Responsibility comes from the Latin respondere, “to answer”.
The person who is responsible is the one who has to answer if things go wrong. He is in charge, therefore he is the first one to whom guilt is apportioned. To be in charge means to be the one who is in trouble when bad things happen, the first one who has some explaining to do, and it better be good.
This is a very simple concept. Empires have been built on it. Schools have used it all the times. Countless generations of parents have availed themselves of it. In church matters, Popes and Bishops have used it for almost two thousand years. Ask John Wyclif, or Jan Hus, or the Cathars how it worked. They’ll tell you in no uncertain terms.
The concept seems to be slowly dying. Responsibility is not seen as being in charge anymore, but rather as being the one who is supposed to make some noise.
Look at how many children behave (in church and outside) and consider to what extent this generation is enslaved to the whims of one’s own children, with an army of spineless parents not able to do anything more than to make their impotence and incompetence known to the general public. Make no mistake, the next generation of drug addicts, alcoholics, spineless, spoiled rotten eternal adolescents is growing under our very eyes. They can’t even behave in church, but they are supposed to get through the trouble and challenges of a lifelong marriage. Good luck with that.
Look at how teachers behave, their ability to promptly and severely punish – and therefore, being feared; and therefore, being obeyed and respected – almost completely vaporised by a generation who has demonised the very concept of authority and is simply terrified of every physical contact.
Look at the bishops, all too often reduced to be the smiling spectators of a dynamic which they, even when they don’t like it, feel obliged to leave unopposed. Unless, of course, they are pleased with it.
And look at the Popes, with the past century introducing an extraordinary, unprecedented Papal behaviour like publicly denouncing that from some fissure the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God, without acting to close the goddamn fissure at once, and with utmost energy. Don’t think that this doesn’t continue today; it only happens in a less tragically ineffective way. Sadly, modern Popes don’t reign. They encourage.
The last generation seems to be the first one for which talking is considered a valid substitute for acting; again, so many people play the game (with their own children; with their own pupils; with their own priests; with their own cardinals and bishops) that this has become normal, and accepted as “the way things go”.
The one in charge is the one who has to act.
If he doesn’t, he’ll have to answer for it, some day.
Posted on August 4, 2011, in Catholicism and tagged Catholic Church, Catholicism, Conservative Catholic, conservative catholicism, Paul VI, Smoke of Satan. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Responsibility.