Thus reads a headliner recently made in a known local daily. The “bad fish” phenomenon in the Church is true. It is true that the Church is adversely affected by such a shameful reality. It is also true that the Church is bound to do something to correct such a big disgrace. It is likewise true that the Church has not only the spiritual potentials but also the canonical legislation to neutralize such a distinct malediction. It might be then right, proper and timely to ask the following three questions:
Question: Who is the Pope? He is the highest ecclesiastical authority in the universal Church that is spread all over the globe. He is the over-all superior of all the Congregations, Offices, and all other administrative and judicial agencies in Rome, the center of Christianity. He is the Head of the Vatican City, State, Europe. In few and simple words, the Pope knows what he says.
Question: What is the Church? The Church is the People of God composed of the Christian faithful that in turn are composed of the Laity or the baptized, the Religious or the Sisters, and the Clergy or the Priests and Bishop. In other plain words, the “bad fish” are found in all of them.
Question: Who are the “bad fish” in the Church – concretely speaking? These are some members of the Laity who are baptized but live as pagans. These are certain Religious who precisely behave in religious ways. These are particularly some members of the Clergy who violate their obligations, who abandon their commitment, who cause scandal in the Church.
Though it is sad to say and hard to admit, the undeniable and commonly known truth is that, the reality of “bad fish” in the Church has become not only more in number but also worst in kind. And although this is true as far as members of Laity and of the Religious is concerned, such is more felt and seen among the members of the Clergy.
While the Clerics are relatively few in number, much is expected of them – and rightly so. They are supposed to be living examples of the faithful observance of the Commandments and the consistent practice of Christian virtues. When anyone of them betrays their calling and ministry, the only winner is the evil one who salivates at fallen clerics.
So comes to fore the imperative of a “New Evangelization” of the secular world – enjoined by the Pope himself. Translation: A worldwide updated and renewed teaching not only of the spiritual doctrine but also – and specially so – of the social teaching of the Church pursuant to the signs of the times and relevant to the lives of people not only hereafter and beyond but also here and now.