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Bad Advice

A couple years ago, I met someone who recognized the massive corruption in Washington DC. I asked him what he thought the solution was to the problem. He told me "Round up everyone in DC and put them in front of a firing squad". He was serious. I have not seen him in quite a while; he may be doing time for terrorist activity (?). Some might hear his solution and say he is just a nut and ignore the rest of what he says. The problem with that is that he did have a good understanding of the evils of "the swamp", but his method of "draining it" was contrary to the faith. To reject all that he says would be a great loss. We must be discerning about these things.

There are two important lessons to learn here. First, just because someone has a bad way of dealing with problems, does not mean he does not know what the problem is. Second, just because someone knows what the problem is, does not mean that he knows the right way to deal with it. This is especially pertinent in the context of what the Church is going through.

There are a lot of people who have pointed out the massive number of grave and serious errors that have been foisted upon all of us by various clergy over the last 60 years (including from the highest ranks of the Church). Not all of them, however, know how to deal with this. I have read some articles and books where at the beginning I was thinking, "great words!". By the time I got to the end, I realized it was ruined by bad advice in the conclusion.

Therefore, I say this as a warning; a BIG warning. Just because you read something that hits the nail on the head about the grave situation that the Church is in today, does not mean that the writer knows what to do about it. Let me explain briefly this happens so much today: there are so many Catholics (clergy and laity) living out of accord with the faith (yet still attending Church), that you would have to be hiding under a rock to miss what is going on. With that many unfaithful people, however, you also have the problem that most Catholics have not been trained properly in how to deal with these kinds of challenges. Thus, many Catholics, though they mean well, have been taught the methods of the world rather than the methods of Christ, and this is where their advice is coming from.

Not everyone who recognizes a problem and points it out, is necessarily part of the solution, or even knows what it is. It is easy to see a wound, it takes faithfulness and a considerable amount of learning to know how to deal with that wound. Let us be cautious, and ask the Lord for guidance, wisdom, and good leaders.


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