How to be Catholic Now. Q1 a1

Greenwich Village twin towers


On the one hand, the unity of the apostolic Church consists of the allegiance of every baptized person to the successor of St. Peter.

On the other hand, human decency demands: Whenever someone in authority exploits someone vulnerable, that crime must be brought to light and punished justly, to the satisfaction of the victim.

These look like the Twin Towers of September 11, 2018, for any Catholic not living as a hermit.

On the one hand, many good Catholics rightly observe that calling the pope a bad pope can hardly do any good. He is the only pope we have. It’s not for us to judge his badness or goodness; that judgment belongs to God alone. We all have our own personal spiritual and moral lives to work on. We fail in humility, and we damage the unity of the Church, when we do not give our prelates the benefit of the doubt.

On the other hand, many good Catholics, not to mention the non-Catholics paying attention, hear what Pope Francis has said–and not said–these past few weeks, and they stop short. They reasonably conclude: This man intends to use his untouchable status as the one and only pope to trick his audience. Trick us into doubting our incandescent outrage over a fact that stands undisputed, and painfully in front of our faces. Namely: someone pulled the curtain back to show us the inner-workings of our hierarchy, and we see a pile of stinking garbage.

Who can honestly abandon either fidelity to the successor of St. Peter or Christian solidarity with the victims of abuse?

Will these Twin Towers come crashing down in a colossal mess of lethally toxic debris?

I say No. I say: Jesus Christ. The heavenly Father. The grace of the sacraments. Faith, hope, and charity. St. Augustine. St. Francis. St. Thomas. St. John Vianney. St. Therese. The Catechism. The People of God. Parish churches all over the world with saints on their knees at this very moment.

I say: Your Holiness, I’m not going anywhere. I wish that you would. And I will keep wishing it until you own up to every bit of the truth that you haven’t owned up to yet, and then admit that it’s too much to expect us to continue to believe in your leadership.

But I’m not going anywhere. Maybe this is like taking a knee, a la Colin Kaepernick. But not during the national anthem at a football game. Rather during the prayer for the pope during the canon of the Mass.

Not that I will literally take a knee at that point, since the rubrics call for taking a knee at other particular times.

And I do pray for the pope with love, and pray that he will do the right thing, acknowledging that I certainly do not have a lock on knowing what that right thing is. But seems to me: Replace all the Cardinals by randomly selecting from among the world’s parish priests, then step down.

I don’t have the hair to be Colin Kaepernick. And I’m not as talented or good-looking. I’m just trying to be Catholic right now. Without making myself sick to my stomach when I think about the difference between what this past summer could have been, and what it actually has been.


3 thoughts on “How to be Catholic Now. Q1 a1

  1. Forgive and remember that precedence is one of the devil’s back doors. Yes, the Pope has made a huge mess of this incident. But look at history and sadly, this is hardly the worst. I experienced true physical abuse at someone’s hand. No court or jurisdiction ever ruled it wrong. So I forgave them and prayed for them. Forgiving the society that did not protect me was necessary as well. Change is only in the actions we take, it will set you free. Will forgiveness stop more suffering? I know the one who hurt me later repented but I cannot think that applies here. The forgiveness must come first. That is were Jesus enters the tomb of our pains. Finds the unviable corpses of our sufferings and raises our hearts to live. I do pray the pope changes something, but I pray for the unexpected guidance that surpasses any puny human pontification. Even if you are right and the pope steps down and it is good. Still forgive me for being so brash a laywoman this morning.

  2. Jesus let Judas go about his business exercising his free will. The guilty parties in the hierarchy of our church exercised their free will. Did they do this to,protect our church? Did they do this to get more priests knowing that there were bad seminaries? Did they do this knowing that they were sending bad priests from parish to parish knowing they placed others at risk? Did the hierarchy get fair warning from our Blessed Mother? Think of the corruption even present at the Vatican. Think of a lot of instances of absolute sinfulness throughout our church committed by those who are supposedly close to .God taking vows of celibacy, etc.
    Now, of course we pray for our church and for its purification. God begs us to do this. We can forgive but we can never forget about justice. For it is justice that will help God purify our church. The guilty can no longer govern the church. They have sinned gravely and we pray for them but we have to abide by God’s holy doctrine. They wrongly tried to protect our church but in return they injured the innocent. We are not asking for death sentences, we are asking for justice and to bring our church back to God’s plan for it.
    God became angry at the Temple with the money exchangers. There is just anger but as we pray for the victims to be comforted and pray for those guilty of covering up sinful acts we, at the same time cannot fit down the rabbit hole with those trying to obliterate very sinful and unjust acts. God will judge them but we, as the people who support the church, must encourage action to cleanse our church of the perps that allowed this all to happen.

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