Monday, May 06, 2002

What is wrong? (III)

There is more than a little wrong in the world of the Church right now. But Time has come for all of us to stop the wallowing, and get on with the serious business of preparing the Way of the Lord. Priestly sex-abuse is going to be with us for a while, and we are all right to be concerned about the problem, and the need for solutions to it. It has unfortunately become the epicenter of Catholicism for most of us (certainly in blogland).

Terrible things demand the attention of a distracted Church. A Cardinal has been sent to resolve the hostage crisis at the Church of the nativity. Former President Jimmy Carter has decided to coddle Castro. Europe has decided to explore relighting the ovens. Congress is examining human cloning.

A crisis within the Church is a very bad thing, and it rightly demands attention to correct it. But the undivided inward attention of the members of the Church is even worse than the crisis that precipitated it. Once again we are called to cast Self aside. But the present circumstance makes that difficult: it is easy to be fooled into thinking you are doing that: “I’m thinking about the Church, not myself.” But our calling is not to think about the Church (in the sense that we are members) but to think about Christ. Abnegation of the self means moving beyond what afflicts the self. This scandal is an affliction.

To think about Christ is to think about the least of our brothers. The people of Cuba and China, the poor and the hungry. Let the Cardinals take care of themselves, for a while: Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Render now unto God, what is God’s.


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