Friday, March 29, 2002

Holy Week gives us the unique oportunity once a year to join the crowds on Palm Sunday lauding Jesus as he enters into Jerusalem only to join the same mob on Good Friday yelling "crucify him." It is our sinful behavior that puts the Son of God on the cross, but it is in his mercy he forgives us largely because in choosing sin we show our ignorance.

Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem before entering it, "if only you knew what made for peace," words that haunt us, each time we choose something other than God and make the fatal mistake of looking for something other than God to save us.

May this Good Friday, give us pause to reflect that God alone can save us and that all of our causes and crusades will fail if they are not of His will.

Several people wrote me yesterday wondering if "conservatives" could be guilty of these crimes or guilty of homosexual activity. I suppose the answer is a nuanced one in that only someone who pretends to be conservative (meaning person of prayer, faithful to the Magisterium and Christ). There is a Latin phrase, pia fraus, meaning "pious fraud" for such people and they have always been around and continue to do their damage. And of course anyone can fall.

There are numerous examples of pious frauds. Brother Gino, later Father Gino in Italy at one time was thought to be the next Padre Pio. But unlike the soon to be saint Brother Gino was a fraud who faked his stigmata, scent of holiness and molested Children. You can read more about him here.

The founder of the Legionaires of Christ has had a number of former members claim that he abused them. The Vatican has been unwilliing to remove him, largely it seems because they feel the good that the Legionaires are doing merits it (but I for the life of me cannot reconcile this lack of action). You can read about the charges against the founder here.

Most recently in this country there has been a case in the Diocese of Scranton and two priests from the Society of St. John. You can read about it here.

Last night at Mass, the priest repeated words that I have heard a number of bishops use over the past few days, "this is a time of purification." Let us hope it will be a time of truth also.