Saturday, June 8, 2019

Facebook, the Bishops and Death

Dear Beatrice,

I am sorry to hear about your father.  Karen says he has always seemed to be a man who was afraid of death.  "I noticed that about him the first time I met him," she says, which was years ago. 

Of course we're all afraid of death.  But ours is the only religion that makes sense of it.  The cross is death.  Bilbo gives up the Arkenstone, that which is most precious, for the good of others.  But if you don't believe in anything Good, as your father claims he doesn't, then what is there?  But of course he does indeed believe in what is Good, or he would not have tried to follow his own lights as best he could all these years - despite what he says.  Like all of us, he compromises with what is Not Good, out of fear of death / loss / the cross, in the hopes of controlling life and getting what he wants.  But even when we do the same, we still know that what is Good outshines us all.  Our gimmicks and our tricks do not avail us in such a time as the approaching end of life.  Death comes to the clever and the foolish, the loved and the abandoned.

But how do we deal with this?  That's what we've lost sight of, in our society and especially in our Church. 

Forgive me for bringing up the ongoing Scandal, but it never ends.  And it applies to what I'm saying.

I've been listening to an audio book on Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook's contempt for its users and its never ending abuse of user data, despite consequences such as the Russians and Trump.  Peggy Noonan calls on congressmen to get a spine and not be hoodwinked by Zuck.  She's right, but my point is this is exactly the same as the Catholic Scandal story. 

The Catholic system as it now stands is corrupt, top to bottom.  There are some good priests and maybe one or two good bishops, but it's worse than we can imagine, financially and sexually, as the Bransfield story reaffirms.  And our response? 

In the same way that Peggy Noonan characterizes fawning conservative fools gushing over Zuckerberg, so the best CNA can offer is, "As the bishops begin their meeting, there may be no more important plea on their lips than: 'Come Holy Spirit'!"

Really? 

As if we haven't learned over the last generation what the bishops really think about the Holy Spirit? 

How addicted are we to living the lie?  How much do we want to avoid the truth that's right before our eyes?

Your father has orchestrated a life that has denied reality for 85 years.  He does not now, nor has he ever, wanted to face pain, death, the ugly truth - or for that matter the beautiful truth.

I know how painful this is and I will pray for you.

Kevin

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