“Love does not rejoice in evil…”
It’s no secret I’ve been a big critic of Bishop O’Brien. Like most, I think he’s done an atrocious job of misgoverning his diocese and his butt-saving plea bargain last week really took the cake, violating both church and civil law and involving Caesar and the Church in a ridiculous and dangerous attempt to jumble Church/State relationships, just so he could cop a plea and save his rear.
And now, with this hit and run fatality, the whole catastrophe of our episcopal college is somehow written in blood. It’s the stuff of a Greek tragedy or some supernatural drama where everything inevitably works together to wreak judgment.
At such a moment, pregnant with so much meaning, there’s a very strong impulse to claim some sort of prophetic insight and start indulging the worst aspects of human nature.
That impulse must be firmly resisted as the sin, and I believe the grave sin, that it is.
Let’s be clear. It looks pretty clear that Bp. O’Brien hit this guy. I don’t know if that killed him or if some mysterious second car is involved, but it hardly matters. This priest, showing the gutlessness which has characterized him for quite some time, bolted and ran when a man could have been dying because of him. I’m not clear when it happened (Saturday or Sunday?), but it’s obvious that he has acted like Teddy Kennedy, not an apostle or even a decent man, in avoiding the authorities till confronted. All this appears to be the substance of the news. He’s in jail, as is fitting.
There are a disturbing number of voices here in the blogosphere who are acting as though this is a *lucky break*. They speak with joy and satisfaction over this horrific turn of events, because HA! They nailed the bastard just when it looked like he would skate! They speak as though they *hope* that it was no accident. They rub their hands with glee and, frankly, rejoice in evil.
That is grave sin, in my opinion and *nothing* excuses it. Indeed, it is arguable that in the court of heaven, it is more evil than O’Brien’s cowardice since it is arrived at coldly and without the lash of terror. That is not, I repeat, to excuse O’Brien. But it is to say that, as a layperson, I am sickened by some of the talk I’m seeing in the blogosphere that sees this horror as a stroke of good fortune and rejoices over it.