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A Leaven In The World… The Humiliation Of Being Catholic

June 3, 2019 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

Being Catholic is quickly becoming unfashionable. At least as the Kennedys and Kerrys of this world have attempted to make it so. Add pro-abort Kirsten Gillibrand to that number. She’d be more honest as a truly hip Anglican than as a bad Catholic.
The McCarrick affair is straining our vocabulary as we run out of superlatives to describe the slough of ignominy and, for some, despair, at the state of things at the highest levels of the Church.
New documents out last week in the Figueiredo report confirm more of Archbishop Carlo Vigano’s claims about knowledge of McCarrick’s misdeeds in Rome. And at home.
As some of you may know, Msgr. Anthony Figueiredo served as McCarrick’s secretary officially for two years. He has made public emails in his possession relative to questions about the restrictions placed on McCarrick by Benedict XVI and who knew about them and when.
The modus operandi in reaction to Viganò’s manifesto has been to claim ignorance. That puts the accused at an advantage, forcing others to scramble to come up with proof. It’s an old tactic everywhere.
“Bella figura” is a Roman virtue. One must above all “cut a fine figure” in public, no matter how sordid one’s life has unfortunately become in private.
Every family has problems and none of us are left unaffected by the ties in blood that bind. “No man is an island.”
Also, Mexican journalist Valentina Alazraki’s questions put to Pope Francis in an interview last week were pointed and probing. He responded by saying he “obviously” knew nothing about McCarrick.
Those of us who do not see what is obvious are obviously not in the know.
As with Viganò, so now with Figueiredo, silence on the part of officials in the Church will ensure that journalists have plenty of time on their hands, and the resulting boredom, to entertain themselves with digging up anything negative about the so-called detractors in order to provide a convenient distraction.
We saw the results of that also last week when Viganò’s familial money woes were brought up to suggest that maybe he’s not so reliable a source after all.
You see? I knew you’d figure it out if I gave you time to do so by my silence. Obviously.
Figueiredo has no current assignment, we are told, and has yet to return to Newark where he is incardinated. Are we required to infer that his online record of McCarrick correspondence confirming some of the claims of Archbishop Viganò is, for that reason, to be held suspect or dismissed? No. Obviously.
He was also involved in a car accident in his native England. The other party to the collision was a pregnant woman. He has since sought help for his alcohol woes.
Keep slinging mud and see if some sticks.
Perhaps the truth is that there is a little truth on both sides of the story. What that is we may never know, but we are all suffering the sad consequences. Mass attendance continues to fall in some places along with financial giving.
Those who don’t like being embarrassed will certainly consider opting out of public Catholic acts like worship in order to remain stain-free. Those who want to protest can, and certainly are, withholding dollars.
“I was raised Catholic” is not without reason one of the most popular phrases for those caught up in unsought-for conversation with a priest.
Many priests don’t want to even mention the facts or perhaps even face them in fear of being contaminated with a kind of anti-spiritual radiation. That alone ensures that things can proceed along as normal for the comfort of those who may not want to face the unpleasant consequences of decisions or actions in the past.
Dig deep enough and everyone’s a sinner. That’s not news. But if everyone in the Church buries their heads and enables dishonesty or scandal we all become McCarricks. That’s the worst kind of anti-spiritual radiation.
Figueiredo made the correspondence public because if he did not, as he put it in his interview with CBS, “I would become part of a cover-up.” He’s radioactive now. That’s the thanks you get for coming clean.
Perhaps the thing which has changed in the Church, and not for the better, is that we now know so much, perhaps too much, about people and places that are not in the end so very important when it comes to the good of our own spiritual lives.
Read a biography of Alexander VI Borgia as a spiritual curative in the current ecclesiastical environment.
When we face the Lord at the particular judgment, will He ask us how much we knew about the latest Rome rumors? I suspect if we are able to say we prayed for those who needed it most, then that will stand us in good stead. There are some at Rome who certainly meet that description.
But in those matters where we will never know all the facts we must be honest about that and commend everyone involved to the Lord’s mercy. He can touch the hardest of hearts anywhere and bring about conversion where and when needed.
Of course in many cases it is not for us to know who is right and who is wrong.
It has been said many times before and bears repeating that for most of the life of the Church many knew very little about what happens in Rome. They knew there was a Pope and they prayed for him. Basta.
Perhaps we could decide that is enough for us? The Lord has ensured we each have all we need for salvation through our own parishes.
We have the Lord Himself in the Eucharist at every Holy Mass. God forbid we should lose our focus upon that. Upon Him. That would be the true disaster for any of us.
In light of all this, it is becoming very uncomfortable to be Catholic. Sordid revelations in the lives of men who are supposed to be holy and representatives of the Lord for leading and teaching us in the Church are truly horrifying. There is a warning here for any of us who may be flirting with the occasion of sin ourselves.
But if, as a result of the sad state of affairs, the appearance of being Catholic becomes no longer desirable for those not living it privately, there’s one more scandal overcome.
Less hypocrisy in the Church is a good thing for saving souls no matter where it occurs.
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever. The date of this issue, June 6, marks the 27th anniversary of my Ordination. Would you please pray for me? Grazie.
@MCITLFrAphorism

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