Monday, July 30, 2007

I wasn't going to blog on this but...

I wonder how many of can sincerely say that was never at least once when we acted in such a way that would have caused us shame and dishonour if someone had maliciously videoed us in the act and posted it on U-Tube with the result that a year later the media started hounding us mercilessly? I myself can think of at least two instances which I am not going to tell you about.

I do not wish to be the cause of furthering such dishonour, so I mention no names or circumstances. Those who know what I am talking about will know, the rest of you don't need to. If you leave a comment, please make it about yourself and in terms that are generic and do not refer directly to the case which has prompted this blog.

Perhaps those who do know might like to think how we would have acted/reacted in similar circs. Maybe this is one of those points at which we should start to show some of that "trade-mark" Catholic concern for justice that we keep hearing about.

4 Comments:

At Tuesday, July 31, 2007 4:07:00 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Tuesday, July 31, 2007 8:45:00 am , Blogger Schütz said...

The deleted comment did not follow the rules and identified the situation to which I was referring. I therefore give the comment which I deleted above again without the identifying features:

Anonymous said...
"With all respect, you are forgetting that here :
1. It was a very public act
2. [the individual involved was a senior "officer of the Church"--to use Bob Maguire's term]
3. He should have controlled his tongue and the language he used with such foulness.
The fact of him being filmed in the process is not the relevant issue here. He was being filmed for what he was there and then and no excuses can justify that. What would the public have made of it all if it had been a bishop on the rampage with such language - shock horror and possibly exile."


I am forgetting none of this. Yet what is obvious to all who know the individual involved is that what was on film was completely out of character.

The man himself has publically acknowledged what we all know to be true of ourselves: that beneath our public appearance, deep down we are frail, faulty and wounded human beings--not one of us better than the next person. Through discipline and grace our frailty is gradually overcome, but this does not make us hypocrites when we loose control (due to anger, alcohol, depression, whatever) and our human frailty and faults come to the surface.

When this happens, we inevitably experience shame. It is our Christian duty (on the basis of the 8th Commandment) to cover up our neighbour's shame. What I find deplorable is the way this man's shame has been publically displayed.

I am not saying that the 8th commandment commands us to cover up guilt if justice requires us to expose it. But what justice can be served by exposing a man in his human weakness to shame and ridicule? What is to be gained by the destruction of his good name, his valuable ministry and his future standing in the community?

The individual involved is not a malicious or dangerous man. He is, like me and you, a frail human being. He acted and spoke in a dreadful way under determined and intentional harrassment and intimidation.

Not one of us has the right to pass judgement upon him. As Jesus said: "Do not judge, lest you yourself be judged" and "How can you say to your brother, let me remove the speck in your eye, when you do not see the log in your own?"

 
At Wednesday, August 01, 2007 2:55:00 pm , Blogger Athanasius said...

The real injustice here is that so many (including Anonymous above, apparently) will assume that a bit of video sums up the person. Take a look at today's Herald Sun for a prime example of this kind of sanctimoniousness by Michael Carr-Gregg.

I don't know the person concerned, but I've made plenty of mistakes and I know how easily I could be presented in a similar light by a determined enemy. (I use 'determined enemy' deliberately. After all, this didn't end up in the media by accident, did it?)

 
At Friday, August 03, 2007 10:45:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

I have met Michael Carr-Gregg. He is not a stupid person, and generally talks sense. But I have been very disappointed by his eagerness to pass judgment on a fellow human being. Far preferable is the comment in today's age by Peter Craven "We all make mistakes. It's time to forgive". I would give the link but that would break my own rule of identifying the case. If you read it, know that I agree with it.

 

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