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Defending The Faith In A Time Of Scandals

September 8, 2018 Featured Today No Comments

By REY FLORES

The past week I was invited on a nationally televised weekly news program on a show titled Perspectiva Nacional, which means National Perspective in Spanish, on the international Univision Spanish-language network. I was invited as part of a six-minute segment on a two-man panel to discuss the latest Church scandal regarding Cardinals Wuerl and McCarrick and the whole Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report allegations.
The show’s producers wanted me to debate a lawyer who started by saying how corrupt the Church is, and how it has continued to facilitate predator priests’ access to children, and furthermore how these perpetrators and those covering for them should be punished and be made to pay restitution to the victims of their alleged abuse.
When it was my turn to “challenge” him, I didn’t. I agreed with his point that any perpetrator who victimizes a child should be thoroughly investigated and punished to the fullest extent of the law if found guilty of these terrible crimes. The same for anyone who tried to run cover for them, clergy or not.
The lawyer was somewhat surprised that I agreed with him, but he took exception when I said that these predatory clergy did not represent the Church. He insisted that these accused priests and bishops did indeed represent the Catholic Church, and that instead of trying to help the victims, they were instead busy hiring lawyers and lobbyists to try and change statute of limitation laws in order to cover their own behinds.
That is when I made it a point to explain the difference between the fallen individuals who are part of a corrupt bureaucracy within the institution of the Catholic Church, and the Catholic faith itself. These fallen individuals and those covering up for them do not represent the entire Catholic faith any more than any of us do when we act in sinful ways or engage in criminal behavior. It seems all the worse when it’s some of the very shepherds we look up to who have hurt us all every time a child is hurt by these wayward souls.
I had to defend the Church, the faith, and especially our good and holy priests who have also taken abuse by those who paint our entire Church with a broad brush of hate. I’m grateful to the show’s host Tsi-Tsi-Ki Felix for affording me the opportunity to clearly define the faith itself vs. the corrupt elements within the institution.
I’ve sometimes said that if you think American news media are ultraliberal, they’re nothing compared to Latin-American media, but I did get a fair shake on this program.
The day before the show taping, I attended Mass for the Feast of the Assumption of Our Blessed Mother Mary. It was Fr. Christopher Mould, pastor at St. Andrew the Apostle in Centreville, Va., who totally inspired me to use the correct words to defend Holy Mother Church when he courageously addressed the developing scandal during his homily. Most poignant was when he specifically said how he and all priests felt betrayed by their own brethren who committed these atrocities.
Also, Fr. Joseph Bergida gave me a blessing to say the right words on the television program the next day.
I am grateful for these good and holy priests who shouldn’t have to bear the burden for the sins of the fallen priests.
Lastly, for now, we must not only defend our Church and our faith, but we must also defend our good priests and clergy from misdirected violence.
As I was writing this, I read a news story about a Catholic priest in Merrillville, Ind., who had been attacked by some psychopath. USA Today reported on August 22 that “Rev. Basil John Hutsko was knocked unconscious by an unknown person around 9 a.m. Monday [August 20] at St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church in Merrillville, Ind….He had finished morning prayers inside the church when he was attacked by a man who told him ’this is for all the kids’.”
Surprisingly, the authorities are calling this a hate crime and the FBI is reported to be investigating the case and looking for the as-of-yet unidentified attacker.
I ask that you all pray especially hard for our Church and our clergy during these difficult times. I pray to God that we do not see an increase of attacks on our innocent priests. It doesn’t help that the Godless secular news jackals love to foam at the mouth whenever they get a chance to exploit scandals like these. It can only stoke the fire of hate in the hearts of those who already detest the Church.
The Catholic Church is the greatest institution founded by Jesus Christ Himself. It doesn’t get any more awesome than that. Christ is triumphant in the end, but we must weather this storm and remain steadfast in our faith, now more than ever.
Yes, these repeated scandals are very painful to the faithful. The betrayal we feel in times like these is incredible, but no more incredible than the power of His Real Presence in every tabernacle in every Catholic church.

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(Rey Flores writes opinion and book and movie reviews for The Wanderer. Contact Rey at reyfloresusa@gmail.com.)

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