Friday, February 13, 2009

Why Bishop Richard Williamson Bothers So Many People

Some day, I'm going to search the news for Catholic events, and maybe I'll see a nice little article pointing out all the good we've done in this world. But that's not today. Reuters just can't leave this whole holocaust denial go. Today, the Catholic Church in Austria is meeting to discuss the "crisis".

Here's the story if you can stomach such irresponsible reporting:

Sometimes, my mind has a tough time wrapping around this weird obsession people have with finding fault in our church. But then I remember that Catholics are held to a different set of standards. Not because of any kind of conspiracy… just because the Church is our public link to God.

Did you ever have a job where it seemed like one of the other workers were always exalted by the boss? Where he would take their advice over anyone else's, and where he absolutely believed that they were the greatest employee ever hired at that company?

Even a true Christian gets tempted to despise that kind of attention. Even if you don't act on your temptation, you still find yourself looking for any little faults. And in the deep recess of your mind, you're hoping the boss notices and loses just a little respect for that person. It's wrong, I know. But it's human nature.

Now imagine if you weren't a Christian. Imagine how much that jealousy would eat you up inside, until you became obsessed with proving your boss' opinion wrong.

That's were the rest of the world is concerning the Catholic Church. They scrutinize the heck out of every move, and rightly so. We are, after all, supposed to give the very best example.

Now I'm not saying I agree that there's a crisis. I'm not saying that the pope did anything wrong when he lifted the excommunication (try to remember that he didn't give anyone any kind of authority—he just lifted the excommunication). But I am saying that people will naturally dig through our garbage and make a huge deal out of anything that can be misconstrued as sinful.

Let it be. Let them talk. Let them burn themselves alive in their hatred and jealousy. Say a quick prayer for them and don't let it get you down. After all, if this is the very worst thing they could find on our pope, I'd say we're doing pretty well.


  1. I've never thought of it in this way. I agree with your points!

  2. Thanks Paula -

    It's actually not original. Kind of spawned off something GK Chesterton said. I don't remember the exact wording, but it had to do with the fact that the reason people criticize the Church so much was because they expect her to be perfect.

  3. What the MSM news outlets don't report is that Williamson has been removed from his position in the university (and stating he needed a new review of the facts surrounding the holocaust) and that the society has publicly stated their agreement with the Holy See on the Holocaust. There is movement here, real healing taking place, much to the chargrin of many in the MSM and our own church. People are so threatened by a realignment that they will resort to any means, even attacking their own faith.

  4. I plead ignorance about the Bishop's remarks(in context) denying the holocaust and the true message he was trying to convey, much less Pope Benedict's decision. However, one thing struck me in the beginning of the article when it referred to a Bishop who claimed that Hurricane Katrina was God punishing New Orleans for their sins and the anger of the local Church. Just a few thoughts about this:
    1) When reading the Old Testament, it is very clear that God will punish entire tribes and nations for their sins. The innocent along with the guilty! It may take hundreds, or even a thousand years, but eventually, man seems to realilze the spiritual connection between God's hand and what was seen as tragic natural disasters or occupation of enemy soldiers, slavery etc.
    2) New Orleans had areas so wrought with drugs, violent murders etc. that even the POSTOFFICE would not deliver mail! Sin had taken over areas of the city and who is to say they know the mind or hand of God!
    3) It has been said that God is a God of love and mercy....and if God would "cause" such horrendous suffering, then why would man worship such an entity??
    4) If that thought crosses one's mind, is it not because we are defining what is good, merciful or loving by our earthly terms? When we do, we run the risk of defining what is a good life and what is a good "quality of life." It may take a century or several centuries before we see the goodness that is intended by natural disasters, by retarded human beings who can only grunt sounds but cannot even dress themselves and so many other other works of God that may seem, in our earthly eyes, tragic and even hateful.
    5) We are told that sometimes God will prune us or discipline us....which to the (spiritual) child is unpleasant, but as a (spiritual) adult, such pruning can result in a more full and beautiful life. (That is not only for our benefit but for many others as they observe God's handiwork!)
    Whether the holocaust, Hurricane Katrina or any type of suffering, if we can focus on God's plan and purpose for us (and the Church!), we will hopefully develop the tolerance and patience needed to know, love and serve God on this earth.

  5. postulant - it staggers the mind to think about what they DON'T report. One would think there was no news out there.

    Jan - Yeah, that's another thing that I always found confusing. As a matter of fact, I wonder if maybe that's why the holocaust is such a touchy subject for some people. The Jews have traditionally believed that those kinds of hardships were punishments.