Thursday, April 08, 2010

Witnesses in Dark Times

Without a working knowledge of mimetic theory, it is nearly impossible to extricate one's thoughts and feelings from the increasingly shrill accusatory voices in the present sex abuse crisis facing the Catholic Church.

Being a victim makes one more likely to be a victimizer. Violence is extremely mimetic. If you have ever been slapped in the face, what did your hand want to do to the one who slapped you? Too, we have rarely lived in such a litigious age as the present.

It is perfectly understandable, then, that legitimate sufferers of clergy sexual abuse should want, even demand, justice. What this may mean for the Church, however, is extremely conflicting to all who love and legitimately desire to defend Her as the sacramental presence of Our Lord in this world.

How can such strong and overwhelming feelings of the abused be heard, honored, and given justice without huge and destructive damage to the essential sacramental ministry and mission of the Catholic Church? And, of course, championing the cause of the victims of abuse gives those ignorant of anthropological realities the hand-rubbing, gleeful pleasure of victimizing in the name of victims; the only "legitimate" way to engage in violence oneself today.

Let us pray for the Holy Father, practice legitimate defense, and set examples of faith, hope, and charity. If we are called on to be martyrs of the truth, goodness, and beauty of Mother Church, so be it. It may be that we are called to such a vocation precisely for times such as these.

Ultimately it comes down to this: who are you going trust for epistemological, anthropological, theological, and soteriological certainty? I side with Our Lord and His "one holy Catholic and apostolic Church."

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