Even though I turned out to be correct, I should have waited until everything was confirmed and given the bishop time to act as he saw fit before I started making any kind of public accusations. The reason I'm writing about this is because it is a prime example of how the laity should not act towards the clergy in the Catholic Church. I have been pretty harsh at times on the clergy, and I would like to do a mea culpa right here and now in that regard.
Certainly when we see priests and bishops, or any member of the Church acting in a way that is contrary to Church teaching, we need to do something about it. We should never stand idly by when we know someone is acting in a scandalous way and involved in serious sin. But is the proper response to immediately take it to the Internet and announce it to the world?
The advice given to us directly by our Lord in regard to dealing with scandal can be found in Matthew 18:15-17:
If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.Our first concern should always be for the soul of the one involved in the sin, to try to bring him (or her) to repentance, and secondly to avoid scandal so as not to put other souls in danger. As Jesus Himself told us, the matter should be kept as quiet as possible unless and until the one involved refuses to repent. Then, and only then, should it be made public, and it should only be made public if it is necessary to mitigate public scandal, such as the priest assisting in a same sex wedding. Even then, everything we do should be aimed at leading the person to repentance. We should never do anything that unnecessarily humiliates or demeans in an any way. We should never play "Gotcha!" games with people's souls as I did with the priest in Connecticut when I immediately jumped on him without knowing anything other than what I read in the Times, and not even sure that I had the correct priest.
GK, Chesterton, one of the wisest men of the 20th Century, said this:
What embitters the world is not excess of criticism, but an absence of self-criticism.Think about it.