David Ancell's Virtual Home

And Now . . . my Dreher Article Commentary

  /   Wednesday August 28, 2002  

I’m sure you’ve all been eagerly awaiting what this poor sinner has to say about the Rod Dreher article that has been the talk of St. Blog’s. Let me assure you, dear readers, that I do not claim to know exactly how the Church should be run. I will also admit that I have had little contact with anyone involved in the recent scandal. While I agree that this scandal is horrific, my concern is also with the loss of the authentic Catholic moral teaching that led to this.

My reading of the Dreher article suggests that his thesis is that since that the Pope, by failing to use his governing authority when his directives have ignored, has failed to govern the Church and seems to care little for our Church. From what I gather, he seems to have seen a lot of the hurt that the scandal has generated. I will not doubt his sincerity in wanting something done. I do not know him, and I do not intend to judge him.

I have been Catholic for 11 years. I have, in various ways, often wondered just what the heck was going on in the Church. My memory of my college years is one in which the basic message of the Church was “All these laws and doctrine don’t really matter. We’re all just one big happy family. Just do what is ‘most loving.'” Somehow I sensed that this wasn’t right. I had both an anger and a sense of lukewarmness that I never began to address until my last semester of pharmacy school in 1999. I never stopped believing or going to Mass, but I do think my prayer-life suffered greatly. I did stop praying the Rosary for years. I have been striving to overcome my former state of faith, only to have this scandal hit and be reminded of everything that’s going wrong. I can’t help but think that something should have been done about this a long time ago.

Here in America, we live in a fast-paced society. We expect swift, sure solutions. Just look at how popular the “lock them up and throw away the key” mentality is when it comes to criminal justice. It is understandable that some would want the Pope to just come in here and kick some Bishops square in the tail. Whether or not this is prudent, even now, is a judgment that I’m not qualified to make. However, I will offer my humble opinion.

At some point, I think it may be necessary to remove a Bishop (or a few Bishops). I don’t think that removing Bishops will necessarily cause schism, as others have suggested. The Bishops who have been charged with doing nothing to prevent this scandal aren’t likely to attract a following.

However, I do think that removing them from office would give them the easy way out. The problems would then be dumped in someone else’s lap. I think that the Pope is expecting them to do their duties (in accordance with the Final Communique) and holding their feet to the fire. I hope that the Bishops will be given at least one last chance (but not too many more chances) to do this.

The other problem with forcibly removing many Bishops is that it could create more confusion than it would solve. Due to the very lack of authentic teaching that helped lead to this problem, many people would only perceive this as a power struggle. I’m not against doing things that may anger people, but prudence should be used. Remember that we are seeking to convert people’s hearts, not just kick their rear ends. Forcing merely external conversion will not save souls. A conversion of hearts takes much longer and involves serious risks, but remember that this is exactly how God treats us. God didn’t even strike Hitler or Stalin dead immediately despite the evil that they did.

So, what’s my bottom line? The Pope does appear to be moving slowly, and the time has come (and possibly past) for stronger action. However, the Pope may have done so because of his desire for authentic conversion. Only time will tell whether or not his actions were in the best interest of the Church, but I still want to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Category: Posts imported from Danger! Falling Brainwaves, Uncategorized



No comments have been made on this post.

Please note that all comments are moderated, and they will be posted once approved.

David's Pages

David's Pages

RSS Feed
Atom Feed