Wednesday, February 11, 2009

In Domino confido

Back in 1996, the accusations against Fr. Maciel were my first hint that there was something very rotten at work in the Church. I denied them then; how dare anyone suggest such a thing of a priest? Of that good and holy priest, no less, when he'd done so much for the Church? He was nothing like good or holy, of course. And much of the work he did for the Church now appears to have been incidental to setting up a comfortable environment for his own pastimes. Looking at him, you see the entire Scandal in minature - the institutionalized enabling, the head-in-sand denials, the deception of innocent people. The twisted and destroyed trust. American Papist is doing an excellent job of monitoring the fallout, and has links to letters written by American LC priests that are very well worth the read. (There has yet to be any substantive response by the actual leadership of the Legion.)

Maybe there's some good in this. Maybe the implicit trust in priests that once characterized Catholic culture, that I can still see present in my father, needed to be shattered. Maybe we needed to stop looking to priests to be everything we aren't, so that we would start trying to be it ourselves. I don't know. I don't have any words of my own to throw at this - only the knowledge that we need to pray. We need to help the victims (metaphorical and grimly literal) instead of gawking at the train wreck. We need to look again to Christ and not to men.

Psalm 11
1 In the Lord I have taken my refuge.
How can you say to my soul:
"Fly like a bird to its mountain.

2 See the wicked bracing their bow;
they are fixing their arrows on the string
to shoot upright men in the dark.
3 Foundations once destroyed, what can the just do?"

4 The Lord is in his holy temple,
the Lord, whose throne is in heaven.
His eyes look down on the world;
his gaze tests mortal men.

5 The Lord tests the just and the wicked;
the lover of violence he hates.
6 He sends fire and brimstone on the wicked;
he sends a scorching wind as their lot.

7 The Lord is just and loves justice;
the upright shall see his face.

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