The sin of "power"?
Let's imagine that a group of thieves got together over the years, conspiring in a secret, sinful pact to prey on and defraud the poor. This group's reach stretched wide, and its tentacles grew long and entrenched, and its members perpetuated the network, systematically, creating a poor-defrauding mafia.
The mode of the defrauding of the poor was striking, as the group focused almost exclusively in one region, one demographic. Occasionally there was a thief operating in other regions, but those thieves, though tolerated and protected by the leaders of the network, did not rank high among the powerbrokers and kingmakers, not at all.
This defrauding of the poor (one of the sins that, according to Church tradition, "cries out to heaven for vengeance") went on and on and on for decades. The "syndicate" was cunning, ruthless, and merciless, protecting its right to defraud its victims, and enjoying it -- all while pretending to be honorable, humble bankers.
Now, let's say that the sins of the network of defrauders-of-the-poor were finally exposed. Would we Catholics ever simply call their sins the sin of "wanting and exercising power"? Or would we say instead, "These evildoers defrauded the poor!" That's a no-brainer, of course. We would have no hesitation to call out -- to name -- the nature of the sin that was actually, truly committed, one by one, against flesh-and-bone victims.
Obviously, I'm drawing a parallel to the recently exposed sins of predation by a network of bishops and cardinals and seminary directors, etc. Were they able to commit these sins so systematically and for so long because they had power? Of course. But what is the nature of these "sins of power"? We know that the nature of the sins committed against not only children but also vulnerable adults (mostly seminarians) are overwhelmingly homosexual. We can deny the elephant in the room if we wish, and we can desperately try to put all of it under the umbrella of "power" (would those prelates need to confess actual acts, or only "power thoughts"?), but it won't make the problem go away. There are other sex rings that are not mostly homosexual in nature, but this one, this Catholic one, overwhelmingly is.
Folks can try to shout down that truth, but it won't last. The last time we tried to "move along" from the truth, it took 16 years to come back and haunt us exponentially, and the victims suffered, unimaginably, all the while.
Tell the truth of it. The TRUTH will set us free, not some politically correct script. All that is hidden, the Lord says, will be revealed. The time for obfuscation and pretense is over, as now the cover has been blown off as cleanly and permanently as the former Cardinal McCarrick's scarlet zucchetto. If we keep trying to deny what is in front of our noses, we will simply face more disaster ahead. Speak the truth and cleanse the Temple now.
For those who need to understand that this is (as always) a spiritual war, see this (and buckle up):
Wherein Fr. Z offers one of the hardest posts he has ever written
From the bishop who was brave enough to name the sin, there is this:
Bishop Morlino does not skirt issue in abuse scandal
From a courageous same-sex attracted man who does not speak out of hate or spite, but out of love for Christ, the Truth, and His Church:
Why men like me should not be priests
And to connect the dots between all the sexual sins, to name them as such, and to help clean up the mess, read this:
Harvey Weinstein, Theodore McCarrick and how you can help the #CatholicMeToo movement
May God have mercy on us all.
PS: Some of the very folks decrying "abuse of power" have forcibly silenced me on Facebook. After three days of zero access, I can now see my pages, but can't comment or post anywhere. Nor can I answer my private messages, which is terrible, because folks in desperate situations often ask me for guidance and prayers. Aside from my sadness at that last part, it's been quite a nice vacation, if I am honest! I spend much too much time there, for sure. But I should be back on Wednesday, if the overlords allow it. :)
PPS: Someone reminded me that a similar deflection happens when we encounter homosexual sins in the Bible. For example, the "sin of Sodom" is no longer sodomy, but "a lack of hospitality." You can't make this stuff up. Speaking of power, what is the power of this particular sin over those who would protect it at all costs? May God deliver us.