“I command you never to speak of that case of sexual abuse of minors! Let it go! It’s just your imagination! It didn’t happen! I’ll just re-assign him! Problem solved! But for you: Don’t you dare complain!”
Don’t for a second think that we are any less barbaric than the Dominicans of bygone centuries, a barbarism depicted in the picture above. There are many ways to burn one’s coreligionists at the stake, and many have such “matches” to start the flames of execution, and use them regularly, with impunity, for now anyway. The Lord has the final judgment, as always.
“You will be obedient!” sounds nice, but when the matter involves any degree of sin, so that one is being commanded to sin, one is not disobedient in rejecting such a command given “ultra vires” (beyond one’s capacities, beyond one’s mandate in the law).
In fact, one shows true obedience in rejecting such a command to sin. There will be vengeance, of course, for such a rejection, but we are to suffer as did our Lord.
There are those liberals in sheeps’ clothing, those neo-conservatives, those politically correct in the new age of conservative atmosphere sychophants, those ultamontanistic flatterers of any abuse of office, those prostituting themselves to the ”just get along by caving in to anything” culture… who will, of course, immediately speak of any “disobedience” to an illegitimate command as being that which issues from someone who has psychological problems with authority, when, truth be told, those who would use a position of authority to abuse their office so as to command others to sin are the ones who have problems with authority, being disobedient to the Church as they are, and trying to make others twice the children of hell as themselves, turning religion on its head by having man worship man instead of God.
What’s the excuse for abuse of office? “Pro bono Ecclesiae!” (For the good of the Church!) of course. Abuse of office is the ultimate in cynicism. Those who reject such cynicism are not themselves cynics, but simply note the irony. It’s time, again, for a note from the great Hilaire Belloc, who has something incisive to say about irony wrongly undestood as cynicism, as my long time readers know. Just remember, in reading this, the point of view of those who abuse office, for they are wonderfully pious in their own eyes. They can do no wrong. They are the epitomy of religion. They are pure, ingenuous. Anything they command, even sin, is virtuous, for the good of the Church, so they say, and, in their minds, so does God say this. Not. But how to get through to them? More irony, I say, Irony Incarnate, Jesus Himself. Jesus is the One who’s been missing in all this abuse of office, for He is not the one who is followed, for the blind lead themselves into a pit.
To the young, the pure, and the ingenuous, irony must always appear to have a quality of something evil, and so it has, for [...] it is a sword to wound. It is so directly the product or reflex of evil that, though it can never be used – nay, can hardly exist – save in the chastisement of evil, yet irony always carries with it some reflections of the bad spirit against which it was directed. [...] It suggests most powerfully the evil against which it is directed, and those innocent of evil shun so terrible an instrument. [...] The mere truth is vivid with ironical power [...] when the mere utterance of a plain truth labouriously concealed by hypocrisy, denied by contemporary falsehood, and forgotten in the moral lethargy of the populace, takes upon itself an ironical quality more powerful than any elaboration of special ironies could have taken in the past. [...] No man possessed of irony and using it has lived happily; nor has any man possessing it and using it died without having done great good to his fellows and secured a singular advantage to his own soul. “On Irony” (pages 124-127; Penguin books 1325. Selected Essays (2/6), edited by J.B. Morton; Harmondsworth – Baltimore – Mitcham 1958).
Jesus on the cross: Irony Incarnate. Self-congratulators just don’t want to understand. But, eventually, they will understand, whether they want to understand or not. For they will all look on Him whom they have pierced.
Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders. Gott helfe mir! Amen.
[ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι (q.e.d.)]