04 April 2010

Strife, deceit, and malice: media motivations & the Church

(NB.  Welcome Commonweal Blog readers!  And my thanks to Fr. Joe "Spirit of Vatican Two" O'Leary for all the extra traffic.  Joe's intolerance of any opinion that contradicts his personal magisterium is legendary in the blogosphere. . .as predictable as sunrise!)

I had a longish post dissecting the secular media's treatment of the Holy Father and the abuse scandals.

Then I remembered Romans 1:28-30 and decided that Paul describes it best:

"They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil."

Faithful Catholics, remember and never forget:  the war against the Devil is won.  Always has been.  Our victory over evil is not a future event, something yet to come.  The war is won.   This doesn't mean that there aren't battles to fight now and to come.  It means that we fight best when we fight knowing that victory is ours already.

Media attacks on the Holy Father are designed to do one thing and one thing only:  demoralize the faithful into surrendering hope, thus giving less faithful Catholics the excuse they want to abandon the Church's unwavering teaching on difficult moral issues.  Don't believe for one second that this latest onslaught of hyperventilating media self-righteousness* is anything but an attempt to throw mud on the Holy Father during Holy Week and Easter.  Just when the Pope is most visible to the world as preacher and teacher of the Gospel, suddenly--SUDDENLY!--the media discover documents long in the public domain and use them to score ideological points.  As SNL's Church Lady used to says, "How convenient. . ."

Now, to be absolutely clear:  the media's nefarious motivations do not excuse the Church and her leaders from the guilt of sexual abuse and cover-up. Nothing excuses the sexual abuse of a minor.  Nothing excuses covering these abuses up.  Calling the media to journalistic responsibility in the reporting of facts is not an ecclesial strategy for dodging blame or distracting attention.  No one in the Vatican or the Church at large is denying that minors were abused by clergy and that bishops sometimes worked overtime to hush these abuses up.  The only thing the Church is asking of the press is for them to do their jobs and report the facts.  Not speculation.  Not sensationalistic gossip or one-sided accusations from victims' lawyers.

That's not too much to ask.

*Why describe the media as self-righteousness?  The same media outlets that wail and claw at their faces, mourning the evils of sexual abuse are the same outlets that regularly tell us that there is nothing morally wrong with poisoning children in the womb and scraping their scalded bodies out with forceps.  It's hard to take their lamentations about sexual abuse seriously when they turn a deaf ear to children who are killed by their mothers and doctors.

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  1. Anonymous8:53 AM

    You and St. Paul nailed it! There is nothing new under the Sun.

    The extant war is for the salvation (or damnation) of souls.

    Today I embrace charity: unconditional love. That means working to save these vicious people's souls.

    As St. Augustine wrote, "we must love them in Christain charity. For as long as they live, there is hope they may come to a better mind."

    They won't "come" unless we show them the way.

    "This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it."

    Hope (The Theological Virtue) and Joy!!!

  2. I know this may seem like a simplistic question, but why does the Deveil continue to fight when he knows he has already lost?

  3. Anonymous11:22 AM


    The devil fights, not to win, but to distroy as many souls as he can.

  4. Anonymous12:25 PM

    Why does the Devil keep at it? Because, as Mark Shea says, "sin makes you stupid", and the Devil, the Father of Lies, is obstinate, wrong-headed, and so pride-filled that he can't and won't accept the fact that (pardon me) his ass his been kicked royally -- by the King of Kings!

    Patricia Gonzalez

  5. As one of my favorite lines of my favorite prayer states "...lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy Mercy". That is my prayer today, tomorrow, and always. Now, if only they would realize they need that Mercy!