Dear Beloved Faithful,
Given the current issues afoot in the Church, I’d like to offer the following challenge and encouragement...
The Church is not falling apart. The sins of man do not define the Faith. Have no fear. Christ is our light. In this difficult time, let us not allow punditry to win the day. All abuse and cover-ups will come to the light. In time, things will become more clear. Our role as Catholics is not to add to the hysteria with cries of schism or destruction. Our calling is to be faithful.
Jesus promised us that the gates of hell would would not prevail against his Church. Regardless of who may be guilty, incompetent, innocent, or otherwise unworthy, the Bride of Christ will remain. We are not built on the holiness of the bishops or the Pope. Even if all of those who are being accused by Viganò are guilty, and even if the pope steps down, a new pope will be selected by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
All we need to worry about is whether each of us are living the life worthy of the calling we have received. Just remember whose Church this is. I choose to be ever more mindful of my own sins and be open to God’s grace working through me, his imperfect vessel. Other than that I refuse to listen to punditry.
God will once again heal and absolve his Bride. God will continue to inspire others to greatness in the faith. God desires, in his perfect compassion and mercy, to bind up and heal the wounded victims. We must join in solemn prayer and concord for the Holy Spirit to breathe fresh upon us all and remember the true source of all healing: Jesus Christ. In the meantime, fasting from news and praying for victims of abuse in all walks of life are spiritual acts of love which we all can do.
Despite all the punditry, in our RCIA groups this year, the Spirit is clearly at work. Candidates have awareness and concern for victims of abuse, and they are truly focused on the Faith and Holy Mother Church. It’s inspiring. They are not shaken by the prophets of doom. Do not be shaken by alarmists.
Finally, let us, once again, take heed of the wisdom of St. Pope John XXIII who proclaimed just prior to the opening of the Second Vatican Council:
At times we have to listen, much to our regret, to the voices of people who, though burning with zeal, lack a sense of discretion and measure. In this modern age they can see nothing but prevarication and ruin … We feel that we must disagree with those prophets of doom who are always forecasting disaster, as though the end of the world were at hand. In our times, divine Providence is leading us to a new order of human relations which, by human effort and even beyond all expectations, are directed to the fulfilment of God’s superior and inscrutable designs, in which everything, even human setbacks, leads to the greater good of the Church.
Fr. William Holtzinger