Voice of the faithful, Ireland

Discussion in 'The Signs of the Times' started by garabandal, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    On Monday night the RTE programme 'Would You Believe' covered the clerical abuse
    scandal in Ireland. They interviewed Fr Patrick McCafferty, a priest
    that I would have had a lot of time for because of his understanding of
    Holy Scriptures. He was abused himself by a clergyman and his call
    for the Church to repent and make reparation for the dreadful sin
    of child-abuse resonates loudly.

    However, he appears to have aligned himself with a group called 'Voice of the Faithful, Ireland'
    and this group calls for a democratization of the Church that is lay involvement along the lines
    of Presbyterianism. It most likely is a cover for the voice of dissent and should be called
    'Voice of the Faithless'! So I think Father McCaffery is in trouble spiritually as he allowed his
    'woundedness' to colour his view of the Church, which he now perceives to be poisoned by
    clericalism. Let us use our Lenten sacrifices to pray for this poor priest:

  2. Seán

    Seán New Member

    And it is not unreasonable to assume that many of those who have been abused by clergy in the past have carried this hurtful distrust of the Church into their adult lives.

    It is sad to hear this about Fr McCaffery, but people like him and many laypersons who were abused need the prayers of the faithful. It must be such a horrible cross to bear into adult - where the one source of Truth and trust has shattered a person's faith and confidence by the sinfulness of one man.
  3. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I remember back when I was at school at 14 noticing that about 30 [ages were missing from my school history book. Having a look around I noticed that every one in the class had the same 30 pages ripped out as well!

    Now very curious I headed down to the local library and found the missing section concerned the Medieval Papacy and its various horrendous corruptions and carrying on which contained just about every corruption and horror you could ever think of. Nor was the history book written by an enemy of the Church but a local and very devout local Catholic historian and was perfectly factual. By poor, innocent young eyes fairly boggled at much of what I read. For there is a kind of narrative that we Catholics of that generation were fed that the poor innocent Church was attacked by dreadful evil heretics inspired by the devil.

    I went back to the school and asked my teacher and he went red faced and admitted that the Church authorities had ordered the offending pages, though they were all true, in case they gave rise to 'scandal'.

    I think that although the Church is, of course the Mystical Body of Christ it is also an organisation and still a very human in its workings, still very powerful and old and like all organisations works hard to protect itself from the truth when the truth is inconvenient. Great saints like say Saint Catherine of Sienne and Saint Charles Borromeo and Saint Francis of Assisi have always known this. During the Avignon Papacy when the Popes took up residence in France Saint Catherine came under attack from Cardinals in Church powers that be. There is one wonderful correspondence from Catherine to a Curial Cardinal reprimanding Catherine for not showing himself the Pope and other Prelates sufficient respect , to which Catherine replies that when the Cardinal acted as someone worthy of respect she would show him respect.

    The famous English Catholic convert and writer G K Chesterton says quite wonderfully that one of the main arguments for the truth of the Church is that despite its intense corruption it survived the millenia from the time it was founded by Jesus.

    The Church is far from faultless, it is made up of sinners and sinners, well, sin and lie and stage coverups. I suppose the amazing thing about the recent and ongoing child abuse scandal is not so much that it happened but that we Catholics were so amazed that it and the cover ups went on at all.

    I think the response of the Child of Mary to all this is prayer and prayer and more prayer for the Church, For the real source of all the trouble is the fact that we Catholics grew lukewarm in love and prayer. If we had all prayed more and followed Christ more closely none of this would have happened. In fact if we lukewarm Catholics had prayed as we should have not only the Church but the whole world would have been converted and we would now face the Tribulation the terrible Tribulation and purification of the Church and the world into which we have just embarked.

    There is nothing new in all this, Our Blessed Mother has been sent down form heaven by the good God to remind us, to pray, pray the rosary, fast and return to the fullness of our Catholic life as an ointment that will heal our wounds, the wounds of the Church and the wounds of the entire world.

    But there are, I suspect two great dangers in all this. Two false paths that we might take. The one is to consider that being a good Catholic is to be supine and give blind obedience to those who do evil. Nothing could be further from the truth. It has been my experience especially through reading the lives of the saints that the praying Catholic is like a lion for the truth. Jesus was sent to the Cross by the religious authorities and again and again the saints have experienced the very same thing. In fact nothing could make me more suspicious of any claims holiness of any individual than that the eccllesial powers that be wanted constantly to honour and praise him/her. Prayer makes us tigers for the truth. Not in a political sense, often perhaps in simply who and what we are. For nothing is more fearsome than those who follow the Way , the Truth and the Life to those who are Children of the Dark , who choose to do their deeds in the Dark,

    The second great error is to judge that the Church can be reformed through means other than prayer. This was the Cardinal error of Luther. Calvin and Knox. That we can change the Church by politics, by rebellion, by force.

    But the way Mary leads us is the way of prayer. This is not to do nothing but to open ourselves to being led in all we do by the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit who motivated great reformers such as Saint Catherine and Saint Francis of Assisi.

    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
    Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    where there is injury, pardon;
    where there is doubt, faith;
    where there is despair, hope;
    where there is darkness, light;
    where there is sadness, joy;

    O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
    to be understood as to understand;
    to be loved as to love.

    For it is in giving that we receive;
    it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
    and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


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