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Deal With It!

Most of you have probably heard what Pope Benedict XVI said about his funeral before he passed. The man who is the United States President, Joe Biden, was told by Benedict not to come to the funeral (I am happy to say I am not making this up). Benedict said that Biden is a "self-proclaimed Catholic" and because he was not living in accord with the faith was not welcome at the funeral (Biden himself tried to misrepresent it when asked about why he did not attend). When I first read that I felt a spiritual "boom" hit the Earth.

The late Pope Benedict XVI was dealing with something that few today wish to deal with. Apostasy happens, and as pastors we must help to encourage people to return to the faith. When the apostasy is private, then we can deal with it privately. When it is public (as in a public figure) then it must be dealt with publicly. Bishops are responsible to discipline politicians who deny the faith, or actively work against it (as does the man in the Oval Office). Rarely does this happen.

There was a day when Bishops would take stands and be ready to die for the faith. In some centuries being chosen as a Bishop was tantamount to a death sentence. Today, it appears that many Bishops are more concerned with looking "nice" before the world. I pray that I will never succumb to the fear of man (and I ask my parishioners to pray for me also), because as clergy we are tempted to compromise in these areas regularly.

Denial of the faith cannot be treated as "a different opinion" or just ignored. It must be dealt with as Scripture says so that others will "learn not to blaspheme" (cf. 1 Timothy 1:20). Without dealing with it, many are actively encouraged to continue in sin. Thank God that Pope Benedict dealt with it. May we learn from him in one of his last gifts to us. Sin? Deal with it!


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