Sunday, May 04, 2008

For Mr. M. --- a discernment story

Once there was a preacher. I won't say his name because unless you are black and grew up in the 70s or 80s it would mean nothing to you. He was a Protestant and his sermons were so magnificent that people began taping them and selling them. He was beloved, respected and held in awe.

He was known for his kindliness towards the young, boys mostly. He took in boys who needed help or who were interested in singing and needed a wise father figure to guide them along. The people loved him for this "giving back." And then one day, one of those boys told someone that the Rev. was molesting him. He was ignored and probably called a filthy liar. The years went on and in the fullness of his years the reverend died. Suddenly there were rumors that he'd actually been a secret homosexual. Most of his followers and fans reacted angrily to this but the rumors kept on. One of the boys, by then a young man gave an interview where he plainly stated what had been going on in the Rev's house. To this day there are people who deny that the Rev. did anything wrong and will get into a fight with you for bringing the whole story up. Others are saddened and can't figure out how this scandal happend.

Looking back on it. A couple things come to mind. Too many women trusted the Rev. blindly with their sons. Too many people looked the other way when little things seemed odd. Discernment means when you get that feeling that something isn't quite right you pay attention to that feeling.

If a priest or nun doesn't seem "right" to you; DON'T send your child to him or her for hours of alone time together. If a lay person in a position of church authority or in self appointed authority-- the lay apologetics industry--- says or introduces something to the parish that makes you sit up and go "hey, I aint no theologian but I don't think that's in the catechism or hey, St. Therese and my Grandpa Nino wouldn't recognize that teaching, " DON'T hang around them anymore. DON'T send your child to them for CCD or confirmation class, get up and walk out of their bible study class, DON'T attend their lectures and DON'T bring their books into your house.

Discernment is another word for common sense. Even when other Catholics at your parish or the blogs mock or curse you for it, use that common sense.

1 comment:

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Amen Dymphna, Amen! It's so simple, I just don't get why people aren't able to see that.