Special Report: Devil in Rome premieres Monday, Aug. 22 at 8 PM ET
There's a pretty telling comment floating around the Catholic world that is very dangerous. It's the famous "we win in the end" line — the implication being, of course, that there is no need to get all worked up about this or that (including all the evil in the Church) because, in the end, we win.
Not so fast. Who's this "we" you're all talking about? Christ wins in the end, of course — absolutely, completely and totally. But it's more than just a little presumptive to think that Christ winning somehow automatically includes all of us winning.
None of us has any idea if we win in the end, and it is patently wrong, presumptive and idiotic to assume ourselves into the Church Triumphant. For a person to "win" in the end — to partake as an individual in the final victory of Christ made totally visible at the end of the world — a person must die in a state of sanctifying grace.
The only other state any person can die in is a state of mortal sin and, regardless of what the likes of Bp. Barron promote and the rest of his bishops never correct, we do not have a reasonable hope that all men are saved. The preposterousness of that statement is so insulting to the intellect that it's truly astounding.
The vast majority of people — in fact, the vast majority of Catholics — live in an objective state of serious sin. They do not go to Mass. They do not believe or even consider the Church's teachings on most things, especially sexual morality. Over a third fully reject the teaching on the Real Presence and actively deny it. Another third don't believe it because they say they've never heard that it's true. Even many who actually do go to Mass and do receive Holy Communion don't really believe it is Jesus Christ. And it certainly seems the case that various clergy, including bishops, especially bishops, are in the same boat.
The idea that the vast majority of people walking around — 98%, according to Barron — are in a state of sanctifying grace is so stupid that you hardly know where to begin in critiquing it (unless you hold to the even more stupid notion that it's nearly impossible to commit a mortal sin).
What is it to be in a state of sanctifying grace anyway? It is to have the life of the Blessed Trinity flowing through you, even if imperfectly. Your thoughts, actions, deeds and everything emanate from the lived life of the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity.
How could any Catholic look around the Church or the world today and conclude that 98% of people are living their lives in and through God? Heaven, like Hell, is a choice that is determined by our actions and our nonactions, the sins of commission and omission. And it is the sins of omission that are the most grievous pertaining to the hierarchy. A bishop can go to Hell without doing a single wrong thing by simply not doing the right thing.
At this very moment, a huge number of bishops are fashioning their own private damnations by their silence and refusal to do the right thing, and their continued sins of omission that damage souls are not offset by doing some good things. They don't cancel each other out like some crazy mathematical equation.
A sin is a sin — whether it's by commission or omission. So let's examine this idea of sinning by not doing what needs to be done. First, what is sin? The word derives from the Latin sine, which means "without" — referencing the willful lack of doing something which ought to be done. So being mean to someone, for example, or stealing money from them is to deprive someone of what ought to be.
Well let's ratchet this up, shall we? For a bishop to deny justice to one of his priests, either by stripping him of his faculties without sufficient cause or allowing him to retain his faculties when they should be stripped, is a gross act of omission, with justice, truth and charity being the virtues offended.
Let's go even further. For a bishop (even one who does a positive good or goods) to refuse to come to terms with his acts of omission from the past that caused public harm (by not acknowledging them), that will merit Hell.
Either through commission or omission, many of today's bishops have played a key role in the vast suffering the Church is now experiencing. Holy Mother Church is indeed undergoing Her passion at this moment, and like Our Blessed Lord's Passion was set in motion by an Apostle, so too is His Church's by the Apostles' successors.
Where is the collective outrage of the bishops that so many clergy are actively homosexual? Where is the voice for the victims of their malice and ladder-climbing ambitions? Where is the apology to so many parents who entrusted their children to their priests' and bishops' schools, only to have those children lose their faith in the Church? Fully three years on from the McCarrick revelations and there are still no resignations, no acceptance of guilt, no admission of the sins of omission. It's nothing but silence.
This silence is not the silence in which God can be found. Far from it. This silence generates a deafness in the soul where God cannot be heard. In fact, it is purposely clung to in order to drown out the silence in which God can be found and heard and is replaced with the silence of cover-up and omission. It is the failure to preach the truth of the Faith; the failure to acknowledge guilt; the failure to come to terms with reality.
It is a willful failure to speak what needs to be spoken. Sometimes it is motivated by fear, other times by shame, other times as a self-delusion. Could there be some bishop out there who knows of his role in the evil which has now descended on the Church? Unlike many of their brother bishops who acted out of malice toward the Church and Her teachings, perhaps there is a bishop who didn't especially like what he saw, tried to steer clear of it as much as he could, but still kept silent because he wanted to advance.
Then, as things grew far worse in the Church, he decided to try and offset his own sins of omission by doing some notably good things — a self-delusion of trying to clean up the effects of his own silent complicity by trying to "fix" the Church without any pubic acknowledgment of his own role in the filth. It's sort of like a spiritual "have your cake and eat it too" type of self-deception.
Let's say such a man in his younger years (before being a bishop) was highly regarded and given a post of respect in a large archdiocesan chancery. Not much would be expected from him, certainly not to actively participate in anything untoward. All that would be expected of him would be to keep quiet and look the other way regarding "unreasonable mental reservations" in his head about his homosexual bishop and his evil deeds.
He may have even convinced himself of his bishop's goodness, dare we say, holiness, a conviction that would serve him well in his later years when he needed to absolve himself from his role in the current disaster in the Church.
Truth is, by its very nature, not partial. A good does not offset a bad unless the sin is fully acknowledged, confessed, firmly resolved against and absolved. And when possible, restitution is made, at least in some form. Yet here we are as Catholics in a Church where none of that has happened by members of the hierarchy. Their sins of omission are barely acknowledged by them and, even then, the faithful are left wondering if it is sincere or some short drama to mitigate lawsuits or look good on the evening news or offset financial damage from increasingly red-pilled donors.
What suffers in all this in the short-term is the truth being denied the right that the truth has, by its nature: to be declared. What suffers in the long-term is the bishop himself who descends to Hell for all eternity for not doing what should have been done.
I confess the things I have done and what I have failed to do. Those who sin by omission should be extremely careful about boasting we win in the end. No, you do not.