About a week ago, I watched a documentary about the Vatican. Originally, I thought I was sitting down to watch a special on art at the Vatican. I didn't realize I was about to embark on a much different special.
As it turns out...
So instead of enjoying an eyeful of incredible Renaissance art, iconography and history, I was doused with the cold reality of the underbelly of the Vatican's dealings with pedophilia, homosexuality, and politics.
In truth, it only took me a few minutes to realize I'd made a mistake, but I figured I may as well take what I could from it since the other documentary wasn't on Netflix.
This Frontline documentary was a narrative of those in our Church hierarchy who have actively worked to cover abuse, grab political power, or utilize their prominence for activities that would shame Nancy Pelosi.
Anyway, this was basically one long description of the worst of the worst in our hierarchy.
Heaven help us, we certainly have our fair share of sinners. This piece certainly highlights that. However, the documentary also highlighted a bit of dogma I suspect its editors would blush to admit shines through the filth.
You see, even though the interviews, video clips, presented documents and other evidence stack squarely against the virtue of the Church (for good reason in some cases), the documentary acknowledges that the last few popes (in truth, all of them) have not come from the same mold as those railed against in the film.
In fact, it almost seems as if our pontiffs have been antithetical to those who hide in the shadows of our Church looking to grab power that doesn't belong to them.
Of course, that is how it should be. Christ promised that He would not abandon His Church. He would not allow the gates of Hell to prevail against Her. He would not allow His cornerstone to fail. Thus, He sent His Spirit to protect and guide the Chair of Peter, and there the Spirit has remained, actively frustrating those who would see the corruption and fall of the Church.
Over and over this became apparent as the documentary led deeper and deeper into the embarrassing shame some of priests harbor. I took this as a reminder of how necessary it is for us to pray for our priests. Oh, pray for them! They need our prayers!
So, too, do the victims of our Church. While it's true we have helped so many, we can't let ourselves think that somehow makes up for the souls we've hurt through our own sin.
I ended up getting so upset by the end of the documentary that the only solace I had was the fact that Christ had so obviously not abandoned us to ourselves. The Holy Spirit was and is still very active in our Church, and no matter how hard this documentary tried to hide that, the Light of Christ shone through. I imagine the editors would blush to realize that was the end result of their video. So yes, while they acknowledged the sinfulness and vulnerability of some of our hierarchy, they also upheld dogma and highlighted the support of Christ through His Spirit and the special protection the Chair of St. Peter has. They don't chant "Come, Holy Spirit, Come" for nothing during those Papal conclaves, folks!
When I explained to John why I was so emotional at the end of the video, even he reflected for a minute with a "Hmmm... interesting."
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