Friday, June 04, 2010
This week in the United States, we have watched the appalling effects of an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. Over the last month, the waters of the Gulf have been stained-- and now crude has made landfall, fouling the shores of my home state of Louisiana and neighboring states. Over 100 miles of coastline have been affected. Wildlife and fisheries in the region have been decimated.

Coming on the heels of Katrina, the Gulf region is again suffering devastation that will last for decades. The Federal response has been pokey and frankly inadequate. The current administration was extremely slow to respond to this crisis and despite a few photo ops has still not taken a leadership role on the ground or allowed local officials a free hand to protect their own land and people. It put me in mind of the spill of dissent we have witnessed over the last few months in the Church.

Dissent whether from politicians, leaders of so-called Catholic health organizations, or University presidents, confuse millions and sow seeds of relativism. If left unanswered and unaddressed by authentic Church authorities, (IE the Bishops and the Holy See) the dissenters become the de-facto authorities and lead the flock far from their home. In recent weeks the Bishops have issued statements condemning the dissent of individuals and groups like the Catholic Health Association for their role in the passage of national Health Care which funds abortion. But there are other equally toxic DISSENT SPILLS which must be addressed and cleaned up with haste. As the tragedy in the Gulf so painfully illustrates, waiting, and hoping that it will dissipate on its own is always a bad strategy.

In this 24/7 news cycle, he who gets the story out first, usually wins the day. The dissent is getting out there, and spreading. Their voices of artful dissent are full throated and passionate. Too often the voices of correction and clarity are muted or non existent. All of these isolated leaks of dissent, whether they be Catholic funds used to support groups opposed to Catholic teaching or audacious religious sisters defying the body of bishops in public, add up to one thing: a break of faith. And if that break is not acknowledged and repaired, practically and spiritually, the long term effects will make what we are seeing in the Gulf appear minor in comparison.

Please keep all those suffering from this tragedy in the Gulf coast in your prayers.

Tell me what you think at

  News Home
  Joan's Rome
  A Catholic Journalist
in London
  Inside EWTN
  Power & Witness
  Journeys home by Marcus Grodi
  Seen & Unseen
  Vatican Insider Podcast
  Joan's Rome:Video