Friday, August 19, 2005 +

Lonely Catholics

Read Amy Welborn’s post on Msgr. Clark and the comments that followed. Most people believe that the Monsignor broke his vow of celibacy. My belief is that if Clark is guilty, he should not have maintained his innocence, and that if he is innocent, Cardinal Eagan should not have accepted his resignation. In this matter Eagan is more important than Clark, because it involves the possiblity of scandal. Will Eagan prove to be another blind mouth?

The accused always seem very lonely; one wonders what direction Msgr. Clark received from his confessors and spiritual advisers. It is one thing for a man to be a sinner, another for the Church to allow him to bring disrepute to the Church. The failure is institutional as well as individual. Or is everyone amazed when a priest is surprised?

The theme of loneliness appears in the several comments by Mr. Rod Dreher and others. Amy Welborn had asked of the “Clark situation”:

1) Does it discredit faith to the outsider?

2) Does it strike a blow to the faith of one who is Catholic?

What is clear is that many Catholics feel like outsiders in the Church. This is admitted even by those who defend the Church and would never leave it. They don’t leave it because the Church has the truth. Unfortunately, the truth seems to be in the Church but not of it. For how often these days does a Catholic meet the Word incarnate in his parish? Where are the saints and where the art?

See also Diary of a City Parishioner (Saturday, August 20, 2005).