...on another post over at Cleansing Fire, in which Ben is dealing with detractors of that website. The comments from readers are insightful. The uncomfortable thing to grasp and accept is that those in authority are fully capable of saying and doing harmful things. No one wants to admit that your leaders may be leading the flock astray, that they might not desire what is best for the parish, but rather what furthers a particular agenda. Refusing to 'see' or 'hear' or 'speak' about wrongdoing aids those engaged in it. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."
Here's a couple comments from Ben's post that hit home:
Eliza says, The truth must be told! Its an awful truth, and the temptation to be uncharitable in the telling of the terrible realities of the DOR strong. So let the truth be told in charity, but let it be told. And when we, in our humanity, are uncharitable, let us correct each other and let us welcome any corrections.
I agree, people who don’t like the truth will accuse the truth-tellers as being uncharitable persons. People who are doing wrong want privacy, and having the truth told outrages them. Not only do they want to hide their actions, and not have them publicized, but they want to label their detractors as being unreasonable and ridiculous and as “persons resistant to change” that we should feel sorry for and “pray for”. The truth-telling at Cleansing Fire is a serious obstacle to imposing change on the DOR, and to the business-as-usual custom of detracting anyone who is not on board with the DOR agenda.
Well, its wrong to grant evildoers the darkness and anonymity they desire.
And this one from Gen:
People who level broadsides against us...need to realize that there is a tremendous difference between respecting the office of “bishop” and respecting the man who fills that office. Ordinarily, there is no need to separate the two. However, in Rochester, where the Bishop is openly disobedient and heterodox in so many ways, there is a tremendous need to pull the two apart. Men are fallible. That’s a fact. Bishops are men, ergo, fallible. The role of the bishop is to shepherd his flock, not to sell it off, scatter it, neglect it, or sit back and let the wolves descend upon it. If a shepherd did these things, the right thing to do wouldn’t be to sit back and say, “Well, God made him a shepherd . . . he must know what he’s doing.” NO – you confront the problems and do your best to rectify them.
And one from Nay:
When their conscience is panged and what is just and true is brought to day, they default and revert of[sic] a sense of being attacked. Have no opinions, be less fervent, be insipid and indifferent and join the vast ocean of DOR lukewarm Catholics where the flock is scattered and the betrayals continue in closed door sessions. Who can stand and and tolerate this consistent and predictable negligence. They play you for a child. Sell you for something less. They diminish you, mischaracterize you and dismiss you…completely disresectful not only for yourself, but the churches and the schools (and that means a child, something to protect and defend) a genuine travesty. Any self-respecting parishoner or citizen worth their salt, should and ought to stand up.