More Light, Less Heat Quoted


More Light, Less Heat

Quoted at Ad Orientem

The Pope Has Let Us Down

Rod Dreher writes in today's Wall Street Journal: Even if it has been possible to believe that John Paul had been ignorant of the rape of children, the worst of all scandals, that is obviously no longer the case. The situation of Catholics in Boston is enough to make one weep. Cardinal Bernard Law claims to have offered his resignation, only to have it refused. Rome allows him to remain in office, though his mendacity and corruption are there for all the world to see, and the credibility of the church in Boston is destroyed.

I am truly saddened to read things like this. (A reason I don't often comment on news). I am saddened not for John Paul and the Church, but for Mr. Dreher and his adherents.

And, what are we to make of this? Seems to me that it is an object lesson. If one of the most learned, greatest, and kindest Popes of recent years could indeed be so remiss in his duties, we shouldn't be surprised. Aren't we told that "All fall short of the Glory of God?" And more, aren't we told not to put our trust in Earthly Creatures, but in Heavenly ones? Perhaps this is God's way of reminding John Paul of his very human, broken nature.

If John Paul has let us down, and I'm not certain that I believe that, it is because we expected him to be more than a man. If one looks at the life of any Pope, any saint, one is likely to find episodes that are "disappointing." My question is, "Is this a proper topic of conversation, or is this simply spreading scandal?" If there has been a failure, shouldn't we be praying earnestly rather than spending all of our time blaming? If someone has fallen short of our expectations, are we so perfect that we can afford to point out the shortcomings?

This is the Pope who oversaw the destruction of Communist regimes in the west. This is the author of Veritatis Splendor and Evangelium Vitae. This Pope has been a powerful prophetic witness to the world, and now, more than ever, he needs our prayers and our love. Just as one would not throw out a family member no matter how grave the offense, it is time to stop hurling blame and pray the Church hierarchy back to health. Note: THE HIERARCHY, not the Church, because the Church is without blemish or fault, it is the Body of Christ and the Spouse of God. The Church is more than the hierarchy. Yes, we need to call people to account.

But please, where does invective, blame, ridicule, sarcasm, and spleen get us in this discussion? Prayer is the solution, not blame. Watchfulness and caution, not invective, are our chief weapons. God has given us this time of trial to see if we will turn to Him and trust Him. So far, we have trusted only flawed human judgments. Better to align ourselves with God in prayer and go the way He leads us.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 21, 2002 9:08 AM.

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