“In an extraordinary 11-page written statement…Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, 77, claims that Pope Francis knew about strict canonical sanctions imposed on McCarrick by Pope Benedict XVI but chose to repeal them.” LifeSite News
I have read the Nuncio’s letter with outrage and grief. So much of what I have sensed, in recent years, appears to be true, and we, as members of Christ’s wounded Body, now have the opportunity to address issues of corruption within the Church more openly than ever before. The following is a personal response.
Our beloved Church is infected with a monstrous disease that must be cut out completely, so the Body of Christ can heal. But I am not afraid. I know that we are Davids, and this monster is merely another Goliath trying to appear too large for the small stones of our faith, hope, and love. I believe with all my heart that the giant will be eradicated from the Church, but it will take much time and courage. We must unite with faithful priests, friends, and family–and “be not afraid.”
I am asking Our Lord what I can personally do, and I suspect that fasting and praying are the first steps, followed by repenting of my own sins and doing my best to live in holiness and trust. Beyond that, I am discerning.
I am comforted that Peter walked through the storm-tossed waves as long as his eyes were on Christ (Matt 14:22-23). I pray that the faithful will be able to do the same, resisting the urge to sink into the waves of grief and humiliation by redoubling their efforts to be God’s light on the lampstand, their eyes fixed firmly on Jesus. But even when we do sink into our own human frailty, I pray that we will always reach for the hand of Jesus and let him lift us back into the safety and comfort of his friendship.
In 1969, long before he was Pope Benedict XVI, Father Joseph Ratzinger prophesied that the Church would undergo a dramatic transformation, that it would be attacked and scorned and severely wounded from within, leaving only a small, poor, faithful remnant to carry on the work of Christ’s love in the world. But he also indicated that the faithful remnant would inspire the world to holiness, rescuing souls from the deep loneliness of living without God.
I believe that the corridors of wealth and power within the Church will crumble, yet Our Lord will be faithful to nourish and bless those who persevere with confidence and humility. I also believe that there will be those among the ranks of the corrupt who will experience conversion and redemption, as a result of our offered sufferings, prayers, and acts of trust.
It is vitally important that each of us engage and do what we can to help in this work, but it is even more important that we live each day faithful to our individual vocations: walking in faith each day, loving those God has placed in our lives, and providing a visible sign of hope to others.
It helps me to think of Jesus carrying his cross, the braying mob all around him seeing only his defeat. And yet, Our Lord loved each of them personally and kept rising from the ground, certain of the beauty and power of his sacrifice.
Joining our pain to his cross will magnify our efforts and fill us with the heroic love that is so sorely needed, now. In heaven, we will see the fruits of this struggle and the myriad of ways that God’s glory and power shone through our small efforts.