Tags: Let's | Hear | for | Hypocrisy

Let's Hear It for Hypocrisy

Wednesday, 15 May 2002 12:00 AM

In recent months, the Catholic Church in the United States has been criticized by those on the right and the left for its handling of the sex abuse scandals.

Catholics committed to the Church's teaching are grieved to see that some of the Church's priests have failed to live up to the standards they set for all the faithful, and that the bishops have turned a blind eye to the problem.

Dissenting Catholics and many outside the Church criticize the Church for expecting too much of its priests. Sexual freedom is the norm in America. If the Catholic Church would just jump on the bandwagon, it would avoid this mess.

Those on the left are quick to criticize the Church for its hypocrisy. Church leaders preach sexual restraint while some engage in sexual license.

Although the charge of hypocrisy may be an accurate one, maybe it is not as bad as it first seems. Jesus blasted the religious leaders of His day for laying heavy burdens on the people and failing to lift a finger to help them. In other words, they failed to live up to a standard.

But at least they had a standard. The charge of hypocrisy is one that any committed Christian must face, and the clergy are no exception. Week after week, the clergy preach on love of neighbor and forgiveness of enemies while harboring the all-too-human failings of anger and hatred.

What is the solution to this problem? Committed Catholics call for a strengthening of moral structures in the priesthood. Dissenting Catholics call for an elimination of these same moral structures.

Lax standards are nothing new for the left. Poor test scores? Readjust the scale. Not enough minority policemen? Use race-based norms. Priest sexual abuse? Lower the sexual morality and the scandal is no longer attached to same action.

The past few months have shown the schizophrenia of the left.

While they wag their fingers at pedophile priests, Judith Levine publishes a book advocating lowering the age of consent to 12. Joycelyn Elders writes the forward to the same book.

The U.N. distributes information encouraging children's sexual activity while ignoring sexual abuse by its own workers.

The Academy Award for best picture goes to "American Beauty," a film about a man who fantasizes about a sexual relationship with his daughter's friend.

If Fr. Shanley had joined the U.N. instead of the priesthood, he would have been left alone.

It seems that Bill Clinton is truly the president for the Left. He is a man who embodies all the baser human instincts, with no internal check. Is a monogamous marriage too confining? Cheat with an intern. After all, "it's only sex."

Since he never really stood for any high moral principles, he never fell from them. Thus, he will never be accused of hypocrisy.

Many in the media who criticize the Catholic Church do not really stand for any high moral principles. What moral stance has Jimmy Breslin ever taken? The New York Times' Bill Keller? "Politically Incorrect's" Bill Maher?

So, how does the Church avoid the stigma of hypocrisy? If you follow the Left's example, drop all standards. If you have no standard, you cannot come up short. If you follow the example of those who went before you in faith, you do penance and resolve to do better next time.

So, the Church should be proud when it is called hypocritical. It means that it has some standards. Remember that only those who never stand for anything will never fall.

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In recent months, the Catholic Church in the United States has been criticized by those on the right and the left for its handling of the sex abuse scandals. Catholics committed to the Church's teaching are grieved to see that some of the Church's priests have...
Let's,Hear,for,Hypocrisy
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2002-00-15
Wednesday, 15 May 2002 12:00 AM
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