Non Praevalebunt: “Vatileaks” In Perspective
This “Vatileaks” matter does not cease to amaze me.
It seems there are even people who demand or suggest the Pope should resign, as if the Vatican had always been an immaculate garden full of delicate flowers, now invaded by weeds. Then there are the faithful who are shocked, probably because they know next to nothing of history and think corruption in the Church started around five months ago.
Then there are – and they are also not new, but they’re amazing nevertheless – those who seem to think the Church must make an effort to earn I do not say their approval, but even their allegiance. The latter group seems to think the Church is something like a political party, to which they can give their support or take it away.
It is, therefore, perhaps fitting to say a couple of words about the matter. This may seem stating the obvious to some (which it is, and the reason why I often do not even mention these matters) but might be of some benefits for others, perhaps more recent readers of this blog or stumbling on this page by the virtue of Google.
1. Corruption in the Church is as old as the Church herself. Even among the first batch of twelve – handpicked by Our Lord Himself, and with the immeasurable benefit of knowing Him in the flesh – the betrayal rate was one in six, though one repented so let’s settle for one in twelve, which is around 8.33%. Those who know what happened afterwards are, certainly, not very alarmed from what is happening now, at least as far as the degree of corruption is concerned. Benedict IX sold his papacy, for crying out loud!
2. The Church is not a party, but the bride of Christ. I am utterly astonished that those people who say they have left the Church because they disagree with Pope Benedict’s policies never say to you they don’t identify with their Fatherland anymore because they don’t like Obama (or Bush, or Merkel, or the Chameleon, or Berlusconi). They don’t say this to you, because they perfectly well know it would be a very childish thing to say, and would let them appear rather stupid. But hey, if it is about the Church of Christ, one can throw away the membership card as he likes…
3. Excessive worries are a sign of weak faith, because the Church is indefectible. As Cardinal Consalvi brilliantly told Napoleon, the clergy has been trying to destroy her from the start, and has never managed it. The idea the Church may be marching toward destruction is as intelligent as the fear of Asterix’ villagers the sky may be about to fall on their head. Of course, one has the right to be angry – and if you ask, has the duty to denounce the filth in an apposite manner – but let us never forget total defeat is not an option here, merely some more or less protracted phase of dismal military operations and shocking, if never definitive setbacks.
I sometimes forget to point out to these simple facts. I do this, because to me this is such a matter of course than it would not occur to me to remind you of this more than it would that tomorrow the sun will go up in the east.
Therefore, let us be attentive not to cover the scandals – oportet ut scandala eveniant is valid for the Church too – but at the same time let us not think that the Church is now suddenly in danger, or the sky is about to fall on our heads.