Tuesday, May 21, 2002

What Purpose Does This Serve?

I had planned on posting the next reflection on CFL yesterday, but I wasn't in a position to finish it. I don't know why yesterday of all days, but the scandal hit me hard. Probably also has something to do with feeling sick yesterday as well.

I know what triggered it. It was this post of Michael Dubruiel on the speculation that an American cardinal is an active homosexual. I don't blame Michael for the post, but for the life of me I cannot figure what purpose it served other than to tell us that he's "in the know", too.

I have been grateful that God brought me to a fuller realization of the truth of the Catholic Church through reason and logic, not the personality of any particular religious leader. What saddened me yesterday was to think of the number of people whose faith isn't properly rooted and will be devastated by news, if true, that a Cardinal is actively violating the Church's teachings on sexuality.

I hope to God that it isn't true. If it is, I hope that it has been primarily a matter of personal struggle and hasn't impacted the policies of his diocese, the formation of his priests, etc.

But for those engaged in the game of speculating publicly about the existence of such a Cardinal and his identity, I have to ask: Why? Do you feel it's your right to publicly out a man for his sins? I don't have the facts, so there is no way to evaluate the seriousness of the rumor and everything that might go along with it. But I question those who would feed an angry public appetite. I'm reminded of people who write nasty letters to their bishops because of the liturgical abuses of their parish priest without ever confronting the priest directly and giving him a chance to explain or correct the situation. Maybe that has already been done in this case or the situation is extremely serious. But the whole idea of gossiping about the existence of a gay Cardinal strikes me as bad as the gay magazine, the Advocate, outing people on its cover. There is a right and wrong way to address sin and error. I'm worried that this is the wrong way.

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