A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a letter to the editor of my local newspaper replying to an op-ed piece that said my pastor was wrong for not allowing Voice of the Faithful to meet in our parish and slamming the Church in general. (Read the whole thing if you want to refresh your memory.)
Yesterday, there were two more letters to the editor on the same topic. The first one is from a pro-VOTF guy in my parish. He’s a good man, but evidently misguided because he makes the prime VOTF mistake: he frames the debate in terms of power:
- The church hierarchy sees “Voice of the Faithful” as a threat to their power. In this they are correct. That, in fact, is the point. Powerless people need to organize because of their powerlessness in order to have a voice.
One more time for the people in the back: It’s not about power, it’s about holiness.
Then the writer slams as mindless automatons the very priests he’s trying to defend.
- Go easy on your pastor. I wish we could hear Cardinal Law denounced from pulpits across the archdiocese for leading a conspiracy that enabled priests to rape children. That’s not going to happen. Our priests have been trained since their teen years to give unquestioning obedience to church leaders and now, as old men, they cannot change. The Cardinal determines where they live, how much they are paid; every detail of their careers is in his hands.
You have to give some of the priests more credit than that. The fact is that they know there are corrupt people in the Church; they’ve always known that. It’s the nature of (a) living within the hierarchy of the Church every day as opposed to Sunday Catholics who were surprised by all this and (b) hearing confessions all the time by which they are aware of the sinful human nature in all people. Most priests don’t speak out in the pulpit because of fear but because it’s not the right time or place for it.
As for the second letter, I wish I could give you a link to it, but it didn’t seem to be posted online. Now, I could become a conspiracy kook and say it was because the letter was anti-VOTF, but that’s probably not the case. If so, why would they publish it in the first place? In any case, it was a good letter making many of the same points I have over the months. That’s why it’s good.
It does point out the hypocrisy of the press in not pursuing other organizations that went easy on perverts, including the court system which for years did hardly anything to punish adult men who had sex with teens and children. Just this past October a man in Salem was sentenced to two years in prison for raping a four-year-old boy.
That’s not to say that we shouldn’t hold the Church to a higher standard. And, yes, the secular press unwittingly did the Church a favor by exposing the cancer inside when what it really wanted to do was just hurt Her. But let’s not be too quick to excuse the anti-Catholic bias there. It’s still there, waiting to attack again at the first opportunity, and promoting groups that will weaken the Church, such as VOTF.
- smile.gif: Own photo