“A good shepherd lays down his life for his flock.” – John 10:11
Faithful Shepherds is a one-stop database providing Catholics with evidence of where their bishops stand on Church teaching and key moral issues. It aims to help Catholics encourage bishops to be faithful to Christ.
For too long, lay Catholics have been without an authoritative accountability tool for U.S. bishops, especially those who deviate from the Church’s magisterium.
Founded in August 2018 by LifeSiteNews, Faithful Shepherds gathers research dating back years, sometimes decades, in an effort to inform Catholics about whether their bishops uphold Church teaching or not.
Faithful Shepherds provides information on where bishops in the United States stand on ten issues: Archbishop Viganò’s testimony, Amoris Laetitia, Pro-life leadership, Homosexuality, Abortion politics, Contraception, “LGBT” ideology, Liturgy, Marriage and Family Life, and Education.
Based on their words and actions, each bishop is assigned one of four positions for each issue:
- Faithful to Church teaching
- Not faithful to Church teaching
- Unclear whether he is faithful to Church teaching
- Not enough evidence collected on this issue
Please note that as more evidence is gathered, a bishop’s assigned position may change. Also, if a bishop’s position has been designated as “Not enough evidence collected on this issue,” then either there is not enough evidence Faithful Shepherds has collected on that issue or the evidence gathered so far does not allow Faithful Shepherds to assign a position. Many bishops have in fact taken a stance on the ten issues Faithful Shepherds collects information on. However, due to the vast number of bishops in the United States, Faithful Shepherds has not yet gathered evidence on all of them. Such a designation is not a poor reflection of the bishop himself. More often than not, it is a reflection of the fact that Faithful Shepherds has simply not come across it yet.
Contact your bishop
On each bishop’s page, there is a button that says “Send Postcard” next to each issue.
Visitors to Faithful Shepherds can send a postcard to the bishop of their choice for a small $2 fee. The postcard’s message will be pre-written by Faithful Shepherds and will urge him to uphold the Church’s perrenial teachings. The postcard will be delivered to the bishop in a matter of days.
As Canon 212 states, Catholics have “the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred Pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church.”
Visitors are also able to submit evidence on a bishop to Faithful Shepherds so they can help hold bishops accountable.
Below is a list of the main questions Faithful Shepherds relies on in determining whether a bishop upholds Church teaching or does not. More issues will be added as further evidence is gathered.
Archbishop Viganò’s testimony – Has the bishop supported an investigation into Viganò’s claims? Does the bishop say his allegations are driven by ideology or are an attack on Pope Franics? Has the bishop said Viganò is a man of integrity?
Amoris Laetitia – Has the bishop supported the dubia or explicitly said divorced and remarried Catholics cannot receive Holy Communion? Has he told Catholics to utilize the “internal forum” to decide if they should receive the Eucharist? Does he claim it is “pastoral” to allow Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics?
Pro-life leadership – Does the bishop engage in pro-life leadership against abortion? Does he pray outside abortion clinics and attend marches and rallies for life? Or does the bishop speak about a “consistent ethic of life” and downplay the preeminence of the Church’s anti-abortion teaching? Does he equate abortion with other social justice issues like poverty and immigration?
Homosexuality – Has the bishop spoken out strongly against the evil nature of homosexual acts and same-sex “marriage”? Has he publicly called for the Church to change its language regarding homosexuality”? Does he insist the Church must be “pastoral” towards homosexuals? Does he believe there is a connection between the sex-abuse crisis in the Church and homosexuality?
Abortion politics – Does he deny communion to pro-abortion politicians? Does he think Catholics should be allowed to vote for pro-abortion politicians? Has he called on pro-abortion politicians to change their ways? Does he abide by Canon 915?
Contraception – Does the bishop make a strong effort to remind Catholics about the evil of contraception? Does he encourage large families and support the teachings of Humanae Vitae? Has the bishop said anything about in-vitro fertilization or surrogacy?
“LGBT” ideology – Does the bishop welcome pro-‘LGBT’ priests and activists into his diocese? Does he allow or encourage Catholics in his diocese to participate in pro-‘LGBT’ events? Has he spoken out against gender ideology and pro-‘LGBT’ legislation or politicians?
Liturgy – Does the bishop encourage Communion on the tongue while kneeling? Does he promote Gregorian chant and liturgical reverence? Does the bishop say the Traditional Latin Mass? What are his views on Summorum Pontificum?
Marriage and Family Life – Does the bishop promote traditional family roles? Does he support Theology of the Body and Natural Family Planning? Does he give moral backing to pro-family organizations? Does he speak out against pornography or embryonic stem cell research?
Education – Does the bishop require morality clauses for teachers in his diocese? Has the bishop fired teachers who publicly challenge or dissent from Church teaching? Does he allow pro-gay or pro-‘LGBT’ speakers at diocesan events? What universities has the bishop been involved with? Are those universities faithful to Church teaching?