With some regularity I'll receive some very irate comments to my posts urging - even demanding - that I "cease negativity and be grateful for the a) pope's cuteness, b) happy-clappy crap, c) you name it". For the record I'll state that I am very grateful for what Jesus did 2000+ years ago, and that He founded His Church to mediate His graces and to save souls, including mine. But thanksgiving is more than just happy, "positive" thoughts about real blessings received. It also involved dogged, relentless efforts to preserve these blessings AND to recover those that we squandered by apathy and even disdain. Those efforts require speaking the truth, sometimes in direct and blunt terms. It is for these reasons that I - and other bloggers - speak out against evils emanating from within the Church and even those originating from the Holy Father (when not speaking infallibly).
I now have a word of warning to those who insist on looking at the hierarchy - and particularly the pope - through rose-colored glasses. While in the past you have lambasted others and me for "being negative", I could not help but notice your abysmal silence when that debacle that I call the SinNod was going down last month. Why, oh why, was that? I could hypothesize a number of reasons, but in reality those reasons are quite irrelevant. Rather I beg you to consider that you are silent in the face of numerous gaffes and even de facto heresies that have spewed from the Vatican and even the Holy Father's mouth. Time and time again you ignore the glaring evidence before your eyes. Not only that, you chastise those of us who have the clarity to understand that there is an elephant in the living room - all to perpetuate your own denial of the truth that all is not peaches and cream at the Vatican.
Church teaching has always taught that there are nine ways that one can share in the guilt of a particular sin without being the primary one to commit that sin. I refer to this, this and this (paragraph 1868).
For ease of reference, I'll list the nine below.
1. Counsel: Giving advice or direction to the evil-doer;
2. Command: Ordering or inducing another to commit sin;
3. Consent: approving of the sin, before or after its act;
4. Provocation: Inciting or urging one to commit sin;
5. Praise or flattery: Inciting or urging one to commit sin by praise;
6. Concealment: helping one to commit sin by offering to conceal the crime;
7. Partnership: Sharing the fruits of another’s sin;
8. Silence: Not speaking out when we should, or not acting to prevent sin when obliged;
9. Defending evil: Attempting to justify the evil actions of others.
Many detractors, I believe, are acting in accord with numbers 8 and 9. This goes for some bloggers and other social media wielders who do not speak out when the Pope utters rank heresy (as I believe he did here). To those bloggers, I believe our platforms and audiences present to us an obligation to speak out. If that is not your persuasion, I'd welcome comments as to why you would not believe that to be the case.
Be advised that I will not risk being an accessory to the corrosion of Holy Mother Church by my silence. I'd encourage others to do the same so that the Church can be about her true mission to save souls.
I'll present this link to show how many sainted Catholics - many of them popes - regarded silence in the face of evil with utter disdain. I'll close with this from St Catherine of Siena: "We've had enough of exhortations to be silent! Cry out with a hundred thousand tongues. I see that the world is rotten because of silence!"