Javier Medina, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 / Boris Mann, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0
Fewer things sadden me more than an autoimmune disease within the Body of Christ. Catholics attacking Catholics and dragging it into the public sector does more damage to the Church and thwarts more evangelization efforts than any attacks can from outside sources.
The Catholic Church, in her entire history has never been gravely damaged from outside sources. No persecution from outside sources had ever served to do anything more than make her grow.
It is the internal bickering, fighting, politicking, intrigue, power trips, and such that reduce the Body of Christ into little more than a tabloid television show with lots of statuary. Most of it stems from internal desires to form a church more to the liking of a sector of the Body.
The early Church was marked by the witness of love and courage in the face of persecution. This witness emboldened pagans to knowingly and effectively sign their death warrants and join the Church anyway. What is it people see now? Sadly, more often than not, nothing significantly different than the pagan world.
Yes, errors must be addressed. But, to give an example, I don’t help a sibling by publicly humiliating them. I don’t show my love for a spouse by publicly exposing them to shame. For if I should expose those I claim to love to a public pillory, I tell people that I do not love that which I should and if I don’t, why should they?
By Fr. Bill Peckman