America is already great. We could solve most of our issues virtually immediately. The issue constraining society from correcting itself is that we, as Americans, are more concerned with what it looks like than what it is.
When speaking truth to power, if you disrobe the emperor, he retreats immediately. The Catholic Church’s present-day dilemma exemplifies this conundrum. It took civil action to unmask crimes that many lay church leaders, as well as clerics in their complicity as co-conspirators, had kept hidden for far too long. When it was apparent to them, in their positions of special insight, that something had been wrong for a very long time, they lacked the courage to act.
The only way to redemption is through what the church teaches its’ faithful regarding the Sacrament of Confession: total transparency.
Had the leaders of the church immediately sought the healing of confessional transparency rather than trying to resolve issues only through attrition, we would already have begun the painful journey towards Christ’s redemption.
The ticket from perdition is to break America’s cultural habit, which demands appearances before reality. Scandal was not avoided by accepting money while failing to act and failing to rock the boat out of self-preservation. Why was the letter of Msgr. Kevin Quirk, Bishop Bransfield’s top aide, not sent out until the month of Bransfield’s retirement? Was this the month he learned of his colleague’s acts?
The new Bishop needs to answer what he knew, when he knew it and what, if anything, did he do about it?
The real losers here are the people of faith, who spent 14 years subject to what was patent to aides and accountants.
In order to realize its’ greatness, America must begin to be more concerned with our realities and less preoccupied with appearances.