Shunning Romanità

Fr. Boniface Ramsey

Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure or greedy person, that is, an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God… So do not be associated with them… Live as children of light. (Ephesians 5:5-8)

Impurity and greed involve idolatry. The Catechism explains:

Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and serves a creature in place of God [2113]. In his original sin, man preferred himself to God. He chose himself over against God, against the requirements of being a creature of God… Man wanted to ‘be like God,’ but without God, before God, not in accordance with God. [358].

Do not be associated with such idolatry, insists St. Paul. In other words: shun sin; shun sinners; preserve the integrity of your witness to God.

Two points on this:

1. I could shun wrongly. That would involve idolatrously worshiping my own self-righteousness. So when it comes to shunning anything or anyone, let me always preserve romanità.

What does that mean? Romanità means having a universal, cosmopolitan outlook. Always give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Assume I have fellowship in Christ with everyone. Never interest myself in another person’s sins unless I absolutely have to.

2. Today Fr. Boniface Ramsey—the original Theodore McCarrick whistleblower—published a lucid summary of what he knew about McCarrick and when, and what he did about it.

One thing in particular that moved Fr. Ramsey to action: Seeing other bishops—men who knew that McCarrick had preyed on seminarians–seeing them graciously and fraternally interact with McCarrick at the altar at major Masses, like big funerals, etc—seeing them interact with McCarrick and not shun him.

How can you men of God and successors of the Apostles not shun this man, knowing what you know? That thought moved Fr. Ramsey to act, to write, to pester the hierarchy. May God reward him for it.

In sum, then: Without romanità, we risk becoming unkind and self-righteous. But too much romanità, and we become: Compromised in our integrity.

Lord, help us to know when not to shun. And when to shun.

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6 thoughts on “Shunning Romanità

  1. I read Father Ramsey’s article earlier and these were my thoughts “This article helps explain some things, while not justifying them. For example it helps me understand why no one corrected McCarrick. Somehow they believed that no one was being touched because no one talked about it-and not wanting to gossip and wanting to think the best about someone must have come into play. McCarrick was a narcissistic master manipulator and there was some kind of group think that this behavior was wrong but kind of harmless and something the unlucky 6th seminarian had to endure. And he was the Archbishop – to whom the ordained make a vow of obedience. There needs to be seminary training on fraternal correction as a duty. I think Father Ramsey is again correct in his assessment of the “punishment” of McCarrick. Father Ramsey needs to be put in a position to help clean up this mess.” My thoughts were a little stream of conscious … Sorry!

  2. Yet, the Pope keeps warning us about the “accuser” who seems to be Vigano and/or the devil – a case of mistaken identity, it seems to me.
    God bless Father Ramsey.

  3. Sin is sin. Repulses me to think that
    McCarrick was celebrating Mass. Satan was working overtime here. The nuns told Satan never sleeps. I’ve lost faith in the hierarchy but have not lost my Faith. God bless you Father White. You will be rewarded someday for steadfastness.

  4. What McCarrick was doing is not a small matter. The poor seminarians had to go through a lot of mental anguish … Father Ramsey, thank you for your letter, and, thank you, Father White. God Bless us all !

  5. I am in a very difficult position regarding that from February 1st to the 5th. Please pray for me Christian brothers and sisters that I may not fall! The danger is in “not shunning” that I may appear to condone. I will be relying on God because I can’t walk this delicate balance at all, really. But by the grace of God, I hope to do the impossible. Please pray for me.

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