We’ve all heard the expression, “Do as I say, not as I do,” referring to hypocrites. Yet the phrase actually derives from a teaching of Jesus, regarding the Pharisees:
“Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice” (Mt 23:3)
After all, Jesus also says,
“I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. ” (Mt 5:20).
And, in one of my favorite spots of rarely mentioned Biblical irony:
“While he was at table in [Matthew’s] house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?'” (Mt 9:10-11
Of course, the Pharisees, to say this, have to be at the dinner party themselves.
We’ve all heard about the shocking revelations regarding Church-run institutions in Ireland.
It’s horrible, yes. There’s no excuse for it. The perpetrators should have been punished.
Why didn’t the Church act on allegations? I dunno. Fear, mostly. Fear of stirring up trouble. Fear of causing scandal (ironically). Fear of societal dischord. Fear of deterring vocations. The same fears that are always used to justify compromise with evil.
What does it say about the Catholic faith?
Well, it should say a lot, but what it should not say is that Catholics are more prone to this sort of thing than anyone else.
Look at what goes on in licensed foster homes and DSS institutions. in our wonderful englightened United States.
Read Dickens, or Bronte. Look at the horrors that happened and happen in *all* orphanges, the abuses children have suffered at the hands of day care workers and governesses.
Read C. S. Lewis’s Surprised by Joy (among other autobiographies) and learn of the abuse and homosexuality that ran (run?) rampant in English private boarding schools.
There’s something called Original Sin. I’m often tempted to agree with Calvin that it’s more like total depravity. Life in the “state of nature” is solitary, cruel, brutish and short.
There’s really no way out of it.
Study the saints: how many saints suffered from the rampant corruption in their religious communities?
Then, look at the world *without* Christ. The world was a much more brutish place before Christianity came along.
Under Roman law, a head of household could do just about anything he wanted to to anyone in his household.
Then look at what’s happened in the Twentieth Century when the atheists have gotten power.
If one assumes that people are basically good, which is a lie, one can rightlyl feel indignation about corruption in any institution.
However, once one abandons that naive notion, and accepts the reality of human sinfulness, then one can learn not to look at the faults but rather who offers the best solution to human misery. Then it becomes not, “Look how bad they are,” but “Where do we find our hope?”
But those who attack the Catholic Church are not so much interested in stopping the abuse as they are in stopping the Church. That’s why our government just declared pedophilia to be a legally protected “sexual orientation.”
Otherwise, we’d be seening headlines about huge reports on English boarding schools, or the average public middle school in the U.S.