What did you think would happen?

By Hugh R. Brown

It’s ironic to watch the American Catholic bishops and our Church being devoured by those they fear, by the very people whose potential scorn and criticism have such power over so many of these men that the very thought of being labeled or persecuted by them seems to frighten them into practically abandoning Christ.

For far too long, many of our American Catholic bishops have allowed the faith of Christ to be characterized and, sadly, lived as either conservative or liberal. The Church is not a political party; it is not a political entity. The only purpose the Church’s enemies have in allowing Catholics to be labeled conservative or liberal is to deceive. There is no such thing as conservative or liberal. There is faithful—those faithful sinners who, trembling and in fear, work to serve the Lord. Other such labeling implies the false belief that a human being’s support for slaughtering children, desecrating the sacrament of marriage, and contracepting the soul out of eternity are merely forms of theological disagreement allowed in an enlightened and evolving church where the shepherds simply strive to get along without offending anyone.

An example of this comes from a recent Meet the Press interview in which David Gregory asked Cardinal Timothy Dolan about such issues as “abortion, gay marriage, and the use of contraceptive methods.” Dolan’s response that “. . . in my almost 37 years as a priest, rare would be the times that I preached about those issues” was a tragic admission that he has neither led nor instructed his flock on these important Church matters. 

God forbid the Church of the saints and martyrs courageously stand against the lies and deceit of the enemy without fear. The results of 37 years of fear and indifference of preaching the hard truths are exactly what we see before us in America today. Professional Catholics and their allies have cornered the American bishops. They have no easy way out. Through mandates, laws, lawsuits, deceit, and a relentless assault on the truth that is written on the hearts of every human being, the enemies of the Church have handed our bishops exactly what they have allowed. And horrifically, many of those leading this half-century assault on Christ and His Church boldly and without reproach claim Catholicism as their own. 

What did the bishops think would happen?

Thirty-seven years of fear. Thirty-seven years of holding no one accountable for the good of their own souls, let alone the good of an entire society. Thirty-seven years of allowing the faith to be blatantly disrespected, blatantly misrepresented, and blatantly distorted and confused.


The very people you so desperately sought not to offend, not to accuse, but to simply get along with, have spent those 37 years in the shadow of your fear with no remorse, no humility, no charity, and zero concern for you or for Christ and His faithful. They have striven to bring about the shrinking corner you now find yourself in. What did you think would happen when the serpent you naively entertain never sleeps, never rests while you fear offending him? Consider our children. For simply living their faith, will they endure great persecution and martyrdom as guests at the table of suffering that you have long prepared for them through decades of indifference?

Our hope rests in Christ and the intercession of His Most Blessed Mother. We must pray for our bishops and our enemies.

Our prayers must be for courage for those men who have it. Matthew’s gospel tells us of our shepherds: “Many are called, but few are chosen.” Let us pray for those priests, bishops, and cardinals who, like Saint John at the foot of the crucifix, will not abandon Christ and will not run in fear. May these chosen men stand courageously against an enemy empowered and strengthened by fear and silence. The hour is here, and we need them.

Hugh R. Brown has been involved his entire life in the fight to end the evil of abortion. The son of Judie Brown, Hugh is the founder and chairman of Saint Michael the Archangel High School—a Catholic high school in its 8th year, with over 100 students dedicated to training young men and women to live and defend our Catholic faith and reestablish a culture of life. Hugh is chairman and founder of the Catholic Business Network of Central Virginia, focused on empowering business leaders to live their faith proudly in their businesses and in the world. In addition, he is president and CEO of Anthony Kane and Associates, an organization focused on helping Catholic and Christian organizations raise money to fulfill their missions. Hugh and his wife have been married for 21 years and have five children.