What a week it’s been! First there was an earthquake, then a hurricane, and now the news that Archbishop O’Brien will be taking a new assignment in Rome as head of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. While it is a sign of Pope Benedict XVI’s appreciation for the Archbishop’s long and distinguished service to the Church, it is disappointing to see him depart after only four years here in Baltimore. He has had some difficult decisions to make with the declining enrollment in Catholic schools, and is in the midst of dealing with a significant priest shortage and the changing demographics in parishes.
A Brother Who Sins
Today’s gospel (Matthew 18:15-20) deals with fraternal correction in the Christian manner. All too often we go about it in the wrong way with negative results. We might bottle up wrongs committed against us, or lash out in anger, gossip about the perpetrator, or publicize it on a website. Jesus advises us to go to the offending person and correct him/her in private. In the Navy, we were told to praise in public and rebuke in private so as to spare the culprit unnecessary embarrassment. If that were to fail, then get several witnesses to again privately address the offender. Only if that were to fail, should the matter to be made public. That’s what our bishops have been doing with our so-called Catholic politicians who come out in favor of positions contrary to the Catholic faith. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked here on earth. Still our bishops must continue to correct the sinner and the saint, the proud and the humble, the self-assured and the docile, trusting that God will sort it out when He judges the wicked and the righteous.
- Fr. Carl