Each year it has been my custom to withdraw from the world and its madness during Holy Week by engaging in a quasi retreat, i.e., by turning off my cellphone, my television and by greatly restricting the use of my computer. I check my email twice a day for ‘urgent’ email. I respond to all email that I consider to be not truly urgent as rapidly as I am able after Easter. Truly ‘urgent’ email receives my immediate attention whenever I read it.
This year, because of the present de facto schism crisis that exists in the Church, I am going to start my quasi-retreat today, Sunday, April 2, the 20th Anniversary of my retirement as Bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi.
When a man is ordained a bishop he acquires two powers: the Power of Jurisdiction and the Power of Orders. When a bishop reaches the age of 75 he is required by Canon Law to submit a letter of resignation to the Pope. When the Pope accepts the letter of resignation the bishop retires, becomes a “Bishop Emeritus” and gives up the active exercise of the Power of Jurisdiction which is the power to govern a diocese or other part of the Church. But a bishop can never lose the Power of Orders which is his power to preach, teach and sanctify. Some bishops chose to never exercise their Power of Orders after they retire, perhaps because of mental ‘burn out’ or physical disability. I have chosen to remain as fully active in the exercise of the Power of Orders as I am capable within the limitations of my growing physical disabilities at 93 years of age; I will be 94 next June. God willing, I will resume publishing on Abyssum.org and The Huffington Riposte.com on Monday, April 17. I ask for your prayers that in the time the Lord allows me here on earth, I may exercise my episcopal Power of Orders in a way that is truly pleasing to Him.
God Bless You !!!
+Rene Henry Gracida