully come to their senses, repent, and return like the prodigal, rather than remain physically in the pews, rejecting what is true, and committing habitual sacrilege of the Blessed Sacrament by receiving Him in Holy Communion without the proper disposition of sanctifying grace.
But I know – There’s a lot of bishops and priests in our time that actually reject the truth themselves. So how could they possibly hand it on and provide a true, credible witness of the faith.
We need to know that, because we need to avoid their poison. And any bishops and priests of good will, you need to know that and avoid that poison too. You may think you look pretty good when you compare yourself with some of the wicked prelates that we have. But is that the measure by which you ought to be comparing yourself?
As is true of so much, when we look at the example of abortion and all that surrounds it, much is exposed. For example, when it comes to the ongoing, daily mass murder of the preborn, and the mass exploitation of pregnant moms in need for profit by the lie of abortion – GET THE GOAL RIGHT – this is as evil as it gets – the goal is to END IT – you must make that clear in your words and in your actions: that we must focus on urgently pushing forward to make this decriminalized murder of innocent children illegal in law and unthinkable in culture. You are supposed to be the moral leaders – act like it!
Let me use an analogy that will hopefully make it very clear. If it were legal in our nation to murder priests and bishops, and it was your lives that hung in the balance, would you do more to make that illegal and ultimately unthinkable in our culture than what you are doing now when it is legal to murder preborn children?
How dare you think you are more valuable that the innocent preborn children being murdered by the thousands every day! In fact, the greater our office, our role, as members of the Church, all the more are we to be configured to Jesus and to laying down our lives for the most vulnerable, the most needy among us.
In terms of our faith, Jesus Himself tells us: whatever you do or do not do for the least of these, you did or did not do unto me – and He ties our eternal judgment to it in Matthew 25.
When you step out in this area, or in other areas of living and defending the truth, and you hear those whispers from the father of lies, through many bishops and priests around you, saying: “Don’t be so extreme…this will cause division…tone it down…be more merciful,” or anything else to try to get you to ease up or stop – reject it immediately as the demonic nonsense that it is – and resolve with even greater strength to live and defend the truth. In these times, to lose your fortitude is to lose your faith. Take courage!
Our Lord Jesus had something to say about real mercy, when He was asked one day, “who is my neighbor?”
Jesus then spoke the parable of the good Samaritan who did not ignore or minimize the victim who was beaten and left for dead like the priest and Levite did. No, the good Samaritan was “moved with compassion at the sight.” He went to him, got off his high horse and served him. “Go and do likewise,” Jesus said.
If we had an ongoing, daily mass murder of any other category of persons under an unjust law, would be doing as little to end it as you are doing now?
Be honest with yourselves. You, who hold the sacred offices of leadership in faith and morals, you are the priest and the Levite passing by the opposite side of these little victims every day. You might throw a crumb over, here or there, but it is nowhere near adequate for the position you hold. We are disgusted by your cowardly manner and tone!
Real men and women of virtue cannot relate to your arrogant weakness. Humble yourselves. Face reality. Be moved with compassion at the sight of the ongoing mass murder of your little brothers and sisters being torn apart by the thousands every day. And all those moms and dads being deeply wounded – thousands of new ones joining their broken ranks every day. Be moved with compassion at the sight!
Now I know, even if every bishop hears the words we speak today, it’s likely only a handful would even consider them. For example, we sent a letter to every U.S. bishop inviting each to join us in praying the Rosary at the Men’s March to End Abortion yesterday, and only three showed up: Bishop Joseph Strickland, thank you. Bishop Joseph Coffey, thank you. Bishop Joseph Hanefeldt, thank you.
I understand the reality before us. But I speak these words anyway in the hope that even one current bishop might have the ears to hear, and the heart to care. The problem did not start with you, you’ve been born into it as we have, but will you resolve today with us: ENOUGH is ENOUGH.
You certainly ought to.
But if not, it will be those behind you, or those behind them, because eventually the priests and bishops will come from us, faithful Catholic families. And we, by God’s grace, are teaching them ENOUGH is ENOUGH.
To close with one practical piece of advice, for bishops now and those of the future. It will never be a document from this body, the USCCB, that will truly change things. It will be a question of your own virtue and integrity to be faithful in the little things, in the big things, in all things every day. Raise the bar.
Repent and avoid the deeds of the hired man, who sees a wolf coming, leaves the sheep, and runs away; strive, with everything you’ve got, to be the good shepherd who freely lays down his life for the least of these.
God bless you.