24 February 2013

BREAKING: there are sinners in the Vatican!

from Catholic Culture:

Reports of a homosexual network of corruption at the Vatican have grabbed the headlines this week. The first thing to remember is that the Church has never been without her own internal power struggles, as high-ranking officials (with or without holiness) seek to gain traction for themselves or the policies they deem important [. . .]

When I heard about this story breaking in some Italian rag, I thought:  "Yea. And?" 

Now, I know that not all Catholics are as world-weary/jaded as I am when it comes to the foibles of human nature. I've been accused of being "too much with St. Augustine" on this issue.

But seriously, the Enemy would be downright stupid not to attack the Vatican.  And we would be dangerously naive to think that the men who serve the Church in the Vatican are free from the kinds of temptations and sins that the rest of us suffer with.  

I remember reading something about the Sons of Zebedee and their Mama jockeying with Jesus for position in the Kingdom. 

I remember reading something about two saints--Peter and Paul--slamming one another over the question of who gets to be saved and how. 

I remember reading something about all of Jesus' best friends freaking out when he got arrested and running like rabbits to hide.

I remember reading something about Peter the Rock denying Christ three times in one night.

And so on. . .

The moral genius of Catholicism is that we can fail over and over again to live up to the ideals of the gospel. . .and it never occurs to us to lower those standards so that our failures earn us cheap blue ribbons for good conduct. We repent, receive God's mercy, and get on with doing what we promised to do. 

To quote a comment I made in the combox below:  "No rational person expects any human institution to be angelic."

That the Church still stands is a testament to the Holy Spirit's protection!

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  1. This is awesome, and should be reposted whenever people declare the Church dead because the world is shocked, shocked shocked to find sinners who persist in seeking Christ through his church.

    1. "I did not come to call the righteous but sinners. . ."

    2. Anonymous9:55 AM

      OK but the caveat shoud be made that there's a kind of sinner that isn't exactly seeking Christ but manage to scandalize the Church...

      What a Lent, huh...? It seems that I'm watching The Godfather 3 again...a penance I wouldn't wish for my worst enemy.

    3. Aquinas would say that even that sort of sinner is seeking the Good.

    4. Anonymous10:24 AM

      Oh yeah, but that's too much sublety for the MSM and those (millions) under its auspices...

    5. Yea, doesn't fit The Narrative.

  2. Anthony4:58 PM

    I have been saying that the situation isn't as bad in the Church today as we think, major issues yes, but at least the pope didn't dig up the previous pope and put the corpse on trial.

    1. Exactly. Things have been a whole lot worse. Can you say, "Pope Alexander VI"? I knew that you could.

    2. Anonymous3:39 AM

      And even that one's awfulness as a human being apparently didn't prevent him from having in many ways a fruitful papacy. I for one am greatful that it was probably because of him and his Inter Caetera bull that I speak the most beautiful language in the world and not (the horror!) Spanish...

      That's not to say we should be tolerant or indifferent to present sins we know to be true.

    3. My point exactly. God is very good at bringing the good out of whatever evil we've managed to conjure.

      The world is quick to accuse popes of moral failure, and it is often right to do so; however, that measure is rarely applied equally or reflexively.

      IOW, moral outrage from the media is usually little more than a rhetorical maneuver in the service of agenda pushing. If the NYT, CNN, etc. were really horrified by sexual abuse, we'd see non-stop coverage of the far more pervasive and damaging abuse that goes on in public schools and in Hollywood.

    4. Anonymous12:07 PM


      Take a look at what Steve Kellmeyer wrote about the issue.

  3. LudiDomestici8:41 PM

    "No rational person expects any human institution to be angelic."

    Do we expect the bishops and cardinals of the Church to prevent child rape and torture...or make sure more children are raped and tortured because it would be bad P.R. for the Church? Do we expect the most minimal moral courage in the face of the worst crime imaginable? "angelic"? phhht. How about minimally human? The men elevated to the most senior positions in the church because of their...holiness? courage? integrity?

    They need to be doing a 25 year bid in Angola.

    1. Ludi, your "moral outrage" is poisoned by your hatred of the Church. I look forward to reading your angelic credentials. You must have some, right? Otherwise, how are you qualified to stand so far above the rest of us poor sinners in judgment.

      How appropriate that today's gospel reminds us to measure others' sins carefully, b/c that measure will be used to measure our own.