A very cogent column from The Wanderer reminding us that when the leaders of the Church speak without clarity, the faithful will respond as they have been for decades now; quit listening.
PHOENIX — Trust is one of most necessary qualities in relationships. Without honest language, there’s no basis for reliable understanding.
If a penitent tells a priest he’s a financial customer when he means a bank robber, or a disciplinarian when he means child beater, or a window evaluator when he means Peeping Tom, the priest has been misled.
If the very words upon which a debate occurs are intentionally misleading or deceptive, trust is broken and the exchange of thought impaired. That’s an important reason that so many Catholics feel alienated from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops over an issue it champions.
“Illegal immigration” and “illegal aliens” are simple, factual words to describe a certain reality. Border crossers intending to stay awhile arrive without authorization or permission to enter.
Aware that using the simply descriptive words would undermine its case from the start, the USCCB prefers imprecise terms like “migrants” or “undocumented” — people who might not be unauthorized at all. Just misplaced their documents.
Bishops who consecrate the Body and Blood of Christ for the people of the Church do not speak plainly to their own flocks. This lack of lucidity isn’t the trait of good shepherds.
A bishop I respected took to the pulpit and spoke of “undocumented workers.” That bishop lessened himself.
He and I knew very well these workers may have plenty of documents, phony documents. Someone whose identity was stolen was thereby hurt, and another law was broken, in order to provide cover for a person “hiding in the shadows” — hiding because his conscience knows he doesn’t deserve the sunlight.
During the last decade, Church leadership suffered a devastating blow when the truth emerged that bishops had sex-abusing priests migrate from parish to parish who continued preying on victims. This was not the behavior of good shepherds caring for their flocks.
Today, bishops’ deceptive words are uttered out in the open, false words trying to bless massive illegal entry. Many in the flock rightly resent this betrayal of trust, of honest dealing.
Retrieved September 19, 2014 from http://thewandererpress.com/frontpage/memo-to-bishops-heaven-has-gates-and-only-those-who-follow-the-rules-get-in/#more-6245