There is Never Enough Blood to Satisfy the Enemies of the Church
The group SNAP, which uses the sex abuse scandals in the Church as the cudgel for promoting itself and its own agenda, has moved into the truly Orwellian today. Not content with the sacrifice of Bishop Robert Finn, the Kansas City leader of SNAP is calling for the disciplining of Fr. Gregory Lockwood for the grave crime of defending Bishop Finn in print.
Thoughtcrime. Hate speech.
You see, a faithful bishop cannot even be defended by a faithful Catholic priest or layman publicly, or they’ll go after him, too.
SNAP has decided that Bishop Finn is a bad man. Therefore, anyone who defends him must also be a bad man. We see this line of “reasoning” in other contexts these days by other groups with similar tactics: Bake that cake! Perform that sodomite marriage! Desecrate that Eucharist! Offer up that incense to Moloch!
The SNAP press release is excerpted below, and I have (several responses):
MO–Victims want KC priest disciplined for defending Finn
(Oh yes, the “victims” want this. Not the professional victim-creators, oh no.)
In a stunningly (not) callous letter to his parishioners, a Kansas City pastor is (not) misleading Catholics, (not) re-victimizing adults and (not) endangering kids by (not) deceptively defending a convicted bishop and attacking the motives of those who feel betrayed by him.
(On the contrary. The only people in this incident who are seeking to make political hay out of, and “re-victimize” those who may have been abused, are those whose very mission depends upon the existence of abuse victims. Fr. Lockwood’s letter is not misleading and is in fact quite charitable. But what’s one more good man to destroy?)
In a letter to members of Christ the King parish…
I’ve known other priests unjustly targeted by members of SNAP. I’m not here to make a value judgment on the SNAP organization itself; I don’t have enough data. I will say that this organization appears to have become unduly powerful because of the inexcusable and widespread nature of the sex abuse crisis in the Church. If SNAP destroys good priests for simply stating opinions in defense of their bishops — and make no mistake, Bp. Finn had ideological enemies throwing gleeful parties upon his resignation — then it’s a monster of a different kind than the one it has supposedly been created to confront.
This all reminds me of something Our Lady of Good Success prophesied in the 17th century:
The Sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed… The Devil will try to persecute the ministers of the Lord in every possible way; he will labor with cruel and subtle astuteness to deviate them from the spirit of their vocation and will corrupt many of them. These depraved priests, who will scandalize the Christian people, will make the hatred of bad Catholics and the enemies of the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church fall upon all priests… Unhappy times will come wherein those who should fearlessly defend the rights of the Church will instead, blinded despite the light, give their hand to the Church’s enemies and do their bidding.
If that doesn’t sound like an apt description of the priesthood in the wake of all these scandals, I don’t know what does.
Our own Brian Williams wrote about Fr. Lockwood’s letter earlier this week. From the accounts that I’ve heard, he is a very good priest. He also celebrates the TLM. This, by itself, is no guarantee of character. Still, it is often such a rare and controversial thing to do even in these post-Summorum Pontificum years that it rarely fails to be a hallmark of a priest’s true love of Our Lord in the Eucharist.
I do not know him, but if I may be so bold, I would like to request your prayers on his Fr. Lockwood’s behalf. It’s beginning to feel like open season in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, and I sincerely hope that the innocent, faithful priests of that diocese enjoy Our Lady’s special protection during this difficult time.
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher and Executive Director of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have seven children.