“Inner Thoughts” Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the album “Inner Thoughts” (2006)
Sometimes it helps to have recourse not only to a copy of Canon Law, but also to a good study volume of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
My copy of Canon Law is “Code of Canon Law Annotated”, 2004, from the University of Navarra, Faculty of Canon Law. My copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is a first edition “Catechism of the Catholic Church”, 1994, from Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops Publication Service.
The first thing is what does Canon Law have to say about voicing concerns about the conduct of our leaders? Canon 212, paragraph 3, in my copy of “Code of Canon Law Annotated”, 2004, from the University of Navarra, Faculty of Canon Law:
“§3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.”
And, from the Catechism:
– of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;
– of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them;
– of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.
To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way: Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it.
But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.”
— Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2476-2478
Keeping fraternal charity in the forefront of my mind is the perennial challenge … trying not to slip into judgemental thoughts … judge not lest you be judged … pay attention to that bit about “rash judgement” in the Catechism quote.
Realizing that we are sinners, we must have a godly, and thus a deep, humble, sincere, perennial, and efficacious sorrow for our sins, a sorrow that forces us to quit the broad, rough road of sin and, with renewed spiritual strength, to advance in the way of God.
If we evade the stern obligation of repentance, we shall be lost. “Unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3) Sorrow for past sin is the infallible means of avoiding future sin. Penitence is, then, the rock foundation of a virtuous life. We must clothe ourselves with the penitential garb here, if we would escape the terrors of the judgement hereafter. “If Thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities, Lord, who will stand it?” (Ps. 129:3 (RSV = Ps. 130:3)
I guess where I am is “do not let the goings on in the “real” world disturb my Faith life. Truth is Truth, no matter what the current fashion, and it is unchanging at least since the Risen Christ cooked the Apostles breakfast on the shore after their fruitless night struggling without Him.
“Quid hoc ad aeternitatem,” as old Saint Bernard of Clairvaux used to mumble when faced with the usual parade of travail, what does it matter in the light of eternity?