David Ancell's Virtual Home

The Depth of the Scandal

  /   Sunday, August 26, 2018   /   Comments(0)

I first started blogging right around the time the news of the sexual abuse scandal hit in 2002. You can go back in the archives and see my perspective back then as a single man in his late 20s with no children. In light of recent news stories, here I am now taking this topic up again as a 40-something with a wife and children.

I am hoping I can convey what I want to say without making it look like I am downplaying the absolutely heinous nature of the crimes committed against the victims of the scandal. These things should not be tolerated in the Church, and I think what Fr Dwight Longenecker wrote is a good example of how the problem needs to be handled. I’m especially disgusted at how someone like Archbishop McCarrick could be promoted the way he has been despite his conduct, and there really needs to be an investigation into who knew what and when and what they did about it. However, what needs to be understood is that, as demonic as the sexual abuse is, there is more to the problem in the Church than sexual abuse.

When I have heard people say that the Church doesn’t have a higher incidence of sexual abuse than the rest of society, it underscores the problem for me. The problem is that those who were supposed to be preaching the Gospel followed what our society was doing rather than led it. The light of the world was hidden under a bushel basket. When I hear people complaining about the teachings of the Church in light of the abuse scandal, I know that the real problem was that the teachings on human sexuality weren’t really taught or insisted upon and were sometimes disregarded by those in authority.

One definite component of the problem is enforcement. This article by Phil Lawler from 2002 said something that I had noticed but often wasn’t sure how to articulate. This is more evident when you take a look around the Church and see what else was allowed to slide.

Dissenters against the Faith were allowed to continue to use our own forums as a platform for dissent against established teachings. Our Catholic schools and universities largely sold out to the secular world, and nothing was really done about it. The celebration of Mass in many parishes became filled with saccharine instead of true beauty.

Resources and programs for formation in the Faith were lame at best. Just imagine trying to explain to someone wanting to learn the Catholic Faith that you can’t rely on the official parish or diocesan program to tell you what you really need to know. That was often the case then and is probably still the case now in a number of places. With all of this going on, how surprising was it that even criminal misconduct got swept under the rug?

With all of this said, the problem, and therefore the solution, is something deeper than mere enforcement of rules or the lack thereof. The problem is a lack of faith. There are plenty who will write suggesting “reforms” that are essentially changes to the Church to make her more like the secular world. This is not what we need.

All of us, from our Pope and our bishops to the laity, need to have an authentic faith in what has been revealed by God. Our shepherds need to insist that the faith be lived by those who wish to be called faithful, and the faithful need to insist that our shepherds proclaim the Catholic Faith as it is. Any action taken must address the problem in it’s entirely and must be taken with the salvation of souls in mind. We don’t need statements made and committees formed as though we were a spineless and soulless corporation. We are the Church that Christ founded, and we need to act like it. We will all be held accountable by God himself.

Category: News, Response


The End of a Pontificate

  /   Friday, March 01, 2013   /   Comments(0)

Yesterday, at 1 PM Central Standard Time (8 PM in Rome), the Holy See became vacant.  I have been a fan of Pope Benedict XVI ever since I started to really learn the Catholic faith (while he was still Cardinal Ratzinger).  It was like a dream come true to find out in the middle of a work day that he had been elected as the new Holy Father.

I must admit that my gut feelings were giving me a hard time viewing his resignation as an act of humility or even for the good of the Church.  However, I will not think otherwise of our now Pope Emeritus.  He has given himself in service to the Church for many years and has done great work in defending the Catholic faith from people who would distort it.  I’m sure he prayed much about the decision and knew what he was doing.  The Holy Spirit will protect the Church.  While Pope John Paul II would tell us that “Christ never got off the cross,” Pope Benedict XVI took a different path in believing that it will be best to have someone in better health who was better able to do the job that he was.

Good bye, Your Holiness, and thank you for all that you have done.

Category: Catholic, News


Praying for Perseverance, Especially for Priests

  /   Sunday, June 19, 2011   /   Comments(0)

Right now, you can find truckloads of articles and blog posts offering commentary on the recent news about Fr. Corapi, a priest who was once known as a great defender of orthodox Catholic teaching.  He has announced that he is leaving active ministry as a priest but will minister under another title.  Other people have written far too much about his situation, and I’m not going to pretend that I can add much to the discussion.  Besides, there are a few people who accept the possibility that the whole thing may be a hack job.  It’s not out of the question to me because the video doesn’t show him actually speaking, and the audio doesn’t sound quite right to me.

The more troubling part to me is that he isn’t the first on-fire, orthodox priest to do this.  Over the last few years I’ve seen a number of priests who appeared to be holy, orthodox, and happy priests leave their ministry.  Some just picked up and left; others were caught in scandal.  It has left me wondering what is going on.

I have to remind myself that there are a lot still standing, and they really need our prayers.  They have an indelible mark on their souls and a target on their backs, as Fr. Z explains very well. Perseverance to the end in service to Christ is difficult for any of us.  All of us who wish to attain eternal salvation much support each other and especially our priests.  There are just so many traps set by the enemy for all of us that I can’t name all of them in this post.  We can easily grow tired of fighting the good fight, especially in today’s world.  Our priests are often on the front end of this battle, and their perseverance is often what brings the salvation of many.

Category: Catholic, News, Response


God Does Not Desire Destruction, but Repentance

  /   Sunday, June 05, 2011   /   Comments(0)

This weekend, the news has come out that Dr. Jack Kevorkian has died.  We know full well that he was a man who did much to bring about the Culture of Death.  It would be easy to be glad that he is gone, but be careful.  The same goes for any man who has done great evil.  One who comes to mind for me now is George Tiller.

It’s one thing to be glad that they cannot do their evil deeds anymore.  However, to actually desire or rejoice their demise is quite another.  To desire their damnation is even worse.  There is a point at which we can desire the justice of God, but often the line between that and desiring their damnation is a very fine one that is difficult to walk.  It would be very dangerous for our souls to end up on the wrong side of that line.

Simply put, we know that God would much rather have had their repentance.  Can you imagine what a powerful witness either Kevorkian or Tiller would have been had they repented?  Let’s not forget that the rejoicing in Heaven would have been tremendous.

Even now, we can still hope and pray, as I always do men like these die, that they repented at the last minute.  You and I may never have done anything like what these men did, but we are sinners.  By hoping in the mercy of God for them, we realize that we, too, are in need of his mercy.  If they did repent because of our prayers, they could become a powerful intercessor for us. By being merciful, we have hope of receiving God’s mercy.

Category: Catholic, News, Response


I Got Ignited

  /   Friday, March 26, 2010   /   Comments(0)

Last weekend, Yana and I went to the Ignited by Truth conference in Raleigh.  I’m not even sure how to tell you all about it, but it was great.  If you have ever been to a conference at Franciscan University of Steubenville, the conference kind of reminded me of it. There just wasn’t praise and worship music, and they actually took breaks in between talks.

I was especially glad to see Greg and Lisa Popcak and Fr. Dwight Longenecker in person.  I have read several of Dr. Popcak’s books, and I had somewhat followed the story of Fr. Longenecker.  Now, I have heard them speak, and they were great!

Category: News, News on My Life


           



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