There is a scene in one of the Die Hard movies where Bruce Willis is getting into an elevator with a bunch of Eurobaddies pretending to Americans. The Eurobaddies are intent on putting an end to the movie series by killing Bruce. Ah, but Bruce picks up on few little things that give him the advantage.

One of them calls the elevator a lift instead of, well, an elevator and another handles his cigarettes funny. Based on this evidence alone, Bruce quickly comes to the conclusion that these security guards are likely not American after all. So if they are not American, he surmises, well they must be Eurobaddies and he promptly dispatches them all to the great beyond.

What saved Bruce from an untimely demise? The dead giveaway. Keep this in mind.

Perhaps you have heard the story already about an El Paso priest who wrote an op-ed to the local newspaper. In his article, Fr. Michael Rodriquez said things that from a Catholic point of view that are undeniably true.

Remember: Every single Catholic, out of fidelity to charity and truth, has the absolute duty to oppose (1) the murder of unborn babies, and (2) any and all government attempts to legalize homosexual unions.

Any Catholic who supports homosexual acts is, by definition, committing a mortal sin, and placing himself/herself outside of communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

There is more and you should read it. For his defense of Catholic teaching in the matter the good priest was publicly rebuked by his Bishop in the same paper. His Excellency Most Rev. Armando X. Ochoa, Bishop of El Paso wails and apologizes about the incivility of the neanderthal Fr. Rodriguez. Check out Father Z for a line by line dissection of the original letter and the Bishop’s response.

However, as a result of this I fear there may be many priests out there who would like to defend the Church but now fear similar rebukes to the one suffered by Fr. Rodgriguez. So how can a priest in good standing know if his Bishop is really a Eurobaddy just pretending to be Catholic while he takes you down the elevator of death? Well just like Bruce, you need to look for the dead give-away. And fortunately there is one.

Let’s return to the the rebuke written by Bishop Ochoa. While most of the piece is obvious there is one subtle giveaway that if it had been detected in his writing prior to this incident may have saved the good priest some grief. Let’s look at it.

“As Church we want to journey with everyone as they search for meaning in their lives.”

Seems innocuous enough, right? But the devil is in the detail. As Church we want to journey says the Bishop. As what? Church. Not THE Church? No just Church. But where is the definite article? Aha, now you are on to something.

For reasons I cannot fully explain, progressive Eurobaddies abhor the definite article when referring to THE Church. Saying THE Church conveys history, truth, and authority–all things antithetical to the progressively pastoral. By removing the definite article, progressives hope to remove any sense of such unpastoral authority. They prefer that you think of the Church as an autonomous collective, a sort of anarcho-syndicalist commune in which we take turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week.

But there you have it. This is the easiest way for you to discover if your Bishop is really just a progressive Eurobaddy in disguise ready to pounce on you when you least expect it.

So what then? What do you do if, while scouring the writings of your Bishop, you discover reference to the indefinite Church? I can’t answer that for you but the Bishops should be glad the Bruce is not a priest.