Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Justice and mercy

There is a Jewish saying: There is no peace without justice, and no justice without judgment.

Is it merciful to sell and destroy churches that parishioners and pastors labored long and hard to build, not only for themselves but for future generations? For us and our children?

Is it merciful to oppress the parishioners who overwhelmingly oppose the sale and destruction of their churches?

Is it justice to blame parishioners for leaving when one of their beloved houses of prayer has been torn down? When beloved employees are driven out and a community divided? When their remaining churches are in jeopardy?

Is it justice when hand-picked council/committees simply echo the desires and plans of the administrator? When they are manipulated and used to further an agenda that is destructive of the Apostolic Tradition?

Is it justice when funds are used for pet projects and a bloated staff, instead of maintaining sacred structures -- the very places where parishioners can meet God in the flesh?

Mercifully, the judgment must be left to God.

And leadership should have mercy and compassion for those things that were established before them. God and His Church looks to eternity, and if a parish's churches cannot be maintained for even a few generations, there is something fundamentally awry with how these parishes are being stewarded.

If something is failing with regard to a Catholic demonstration of stewardship, we should not throw the baby out with the bath water and destroy our holy temples. Instead, perhaps we should become more Catholic and actually solve the problem, instead of changing the definition of success to mean less and less rather than being fruitful and multiplying.

No one needs to accept the idea that our leadership's failures are our failures. This parish has not failed. We have been faithful and true, and await a pastor who puts our spiritual needs first and foremost. One who will defend the Lord's House without regard to self.

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