I wouldn’t give ya five bucks for the whole operation.

The cause of our joy. And the sure sign that evil cannot prevail.

“Will the Church survive this? Yes. How? The Holy Spirit. I wouldn’t give you five bucks for the whole operation if it weren’t for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We can’t keep this up on our own.”

I paraphrase from memory, but so said Father Benedict Groeschel in a conference I heard years back shortly after the sex abuse scandal began to break.

Episodes like what has gone down of late in Kansas City-St. Joseph make you wonder how God will bring good out of this evil, but there is nothing for us to do but to trust that He will, and will provide for the victims.

Another conference I heard, this by Archabbot Lambert Reilly of St. Meinrad’s in Indiana, included a story he told about a previous conference he gave. Again, I’ll paraphrase, but he said he was giving a retreat to a group of bishops and after the first couple of days of impressing each other—because that’s what people do when they first come together—they had more or less gelled. And at the start of a particular conference he said, “Before I begin my remarks I have two comments. One has to do with me and the other has to do with you. The one that has to do with me is, ‘God can work through any jackass he chooses.’ And the one that has to do with you is, ‘He only has jackasses to choose from.’ And so then I gave my remarks and after that conference one of the cardinals on retreat came up to me and said, ‘Father archabbot, I think that’s the first time I’ve been called a jackass publicly.’ And I said to the cardinal, ‘I think what you mean is “outloud.”‘”

At the conclusion of that story and the ensuing laughter Archabbot Lambert went on to thunder, “THE CHURCH DOESN’T GO ON BECAUSE YOU’RE GOOD, OR I’M GOOD.”

The Church goes on because Christ said it would go on until the end of time.

End of story.

Awful things like this indictment are most definitely not the end of the story. Nor, unfortunately, are they the end of men and women who represent and lead the Church in various capacities doing very bad things.

God help us if we do not do everything we can to prevent such evil and eradicate it if we come to know about it.



  • Bruce

    Will there ever be any end to the damage homosexuals and other perverts like them have caused the Church?

    • Francis

      Bruce: Homosexuals did not cause this particular damage, if it is indeed true. The charges are against the bishop and the diocese for hiding the actions of a pedophile. Unless the bishop is a homosexual, I don’t know what you are getting at here. Will there be any end to the hierarchy covering up for the actions of a few sickos? That is the question.

      • http://twitter.com/tomcrowe Tom Crowe

        Actually, while some types of sin seem to be more prevalent among those who cause the problems, the most important thing to remember is that all those who cause these problems are first and foremost sinners. As we all are. The sins of these men have a much larger impact, of course, and hurt many more people, but at root is sin.

      • Bruce

        The vast majority of sex abuse cases in the Church over the past 50-60 years involved homosexual men abusing teenage males. This case was different, but the perversion is still there. Homosexuality and pedophilia are both disorders and any actions taken to indulge those disorders are perverse and sinful.

        • Brian C

          “This case was different”

          Then what was your purpose in posting your comment on this article about this case?

          • Michael F

            If I may point out, Bruce did not, in his original comment, restrict the cause of damage to homosexuals, but rather extended it to “homosexuals and other perverts like them”, which does make it relevant to the discussion. If we were talking about, say, the inefficient gas mileage of a 1960’s Chevelle, and someone came on and said that “all gas-sucking Stingrays, and any car like them, should be made illegal”, wouldn’t that still be relevant to the conversation, even if he did not mention Chevelles by name? Btw, that is only an example, and I love classic cars (my brother has one).

          • Bruce

            Perverts includes active homosexuals, pedophiles, pornographers, exhibitionists, etc. Did you need me to list all of them for some reason?

  • Anthony S. Layne

    I’m reminded of the French cardinal who overheard Napoleon’s threat to destroy the Church: “Absurd. We have been trying for centuries, and we haven’t succeeded.” Or the elderly Irish monsignor who said, “Faith, the Barque of Peter must be divine, else we boys would have kicked the bottom out long ago.”

    @ Francis: Even if the charge proves false, it would be a reflection on the Church in that it’s lost so much respect that a district attorney would feel confident in pursuing a rubber stamp from a grand jury, and that said grand jury would rubber stamp his persecution. Any way you look at it, there’s simply not much joy to go around.

    • Tim

      Apparently you have information that the grand jurors in this case failed in their civic responsibilities and merely “rubber stamped” the criminal complaint.

  • Francis

    I loved the paraphrases that you included – funny and true! But I am left wondering at your comment about “Awful things like this indictment…” Is the indictment the awful part? Or is the awful part that the bishop did not report child porn? (If that is the case – in the U.S. we are supposedly innocent until proven guilty.) The fact that there is an indictment and that it included an investigation by a grand jury seems to indicate that there is enough evidence to at least warrant an investigation. That in itself is very disturbing.

    • http://twitter.com/tomcrowe Tom Crowe

      Francis— The alleged crime that the government has deemed worthy of pursuing is the awful thing. The indictment, if arrived at justly, is not awful.



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