Losing Control of the Narrative

by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  October 16, 2018   

Bp. Gracida: Laity need to rise up and say, 'No that's not true!'

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Corrupt government leaders and false shepherds in the Catholic Church are losing their ability to lead as they lose their ability to control the narrative. This loss of control is owing to the rise of Catholic media and the increased use of social media by truth-minded people.

According to the former bishop of Corpus Christi, Bp. René Gracida, fighting a false narrative is exactly how the laity are to fight corruption in the Church. His Excellency emphasized this point in 2016 interview with Church Militant.

"It's more important," said Bp. Gracida, "for people in the pew to rise up and say in print, in letters, in phone calls, in emails, in person, in interviews, it's more important for the laity to say, 'no that is not true,' than it is for someone like a Burke or a Pell to say this is the truth."

A recent example of a Church leader who lost the ability to craft the narrative and thereby lost his ability to lead was Cdl. Donald Wuerl, former archbishop of Washington, D.C. When announcing the Pope's acceptance of his resignation, Wuerl indicated that he no longer was able to lead the people.

"I could no longer serve you in the way that you deserve," Wuerl wrote. "What is needed now is new leadership so that all of you, the faithful of this church, can begin to focus on healing and the future."

Wuerl was attempting to control the narrative on Aug. 8 when he downplayed the #CatholicMeToo crisis sparked by outing the homosexual predation of ex-Cdl. Theodore McCarrick. It was then that Wuerl said, "I don't think this is some massive, massive crisis."

He further attempted to float the notion that bishops should just be allowed to investigate themselves and they would fix everything. His solution to the so-called non-crisis was a crafting of new policies that would apply to the sex abuse of adults by bishops just as the Dallas Charter for the Protection of Minors had policies that dealt with the sex abuse of minors by priests.

"Now what we're realizing is we need to have something that would also be a mechanism for when a bishop isn't as faithful as he needs to be," Wuerl said.

Wuerl further connected these dots when he told America magazine on Oct. 11, "I felt that my ability to be able to serve that unity would have required concentrating on a defense of myself and of my actions." He went on to say that "a careful reading of the [Pennsylvania grand jury] report," in which he was named 169 times, "shows that I acted in a very responsible way to remove predator priests."

Faithful Catholics aren't buying the spun narratives anymore and are letting this be known by their bold posts on social media and by their lack of donations to Church fundraisers.

Watch the panel discuss the all-important fight for truth in The Download—Losing Control of the Narrative.


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