Why I Won’t Vote With My Feet
Cecil Cullen, Johannesburg – Reflecting on the sex abuse scandals, we humans are called to worship our God, and being a Catholic I try to do so in accordance with the Church’s requirements.
The commandments I am called to respect are those of God, based on those given to Moses.
I do not know how Almighty God views the multiplicity of religions and sects which all claim him; I am not even aware of who does verifiably know this. But I am a Catholic, and I have no intention of becoming anything else, or even of becoming nothing.
As Günther Simmermacher in his editorial ‘In Crisis Keep Hope‘ wrote: “Our faith resides not in men, but in God.”
Jesus told us: “The Scribes and Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; so practise and observe what they tell you, but not what they do, for they preach but do not practise” (Matthew 23:2).
He then goes on to list their failures. So fallibility on the part of religious leaders is nothing new, and we have known of the sins of the Catholic Church all our lives — many non-Catholics are most eager to highlight them for us.
Truth in the Church
I believe the truth lies in Catholicism, but I also acknowledge that a few of our “leaders” have failed us, caused us shame, and decisive action needs to be taken.
There have been many letters and articles berating the Church for the situation, but if there have been concrete solutions offered, I have missed them. We in this country are well aware of the futility of commissions and enquiries, which tend to spawn subcommissions and further enquiries.
Action, barring revolution, can come only from above, from the pope himself — I have little faith in any of the in-betweens.
Having said all this, I must confess that I am as guilty as any of those who have not provided the solution — I don’t have it either, apart from passing the ball to Pope Francis!
I have no intention of “voting with my feet”, as some have suggested. The Mass and the sacraments are still there — they have not been affected by the sins of the clergy, of the hierarchy, and the Lord knows what lies in the hearts of his faithful; he will treat them accordingly. As Peter said on one memorable occasion, “Lord, to whom should we go, You have the words of Eternal Life” (John 6).