Called To Ridicule
On Cardinal Mahony’s Blog this post appeared.
At a first reading it would appear an exercise in humility. Sadly, I failed to be moved. I think I know why.
Read it again, and understand that this is nothing to do with humility.
There is no single word of admission of guilt. The “humiliation” is, besides being something he can’t avoid, presented as coming to him like a test: like a cancer, say, or having a life-changing accident, or such like.
If I speed on the motorway and get caught, I haven’t been “called to lose my driving licence”. I have chosen to drive too fast and have paid the consequences. If I talk of my “vocation to bus riding” and do not mention that I am the cause of my own problems, I can’t see where the humility is.
The writing style and entire attitude remind me of those Protestant ministers caught with the secretary in their bed; only when they apologise they at least do so openly. Cardinal Mahony doesn’t.
We learn instead that on Ash Wednesday he has discovered a new vocation (one which clearly he did not have before) , because people now insult him and, it is clear to everyone, further trouble lies ahead. The Cardinal writes he is called to be “humiliated, disgraced, and rebuffed by many”, but he doesn’t say that he richly deserves it. Many saints were “humiliated, disgraced, and rebuffed by many”, but they were saintly men and women. I am missing something here….
The entire exercise sounds so passive-aggressive to me I wonder whether it has been written by a woman. “I am treated so badly you wouldn’t believe it, but I am such a good Christian that I will embrace it. Yes, I will, I will! Look at me, what a spotless lamb I am!”.
Dulcis in fundo, he closes with another passive-aggressive blow to his enemies:
Strangely, the more I allow all of this to unfold without protest and objection, the greater the inner peace I feel.
It is clear he could move oh so many objections and his protests would be oh so justified; but having now discovered a new vocation, he will deliver himself to his slaughterers. The “inner peace” he “strangely” feels shows us his great, serene strenght in the face of adversity.
The gullible will be moved, no doubt. The others will wait for real and sincere apologies, and the end of this passive-aggressive attitude.
Cardinal Mahony was made bishop by Paul VI, and Cardinal by John Paul II.