Earlier this week, I jumped into a cab to make Mass on the Solemnity of the birth of John the Baptist, and the cab driver started asking me all kinds of questions and making observations about the Church. We talked about John F. Kennedy and the witness of Catholics in the public square. “President Kennedy didn’t always follow Church teaching, did he?” he asked, rhetorically. The same, of course, can be said of most of us, can’t it? The reminder is: Authenticity, authenticity, authenticity. People see; we scandalize and make the world more susceptible to evil by doing so.
He then started talking about a man who protests outside the Nunciature of the Holy See in Washington. He was abused as a child by a priest, the driver said. That’s awful, he said and paused, as if thinking of his own children. But that’s not the Catholic Church, he added. Bishops who made terrible decisions are at fault, along with sick people, giving into evil; this is unacceptable and people must keep watch, there must be oversight and transparency. But it’s Catholics not being Catholic who do evil. The religion does not teach the evil, he continued. Religion heals us from our evil ways. Every day.
I couldn’t have said it better. Let us pray that peace come to our hearts, heal the wounds of men who surrendered to evil, and be consoled by the love of God, made manifest by those who truly follow Him and offer Him to the world.
Let’s keep up the work of the Kingdom on earth. And better, in His love.