Monday, June 20, 2016

LMS: On causing scandal and reporting scandal

After all the complaning and frustration over what Pope Francis said or continues to say, there are so few level heads out there, and so many panic'd souls. Joseph Shaw from the LMS is part of the few, and I think provides clarity for rash bloggers and ear tinglers out there.


This is not the kind of blog which goes through people's bins - metaphorically speaking - looking for scandalous accusations to make against priests, bishops, and prominent lay Catholics. Nevertheless, I do from time to time talk about events which I would rather had not happened. Events which shed a poor light on the Church, which reveal problems. I do this because persistently to ignore the things which are causing pain, sometimes great spiritual suffering, to my fellow Catholics, where these are issues on which I would be expected to take an interest or have some light to shed, would be to a failure of charity.

That's right, a failure of charity.

Here is a parallel. Suppose that you know that a child, or indeed an adult, X, has suffered emotional or physical abuse at the hands of person Y. You meet X and say nothing about Y. Y comes into the room, you greet him warmly, show him respect and deference, shake his hand, smile, and so on. He goes off again, leaving you with X, and you say nothing about it. Or, you praise Y in X's presence, you talk about all his good qualities, you say loudly how lucky we all are to have Y among us.

Have you acted with charity? No.

This is the behaviour, of which the Church has seen far too much, of complicity. It is not just a matter of taking part in a cover-up, though that might be part of it. I want to focus on the effect on the victim. What you are saying, by implication, to the victim, is: I do not take your suffering seriously; I do not want to hear about it; your hurt and anger have no place in polite society; you, the victim, should deny your own feelings, if possible even to yourself.

These people who fall among thieves - how inconvenient they are! How embarassing! The only thing to do is to pass by on the other side. To stop would be an implicit criticism of the thieves, and that wouldn't be right.

Read the rest HERE

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