The Church risks destroying its own mision
I am presently teaching European jail chaplains in Romania, the poorest country in Europe. Seeking some guidance and consolation amidst the historic and present suffering of these people, I had an afternoon of prayer and took to reading T.S.Eliot’s FOUR QUARTETS.
In “East Coker” he says that “our only health is the disease” and that “to be restored our sickness must grow worse” and even “the whole world is our hospital”. It gives me some strange direction amidst this tragic communist experiment, the state of politics in the USA, and the daily Vatican meltdown as it continues to try to regain some control and authority by condemning things in every direction.
We are clearly in a very strategic period of history where people are grabbing for power because they do not know how to heal, restore, or bring life. You would think the Pope and bishops should know better, yet they only need to look to this part of the world to see what imposed and authoritarian change accomplishes – which is nothing and worse than nothing. The push back, the alienation, the cynicism lasts for centuries, as I see here in a former Communist state.
I am afraid, as T.S.Eliot says “our sickness must grow worse” to see how sick we are, and “our only health is in the disease” itself–to bring the poison to the surface so none can deny it. The Roman Church and the US Congress are both showing a very sad misuse of their power, which is no longer a power for good or for the common good.
The Catholic church has become its own worst enemy and does not need atheists or agnostics to undo its mission. Like St. Peter himself, it is denying and destroying its own message. The sadness I see here in Romania is the sadness of power totally misused in the name of “reform”. I am afraid it is a prophecy for the future of the Roman Catholic Church.