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Church Corruption Rooted In Crisis Of Authority

May 6, 2021 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

“But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them’” (Matt. 20:25).
The year of St. Joseph gives an opportunity for contemplating the proper role and nature of authority in the Church at a time when it is misunderstood and abused. Authority in the Church is different from what one finds in the world.
St. Joseph shared uniquely in the fatherhood of God as the earthly father of Christ. St. Augustine tells us that St. Joseph and our Lady were the parents of the Lord’s “humility, not of His glory, of His infirmity, not of His divinity.” Nevertheless, St. Joseph reveals something singular about our heavenly Father in his role as foster father of the Savior. His authority over God enables us to see and imitate the humility of our divine Savior as a Son under authority.
God Himself is humbled in obedience to Joseph. In doing so He invites us to follow His example and to exercise authority in a new way. Authority belongs properly to God simply because of His supreme divine nature. He could command simply because He is Creator and Ruler. However, in Christ our Lord and Savior He reveals something new and revolutionary about authority. He chooses to serve and to lead by example.
God could rightly command that we serve Him simply because He is God, and He would be right to do so. But He is also love.
“And he said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For which is the greater, one who sits at table, or one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at table? But I am among you as one who serves’” (Luke 22:25-27).
Because of His total self-giving through His death on the cross the Lord sets a new for standard for love and leadership. The greatest is now the one who serves the rest, not the one who is served by the rest. The Church, those who follow Christ faithfully, must be different from the world, a sign of contradiction.
That authority is shared by men through Christ, principally by the apostles and their successors, by Peter and the Popes who continue in his office of “strengthening the brethren” and of binding and loosing sins and teachings in matters of faith and morals.
Corruption and confusion, however, have turned leaders away from God’s purpose and have turned His people away from Him as a result. His authority is shared with men to build and serve the Church by forgiveness of sins.
“‘But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’ — he then said to the paralytic — ‘Stand up, take your bed and go to your home’” (Matt. 9:6-8).
Instead of forgiving sins, men are now lauding them. Giving Holy Communion to adulterers, as some bishops in the Church now propose, is perverting God’s purposes in Christ. Instead of preaching repentance and belief in the Gospel, men given a share in the Lord’s authority are doing the opposite. Souls are condemned when left in sin and discouraged from repentance by glossing over sin with useless and sacrilegious reception of the Body and Blood of the Lord.
Men are not served as Christ would have it done when they are left to languish in their sins. It is a diabolic inversion to claim otherwise.
But this is indeed the situation in which we find ourselves at this moment. God’s purposes will not be finally frustrated by the malfeasance of men, however. We must take hope and exercise His authority in the way and with the means intended.
Until those sent by God exercise their authority properly according to His purposes others must take it up as their circumstances dictate and provide for the will of God in their own context.
Forgiveness of sins by our priests before reception of Communion. Preaching the holiness and indissolubility of matrimony. Serving the salvation of souls in these and many other ways as each soul is in need makes the authority of Christ known and loved in His Church for the salvation of souls.
“Declare these things; exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you” (Titus 2:15).
The Lord made clear that He is betrayed whenever His authority is invoked for any purpose which betrays the ultimate good of souls through salvation. His Resurrection revealed both the means and the purpose of a share in His authority conferred upon men.
“This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, but which has become the head of the corner. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:11-12).
“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age’” (Matt. 28:18-20).
Can there be any clearer statement in all of Scripture as to the will of the Lord for those who stand in His place on Earth, whether His Vicar who succeeds Peter or the bishops who share in the apostolic ministry? They will be judged by Him in light of this commission to put the spiritual good of mankind above every other consideration.
The Earth, health, and universal brotherhood can never replace for us the ultimate good of eternal life.
Let us implore Heaven through the intercession of St. Joseph that sanity and clarity return soon to the exercise of authority in Christ’s Church that His will and plan for salvation ma no longer be jeopardized by the scandal of men’s betrayal.
Thank you for reading. Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.
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