Thursday, September 30, 2010

" is even more urgent to teach the hard words of the Gospel today.."

In her own day, St. Catherine of Sienna found much corruption within the Holy Church. Homosexuality and many other deeply rooted problems were found among the clergy and Our Lord spoke to this Doctor of the Church about these problems (pride, loss of sacred identity, loss of faith, worldliness, and sensuality). These conversations were laid out in St. Catherine's book entitled "Dialogue," and most especially in that portion of the book labelled "The Mystical Body of Holy Church."

While St. Catherine cautions her readers not to engage in blanket condemnations aimed at the clergy in general (using scandals as an excuse to denigrate priests in general), and refers to such people as "irreverent persecutors" of the clergy, still, she was told by Our Lord that those who will not receive correction and those who will not give it are like the limbs of a body beginning to rot.

It would appear that the Archdiocese of Boston may be likened to such a limb.  For its officials refuse to accept even constructive criticism.  Such criticism has angered archdiocesan officials to such an extent that they have accused the Catholic bloggers who have issued the medicinal rebukes ( Catholics who are faithful to the Church's Magisterium and who actively oppose dissent from the teaching authority of the Church) of causing harm to the community.
Several years back, in 2006 to be exact, a Roman Catholic priest penned these words which everyone within the Archdiocese of Boston should prayerfully meditate on:
"It is important to express the moral teachings of the Church with clarity and fidelity.  The Church must be Church.  We must teach the truths of the Gospel in season and out of season.  These recent times seem to us like it is out of season, but for that very reason it is even more urgent to teach the hard words of the Gospel today...Calling people to embrace the cross of discipleship, to live the commandments and at the same time assuring them that we love them as brothers and sisters can be difficult.  Sometimes we are told: If you do not accept my behavior, you do not love me.  In reality we must communicate the exact opposite: Because we love you, we cannot accept your behavior."
Who was the priest who authored these words?  His Eminence Sean Cardinal O'Malley.  See here Why then do his subordinates accuse Catholcs faithful to the Church's Teaching Office of causing harm to the community for engaging in fraternal correction?  After all, such Catholics are only responding to the call of His Eminence to communicate the "hard words" of the Gospel.  Read Father Richard Erikson's response to Catholic bloggers.  Is there really any difference between his response toward criticism of Father Bryan Hehir's dissent from Church teaching and the person who says, "If you do not accept my behavior, you do not love me."  Again, constructive criticism is being confused with condemnation.
Something to think about on this rainy Thursday afternoon.

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