What took generations of Catholics to build is being destroyed at the hands of bishops who are the most inept, corrupt bunglers since Johann Tetzel sold indulgences on behalf of Pope Leo X.
In addition to “the media,” our bishops have placed blame on gays, “liberal culture,” the “breakdown of society,” and the Jews.In an address to the faithful via YouTube last weekend, Cardinal Rigali didn’t bother to mention Bevilacqua’s role in the scandal, or how the scandal was allowed to fester for decades, or why it continues on his watch.
At a time when the traditional family is under assault, marriage is threatened with redefinition, and we have reached the grim milestone of 50 million abortions since 1973, our bishops have shredded their moral credibility and left us, the people in the pews and the good priests and nuns who minister to us, feeling shamed, humiliated, angry and doubting. We are open to attack.
To read the grand jury report is to invite a crisis of faith.
Many Catholics may quit the church or, in fear, remove their children from Catholic schools. At least they will stop dropping money into collection plates. Who can blame them?
But before heading to the exits, Catholics should consider this.
Judas was an apostle.
That is to say, the church from its earliest days, has been convulsed with heartbreaking scandal.
In the 16th century, after Tetzel and other scandals sparked the Protestant Reformation, Saint Francis DeSales began the church anew.
It was a sullen task. Twice, he was beaten and left for dead in his evangelical travels through Europe.
Asked why he stuck with it, he said, “While those who give scandal are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, those who take scandal, who allow scandals to destroy their faith, are guilty of spiritual suicide.”
Mother Teresa is a case in point.
For 50 years as she retrieved the dying from the filthy streets of Calcutta, she wrote to a priest friend in 1979, that she had seen so much evil in the world, and so much indifference to innocent human life, that she doubted there was a God or a Heaven. God, she wrote, had abandoned her.
And yet, she never gave up the faith, always praying, always working for the glory of a God who did not answer her prayers.
At the end of her life, she told the priest, God’s presence suddenly reappeared.
She was, in the words of John of the Cross, in the grip of a “dark night of the soul.”
That’s where dispirited Catholics are now. Such ordeals serve to strengthen faith, John of the Cross said, but they are hellish to experience.
If only Rigali would preach that, instead of conferring with lawyers.
Judas was an apostle
February 17, 2011 by joyfulpapist