Wednesday, December 18, 2002

For a while now, Mark Shea's been writing that the Holy Father has kept Law and others in their positions in part so that they are forced to endure the suffering and shame of the scandals, and that that is their cross to bear. Some have replied that the rest of the American Church has had to suffer because of this as well, and that's not fair. Mark answers that the blame for the scandals is not wholly on the bishops, so it's appropriate for us to shoulder our share as well.

I agree with the sentiment, but I think it misses an important point. Even if only the hierarchy were to blame, it would still be appropriate for the rest of the American Church to take up its cross for redemption. Our salvation was earned through the suffering and death of one who was utterly and completely blameless -- Jesus! What makes us think we should somehow be immune from suffering?

In a way, these arguments prove Mark's point -- our culture never sees suffering as a redemptive act, only as punishment for those who did wrong. How quickly we forget who we are, and how our salvation was earned!

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