The culture of corruption in the Church is something that we have been talking about for the past month in the SDYA. In light of these recent events, here are four things we can keep in mind:
1) Be Informed:
There are many great resources out there to help nourish our faith in general and get information on the crisis in particular. Since there are so many resources for Catholics, I will only select a handful. In the realm of newspapers, I tend to like the National Catholic Register and the UK Catholic Herald. Great podcasts include the Patrick Coffin Show and Pints with Aquinas hosted by Matt Fradd. I also really like First Things Magazine. All of these places give both a good overview of current events and thoughtful commentary.
2) “Hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you (2 Thessalonians 2: 15) . . .”
I’ve heard members of our group express concern over some of the things that Pope Francis and other clergy have said regarding Church Teaching on a whole range of issues, particularly regarding the nature of marriage, the death penalty, the selection of Bishops, and who can receive the Eucharist. These questions relate to what is outlined in both Scripture and Tradition. These teachings are unchangeable. The Pope’s job is to defend and clarify doctrine. There is always a need to respect the Pope’s Office and his person, but we should not be afraid to ask pertinent questions and offer a well-meaning correction when appropriate.
3) Get Detached:
This may seem incongruous, especially in light of my previous statements. But while it is good to be informed and correct those who are in error, it is also good to take a break from it all. About a year and a half ago, I listened to a talk given by a Byzantine Catholic priest about fasting. It really struck me because many in the Latin Rite of the Church do not fast, despite Jesus encouraging us to do so (Mark 9: 29). I started doing different types of fasting and I have seen some pretty amazing results in my life. Initially, it revolved around having smaller meals and giving up certain foods during the day. When the abuse crisis broke, I started to do things differently. I started giving up looking at websites like Facebook on certain days of the week or news websites on other days. This leads directly into my fourth suggestion.
4) Maintain Peace of Heart:
It can be easy to get obsessed about what is going on and it can actually hurt our relationship with God and other people if we do not strike a good balance. Being detached does not mean that we do not care about the current crisis. Rather, it means that we acknowledge what is going on and trust in God that His plans will be accomplished, no matter what.
In the end, I think that is the most important thing that we as young adults can do: maintaining peace of heart. Once we’ve mastered that peace of heart, all good things will flow from it to make ourselves and others holy. Maintaining that peace of heart will help us follow God faithfully without unnecessary intrusions. That faithfulness will not only change the Church, it will change our world. Amen.
Saint Dominic Young Adults
This is a peer run blog for the Saint Dominic Young Adults in Washington, D.C.