According to the website of the Australian Catholic Bishops,
Bishops have three main responsibilities:
To Teach. A bishop is the principal teacher in his diocese and has a responsibility to preach the Word of God to his people. He must ensure that those delegated to teach in his name, namely priests, teachers, catechists and others, teach the truth.
To Govern. This refers to meeting the needs of the local community (material, social, personal and spiritual) as well as ensuring that church laws are observed. He is ultimately responsible for training and supplying priests for parishes, for the finances of the diocese and for all church property. A bishop has the power to make church laws, be a judge in church matters and to enforce observance of these laws. These laws generally relate to worship, preaching, administration of the sacraments, safeguarding the faith and morals of the faithful and religious instruction.
To Sanctify. A bishop is responsible for ensuring that the sacraments are administered and has the special authority to ordain priests and to confirm. It is usually the case, then, for a bishop to ordain the priests who are to serve in his diocese and to travel around the diocese and administer the Sacrament of Confirmation. He must also ensure that Mass is celebrated in the diocese every Sunday and on major feast days.
That is, bishops must, personally and through their priests, Catholic schools, Catholic media, and other means available to them, teach the faith; lead the people; and administer the sacraments. These are the tasks which bishops voluntary signed up to do.
So how are our bishops progressing with all this?
1 Teaching the faith.
Hands up those who have heard a priest or bishop or Catholic school warn about the pains of Hell. Who have heard a priest warn those crowds who come to Mass and receive Communion at Easter and Christmas that they face terrible judgements if they have missed Mass and failed to confess during the year. Those who have heard a priest go through the ten commandments, talk about modesty among women, speak about abuses in the Mass. Discuss sin and its affront to God.
We had a survey on same-sex 'marriage' not so long ago, and we heard little or nothing from our bishops on the eternal consequences of sodomy.
Here is an Australian archbishop defending Catholic teaching on sodomy.
Australian parents have almost stopped having large families, and contraception is almost universal. Not a word from our bishops.
Instead, they are teaching about climate change, illegal immigrants, anything but the truths of the Church.
2 Leading the People
Bishops and priests are put there to lead. The laity follow. There are many organisations of Catholics who promote Catholic values. But they are just about all run by the laity, many of whom give their lives to oppose abortion, sodomy and injustice. There are many media outlets run by lay men and women: if we had to rely on the 'Catholic' media we might remain ignorant.
3 Administer the sacraments
It is rare to find a Mass without abuses. For example, there will often be a gaggle of women 'ministers' who distribute the Host and the Precious Blood wearing pedal pushers or shorts. All abuses are serious, but one of the worst has to be offering the Blessed Sacrament to those in manifest grave sin.
The sacrament of penance is rarely promoted. In a parish of 10 000 people there might be about 20 - 50 who go to confession during the course of a year. Those children being prepared for their first Communion learn only about Communion in the hand, the extraordinary method. Their first confession might be a Second Rite, and they may never learn about the First Rite.
Now the consequences
We know that even the deliberate missing of a single Sunday Mass will, if we do not repent, take us to Hell. What's it like?
1 Immediately after death we meet Christ as a Judge. We experience His infinite love for an instant. Yet we have rejected him, and this stupidity remains with us forever.
2 We see clearly how greatly we have offended God's infinite majesty, and the remorse never leaves us.
3 It dawns on us that our situation will never change. Never.
4 An intense fire consumes us, passing through and yet never subsiding. We remain conscious.
5 The darkness envelops everything around us, but we can see suffering souls around us, and are disgusted by their offences as well as our own.
6 We are allotted demons in hideous shapes, who will be our companions. They are not the kind of companions we shall wish to spend eternity with.
7 There are torments which are appropriate to our sins on earth. For example, there are particular torments for sodomites, and there are demons on hand to administer them.
8 These torments have no time attached to them. Some artists display these torments in different ways, such as having demons biting and crushing a sinner's head. This results in a death which does not end. A living death.
9 Those demons who provide the torture are stronger far than any human. They never get tired, they never rest. They hate all flesh.
10 There is a despair from which there is no relief. God is so lovable, but they cannot love. They curse all those who contributed to their damnation, and also those who tried to save them. Especially they curse God.
11 The way you fall into Hell, that's how you lie for eternity. You cannot turn over, stretch, move about. If you land awkwardly, then that's another burden.
12 The heat is beyond our imagination. It makes our fire on earth like looking at a picture of a fire.
13 There is a smell of rotting flesh, enough to kill anyone on earth. And it never gets better.
14 A dreadful loneliness, with no one except demons to converse with. And you will not like what they have to say. You are in solitary in a vast prison.
This is the future for those who die without repentance. It is so awful that the bishops and priests should be shouting it from the rooftops.
But they're not.
Priests will tell us not to talk about Hell. And Catholic schools refuse to teach their children what happens to those who die in sin.
Our Blessed Mother set us a wonderful example at Fatima. She showed the reality of Hell to three children, the youngest of who was just seven. How would She get a job in a Catholic school?
And where is the bishop who will say that what Our Lady did was wrong?
Do bishops go to Hell?
It seems difficult to imagine that Christ would send the successors of His apostles, or even His priests, to permanent punishment. At the same time, Christ expects His apostles to perform the tasks they willingly signed up for.
As far back as the time of the Fathers of the Church, there were claims that bishops do not always get to Heaven.
The claim that 'the floor of Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops' is an ancient one.
This news is terrible, yet it is not easy to refute.
What can be done to make sure it doesn't happen?