Cooperating with Evil is a Sin — Especially When You’re Wearing a Roman Collar!

WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2018

Cooperating with Evil is a Sin — Especially When You’re Wearing a Roman Collar!

Is this wolf in sheep’s skin
wearing a roman collar?

My colleague Janet at Restore DC Catholicism posted a great video on the nine ways individuals participate in the sins of others. Cooperation with evil is, in fact, evil.

You don’t have to commit a murder to be a party to it. The boyfriend who urges and pays for his girlfriend’s abortion is every bit as guilty of killing their baby (perhaps more so) as the mother who agrees to it. The nurse who neglects a patient at the order of a doctor, participates in the death that follows. All those silent staff members complicit in the starvation and dehydration of Terri Schiavo were cooperators in her deliberate murder including Bishop Lynch of St. Petersburg, FL who aided and abetted it using his bully pulpit to endorse it. In 2007 when Lynch retired, Bobby Schindler wrote an open letter decrying the bishop’s support for Terri’s euthanasia saying, “When bishops don’t do their job, innocent people die.”

Think of all those who say, “I would never have an abortion, but I’m pro-choice.” They bless the killing agreeing that others who do it are within their rights. Somehow, I don’t think that will sell well on Judgment Day, especially for those called to shepherd the flock.

Indeed, it is particularly troubling when those praising evil wear roman collars like the bishops eulogizing the way Alder Hey treated Alfie Evans and his parents. Cardinal Nichols and Archbishop McMahon praise the “professional care” the toddler received, although there is ample evidence that the child’s death was desired and his “caregivers” did everything to hasten death including initially depriving Alfie of oxygen and water and refusing to feed him for over a day after his ventilator was removed. The media attention and Tom Evans’ eloquent defense of his son probably forced the hospital to relent to minimize the negative attention. Is that “professional care?” I wonder if those bishops and the hospital staff ever skip even one meal.

In 1998 when Hugh Finn was starved and dehydrated to death in a Virginia nursing home in my own
backyard, two bishops blessed the actions of his wife Michelle who ordered the killing: Hugh’s own Kentucky bishop, Thomas Kelly, and Richmond, VA bishop, Walter Sullivan. (The Arlington Diocese had no bishop at the time because of John Keating’s sudden death in Rome.) Kelly and Sullivan both blessed Hugh’s murder. It was a tragedy and a scandal, a double sin. First the sin of cooperating with evil and second the scandal that leads others to accept and imitate the sin. How many have used the actions of bishops and priests to justify their own evil choices?

The sheep mourn over the exile of their
good shepherd, St. Athanasius.

We have a particular contrast to their behavior with today’s saint, Athanasius, who refused to be silent about heresy and fought the Arians with tenacity. At that time the Church and society were riddled with Arian leaders who denied the divinity of Christ. They did everything they could to stop that one man. It was “Athanasius contra mundum,” the saint against the world! For his fidelity he was banished, excommunicated by Pope Liberius, and faced numerous threats to his life. But he never wavered in his defense of the faith. He was a good shepherd following in the footsteps of Our Lord. And almost single-handedly he pushed back the Arians and restored the integrity of the faith.

Would that we had more bishops like him in this age when man, rather than defending the littlest lambs, vigorously defend the wolves. Their cooperation with evil is a scandal to Holy Mother Church. May God have mercy on them. It would behoove them to re-read Jeremiah 23, “Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture, says the Lord….I will take care to punish your evil deeds.”

St. Athanasius, pray for us!

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