Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Wherein I agree with Jimmy Akin on the "Poggi Scandal"...

If you are looking for ordination photos, they are forthcoming.  I need to check one last thing and they will be up mid-afternoon today, barring an act of God or digital interruption.

In the meanwhile, I want to pass along some excellent analysis by Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin, but not before a brief commentary of my own. One of the things I like about any analysis Jimmy provides is that he methodically peels the layers away after first re-capping it.  This gets you up to speed if you were not in on it, and, if one disagrees with him, they can see what his assumptions are and other things on which he bases his opinion.  Feel free to debate him if you disagree with his premise or assumptions.

I've used Normal Rockwell's "The Gossip's" before.  It's a picture well worth using again and studying carefully.  You can see the various forms of gossip in this picture, from those spreading it because they are indignant or feel they are justified by righteous anger, to those utterly entertained by it. In the end, gossip is immoral and will have to account for spreading it.

There is a famous story about St. Philip Neri telling someone who confessed to engaging in gossip, to bring him a chicken and to pluck all of it's feathers on the way back to him.  When the plucked chicken was presented, the person was told to now go back and collect all of the feathers.  Obviously, this was impossible as the wind had carried many away.  And, so it is with things we spread about others.

I ignored recent sensational reporting about a specific "gay pedophile prostitution ring" in the Vatican, as described by a former priest, Patrizio Pozzi. First, it's gossip - pure and simple. And, since even police are now going after Pozzi for spreading this in the first place, it shows how credible he is... not! If something of this nature is happening, authorities,Church and secular, can deal with it while I go about my own business.

If there is one thing I learned about Italian media since I've been blogging on Catholic issues is that it is best to let time pass rather than run with what is being reported as if it were fact.  This is separate from the issue of whether there are, generally speaking, priests and bishops with homosexual attraction, who were admitted to the clerical ranks and are not living chaste (as well as clerics who are heterosexual and not living chaste). Are there networks that make life difficult for devout and holy priests?  I believe in some places, this is the case.  And, since such things are out of my control, I try to leave it to prayer and use care not to take risks with committing rash judgment, detraction and calumny (CCC 2477-78) - all of which can get you hell as fast as committing sins against the 6th and 9th Commandments, if the three conditions for mortal sin are present.

Some of my readers will claim various reasons to justify the wasting of digital "ink" and air on such titillating rumors.  Perhaps some are legitimate. That's fine. You folks feel free to have at it. I could spike my stats in a hurry by bringing you the scandal of the day to this blog, but I would also be feeding your fallen human nature, which is what draws us to scandal in the first place.

In my fallen human nature, I find it difficult sometimes to know when I've crossed the line into rash judgment, detraction, and calumny. So, while I'm not always successful, I try to remember what some very good, orthodox priests at Assumption Grotto have taught me: If you are truly disturbed about something of that nature, go do the Catholic thing and make an Act of Reparation in a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament.  It can do far more good than engaging in idle speculation, spreading gossip, and disturbing the peace of others.  If you spend 10 minutes staring at a screen reading and watching about any kind of scandal, be it from Hollywood or the Vatican, it's 10 minutes that would have been better spent on prayer, Scripture, or on some kind of useful work.  It's 10 minutes you won't get back.  Just think: Some spend hours per day on that stuff.

The shorter Diane: I risk no sin whatsoever by not sharing with you the scandal of the day. But, if I do get into conversations or pass along the information, there are risks of engaging in objectively grave matter (many do not understand detraction and calumny, so some guilt is mitigated for them, but it does not change the nature of the sinful matter, which is objectively grave).

I discuss this rumor in this post, but only because with the passage of time, we see what kind of risks we take when we run with gossip.

With that, I refer you to Jimmy Akin's excellent summary of the latest rumor and I agree with his lessons learned at the end.  Read the whole thing over there.

Go Read: Has a gay pedophile prostitution ring been discovered at the Vatican? (8 things you need to know)  

Disquiet is not a fruit of the Holy Spirit. When you are in a disquiet mode over things happening around you, and those things are outside of your control, then go discuss it with the One who matters most.

Before you comment here, please read Jimmy Akin's commentary in full.

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

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