Jul 21, 2007

Religion reporter: The cover-ups cost me my faith

Los Angeles Times reporter William Lobdell has a long article (click on this post's title) in today's (July 21) edition of that paper in which he says he was planning to join the Church but because of the cover-ups he did not go through with it.

What would you say to him? I would say, "Bill, do not let anyone's misdeeds or crimes separate you from Jesus' Church, the Blessed Sacrament and all the Sacraments, and God's bountiful grace. Concentrate not on the misdeeds of a relative few but on God's truth and on the holiness of hundreds of thousands of good priests and hundreds of millions of good Catholics. Come home and find rest and peace and truth and salvation in Jesus."

Things like this are why I say we need to work and pray to restore people's faith in the wake of the scandals. I never said that is all we shoud do, of course.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right! Jesús had Judas.

12:02 AM  
Blogger Joseph D'Hippolito said...

The three-day retreats are designed to grind down your defenses and leave you emotionally raw...

That is not an activity organized by people who want to proclaim the Gospel. That is an activity that promotes mindless groupthink and cult-like behavior. That is an activity designed to convert through intimidation. It degrades God's holy, righteous name as much as anything that Cdl. Mahony and his fellow bishops have done (or failed to do) during the clerical sex-abuse crisis.

Mr. Lobdell's problem is that he has confused the risen Christ Who redeems all who come to Him with institutionalized, organized Christianity. He has never met that risen Christ; instead, he has met pale imitations, at best, conjugated through corrupt agendas.

Mr. Lobdell has never understood the necessity for redemption to be reunited with God. He has never understood how seriously God views sin. He has never understood this because he has never been taught this.

I dare say that institutionalized Christianity as a whole has effectively become apostate. Think that's too strong? Well, didn't Christ Himself say, "Will the Son of Man find faith on the Earth when He returns?"?

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. D'hippolito,
Just a theological fine point, but an extremely important one—you said Lobdell confused the risen Christ "Who redeems all who come to Him" with the institutional Church.

Jesus Christ redeemed all people who ever lived and whoever will live, This is called the objective redemption. We recall it at every Mass when the priest says over the wine, "This is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven."

Subjective redemption is what occurs to the individual who believes and is baptized and follows Christ as a member of His Body, the Chucrh

1:47 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Joseph,

We do all need to remember and accept that Jesus founded the holy Catholic Church and He founded Her with a hierarchy, a clergy and the Sacrament of Ordination.

When some members of the hierarchy and clergy abuse their callings and the institutions that Jesus founded, we need to blame the individuals, not the Church.

Of course, the hierarchy and the clergy, and the laity too, should not live ostentatiously and must seek holiness, serve one another and become like little children.

But blaming the miscreants, not the institutions, is the way to go.

Countless Popes, cardinals, bishops and priests through the ages have lived in Gospel poverty and holiness, and that remains true today. We can think of them and take courage and hope.

Living in a big residence or even a palace does not automatically mean living richly, and that remains true today. Internal dispositions make the difference.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Quintero and anonymous, I suggest you read Revelation 2 and Revelation 3, the seven letters to the seven churches of Asia. All but two receive criticism from Christ, Who addresses each church as a collective entity. He also warns them to repent or have their "lampstands" removed.

There might not be a one-to-one correspondence between each of those seven churches and today's denominations but that is less important than the fact that those seven churches manifest various good and bad qualities -- and Christ does not tolerate the bad qualities.

If any pope refuses or fails to reprimand effectively wayward bishops, then the whole Church suffers. JPII did not take that pastoral responsibility seriously and, as a result (I believe) was deprived of his immense physical faculties by God (see the story of Eli in I Samuel). At least, Benedict is a little better (see Maciel and the Legionnaires) but much more must be done. For one thing, Catholics should stop selling worship space to Muslims.

9:59 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Joseph,

Thanks for mentioning those chapters of the Apocalypse. (By the way, I like this traditional Catholic name for that book.)

What was wrong with those churches was that the leaders and the followers were sinning, not that they had an institution.

You are so right that leaders have to do their duty. The followers do, too. All of us have duties and must carry them out. One duty is to point it out to our leaders if they fail in their duty.

12:38 PM  

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