IT is interesting to compare the views of Fr Michael' Sharkey on the subject of the public criticism of bishops (May 23), with those of St Thomas Aquinas on the same subject.
While acknowledging that St Paul "once defied St Peter to his face", Fr Sharkey still condemns those who "complain about their utterances, or goad them for their silences"; and includes them in his charge that they "are making sport of the sacramental structure of the Mystical Body of Christ."
St Thomas Aquinas, however, teaches (Summa Theologica II (ii) Q. 33) that fraternal correction, including that of prelates by their subjects, is a precept of charity. And, the Angelic Doctor states: "If the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly."
W J Morgan Rugby