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Silence — The Enemy Of Truth

November 10, 2017 Frontpage No Comments

By JOSEPH MATT

Two events from the past couple of weeks emphasize the current crisis facing the Catholic Church today. Both events illustrate the relentless attacks and the atmosphere of dissent that threaten to undermine the beliefs and the practice of our faith.
These attacks are happening more often and they are becoming bolder in their assaults on the faith; they occur as an influence from within the upper ranks of the Church or, in some cases, they are happening due to a sense of implicit approval by the Church because of the hierarchy’s silence.
The recent attacks on Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wis., whose vicar general was simply reaffirming and restating Catholic teaching on proper burial rites for Catholics in his diocese, prove the point. The October 21 communication dealt with how to handle a funeral request for a “person in a homosexual civil union.”
Bishop Morlino was immediately taken to task and threatened by a group of dissenting Catholics. These dissidents started a petition to urge him to withdraw his advisory. A separate petition on change.org calls for his removal. This was not only another case of secular society trying to dictate religious practice and beliefs — this involved Catholics, who wish to humiliate and shame the good bishop for doing his job.
Soon after Bishop Morlino’s case, we learned that Fr. Thomas Weinandy, OFM Cap., a well-respected and accomplished theologian, was fired from his position as consultant to the USCCB Committee on Doctrine. He was fired after he published his July 31 letter to the Pope that expressed many of the concerns and questions highlighted in the now famous dubia (which still remains unanswered). This is another case of a man of God, who, with the best of intentions, is simply asking for clarification on the issues and concerns of many Catholics — both laity and clergy.
These are questions and issues that every Catholic has the right to have answered. And the Pope, the Shepherd of shepherds, has a duty to answer them.
The common denominator in both these cases is that there is a lack of outrage and public support from the rest of the hierarchy — except for a very few. This is the same situation we have seen with the dubia.
More disturbing is the public vocal support among a few in the hierarchy who jump to the support of people like Jesuit Fr. James Martin, who apparently is allowed to take liberties with his own interpretation of the Catholic faith. His erroneous interpretations of the Gospel are heralded by some bishops, but an aura of silence remains throughout the rest of the hierarchy.
Silence has now become the enemy of truth. Silence in the public square prevails when it comes to praising those defending and promoting the faith. That same silence occurs when a Catholic public dissenter distorts the truths of that faith. Today the only public voices we seem to hear loud and clear from the hierarchy are those praising the dissenters.
This silence emboldens and adds fuel to those who are trying to destroy truth. When a fellow bishop stands up and defends the Gospel of our Lord, he should be applauded and defended in the public square by his peers.
Not only have the attacks by the culture of the day accelerated, but today we are witnessing a seemingly unprecedented attack from members from within the Church.
The petitions, the open letters to the Holy Father, the unanswered dubia, seem to fall on deaf ears. These are all noble and worthy ventures, but without the public vocal support of the hierarchy, much will fall by the wayside. Leadership must come from the top. Until it does the damage to the Church will continue.
Raymond Cardinal Burke so rightly has stated that in these troubled times: “We know what the Church teaches and practices. It is contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church; it is contained in the constant Magisterial teaching of the Church. This is what we hold to be true.” These are the words for the present day. If we are to live these words, we must also give praise to those who bring witness to them through the practice and preaching of Gospel. And we must admonish those who discredit the words of Christ.
Yes, there is no doubt that much of the silence is due to the shameful and vindictive atmosphere that appears to originate at the Vatican. The Evil One is much too cunning not to take advantage of the silence. For every time the faith is undermined by those who would be silent, the Devil assaults the Kingdom of God.
But if the Church is to prevail as the one who proclaims the one and only universal Truth we must overcome that fear. As St. John Paul II proclaimed at the start of his pontificate: “Be not afraid.”
We must express our support and follow the example of these true shepherds of the Church. It is most urgent that the clergy and hierarchy of the Church lead that charge not by their silence but by their example and their willingness to speak out in public support of these fine men. The Wanderer newspaper will always have an open door for any member of the clergy who wishes to commend or support their fellows in the support of the one and only Truth.
Cardinal Burke, Bishop Morlino, and Fr. Weinandy cannot go it alone — they not only need the support and prayers of the laity; they need the public support of their peers and their superiors within the hierarchy. This time in history requires an urgent call for leadership from our Shepherds.

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