Chaplain’s Message – September 2018
We would do well to ponder St. Peter’s words in answer to Jesus’ question, “Will you too leave?” when he says, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” In the Church’s present situation when we are constantly reminded of the abuse of children by priests and the cover-up by certain bishops, these words can strike home.
In the 6th chapter of St. John’s gospel, it was Our Lord’s “hard saying”, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you.” In our present situation, it is not so much Our Lord’s words that tempt people to turn away, but the failure of some trusted leaders in the Church to obey Our Lord’s words and his example of true, self-sacrificing love, and instead, the betrayal of that Christ-like love. This is true despite the fidelity of the vast majority of bishops, priests and lay people.
This is not the Church’s 2 thousand year history in which the teachings of Christ have been betrayed. In the years following the 5th century collapse of the Roman Empire, chaos engulfed not only civil society but infected the Church with corruption. Yes, those Dark Ages were followed by the flowering of faith in the Middle Ages. In the 1500’s the Renaissance was accompanied by self-indulgent corruption in the Church, leading to the Protestant Reformation and the Church’s Counter-Reformation beginning with the Council of Trent.
With the silent and not so silent majority of faithful Catholics, laity, clergy and religious the Church overcame those dark times to flourish again. The Knights of Columbus, renewing its leadership today with new officers, will make its strong contribution to the preservation and flourishing of the Church in our own time.