31 January 2016

Just Fiction, It's Not Real

"In the case of the archbishop, there had been no evident moral corruption in his face and manner. There was a softness about him, however, a gentleness that lacked real strength. In all likelihood the man had succumbed to one of Satan’s more clever ploys, a subtle backdoor devil entering where the front-door devils of vice had not gained admittance. If the Judas syndrome had failed to corrupt, had the Caiaphas syndrome succeeded? When had the man begun to lose his bearings? Certainly a misplaced compassion was at work in the matrix of his thinking. Did the archbishop have friends and relatives whose lives violated the commandments? Perhaps in the beginning he had meant only to be kind, to evangelize with empathy. Then, because of the adamancy of God’s laws, he had fallen into the dilemma of kindly men who lack courage to speak the truth in love. Their natural sympathies told them one thing, and their faith told them another.

Thus, internally divided, these pastors strained for a resolution. They were further weakened by long years of endless nuances, by reading disordered theology and feeling helpless whenever they were confronted by the tears and reproaches of those who found moral imperatives too hard. Add to this their discussions with like-minded peers, people they admired, clever people who chose to manipulate opinion as they sought to deconstruct the Church and rebuild it in their own image. These dynamics, combined with a hidden thread of pride, had led the archbishop to the conclusion that orthodox Catholicism was simply no longer feasible, could no longer function as it had for two millennia. Primitive Christianity, such men believed, must evolve into something inclusive, nonjudgmental, and nonconfrontational. Above all, it must never offend."

-- Michael O'Brien, Elijah in Jerusalem

1 comment:

M. Prodigal said...

I enjoyed this book. And the description of that poor bishop is one that can sadly be applied to some others...