Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father. ”Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’ “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. (Matthew 10: 32-40)
As many of you know, being a follower of Christ has a price. If we are to fully live and teach our Catholic Faith, we’re bound to ruffle some feathers. Our Lord makes this fact very clear in the above “pep talk” to the Apostles. What sometimes gets missed is the fact that the Lord is most likely using hyperbole in order to make His point. Rather than telling us to “go out and make enemies of your family and friends”, He is reminding us that the Gospel message can be challenging and will often cause division. We can’t be afraid to proclaim the “Good News”, but we also have to know when to “shut up”.
Father John Corapi’s recent decision to leave the priesthood has been discussed “to death” on many blogs, including mine. I’ve made my point (and I won’t rehash it here) and there’s not a lot left to say except “please pray for all concerned”. While some people agreed with me, others vehemently (and I do mean vehemently!) disagreed with my comments. I tried my best to respond charitably and I apologize if I failed. In an attempt to “stop the bleeding” and get people focused on the bigger picture, I made some folks angry. While there’s a time for boldly proclaiming the truth, there’s also a time to shut my mouth and for me…
the time is now!
Until something significant arises, I’m going to reiterate that we should pray for Fr. Corapi and all concerned and I really mean it! Don’t think for a minute that God can’t fix this whole ugly mess. I’ve recently been getting the feeling that this situation could still have a happy ending. Will it? Not knowing all the details and the mindset of the players, I really have no idea.
I’ve learned a lot over the past few days. Many of your comments really caused me to think. Was I being charitable? Was I causing division? Was my pride getting in the way? Should I have spoken out? When should I stop speaking out?
Now I’d like to ask you a question. Has there ever been a time when you needed to defend the Catholic Church or caution someone about sinful behavior, even though you expected to be met with resistance? What was your approach and how did it work out?
I’d really like to hear your comments. I think it would help many of us as we try to spread the “Good News” of Jesus Christ in a bold, but compassionate way.