“Whom to Trust?”

Lee Podles:

We have been warned about false Messiahs. As ordinary laity we must to some extent rely on the judgment of those most responsible for the Church, that is, the clergy. They have the time to investigate matters. …

When authorities in the Church fail to carry out their important role in discerning the spirits, they leave the laity in a quandary. Whom can we trust? If we encourage our children to go to confession, will they be seduced in the confessional? If we encourage a religious or priestly vocation will they be seduced in the monastery or seminary? If we give money to a parish will it be stolen by the pastor to finance his male or female lovers? Our shepherds seem to care little for protecting us from such wolves.

The divisions in the Church, although painful, can perhaps serve a useful purpose. No one would think that John Allen is conservative, and therefore his generally favorable evaluation of Opus Dei carries far more weight that papal approbation would. But reporters cannot replace bishops, the appointed overseers of the Church, and I wish more of them would spend less time on fund raising and career advancement and more on protecting the sheep.