Pope Benedict’s Sleepless Nights

Does he have them? I don’t know.

I think he has led a sheltered ministry: academia and the curia, mostly. I have no reason to doubt he is both a scholar and a spiritual man. Any serious believer in the Chair of Peter would have to be significantly dismayed at the spate of bishops resigning, being ousted, and withdrawing from office with hardly a public comment. And you have to know that if no reason is forthcoming on Scranton, Saint Catharines, and Tanzania, it’s probably not happy news. But you can be sure that the pope is hearing it. And if its any kind of bad news, I’m sure it weighs heavily on the Holy Father. When the lights go out in the papal apartment at night, I suspect that bishops and clergy are more often on his mind than the psalms or canticle of Compline.

Psalm 4:3 from my Grail version:

How long will your hearts be closed,
will you love what is futile and seek what is false?

The hearts of clergy closed to the suffering of innocent victims. The very brother priests and bishops of the pope on the side of wrongdoing. The futility of pinning blame on the forces of evil in the world. Evil from within the very community of Christ is responsible. One can fuss about opportunistic lawyers and journalists, but bishops themselves have been guilty of wrongdoing on two fronts: sheltering predators as well as numbering among them themselves.

A bit further in the psalm may be the answer to sleepless nights:

Make justice your sacrifice and trust in the Lord.

Certainly, sacrifices will have to be made. Sacrifice is always a part of dealing with sin. Victims are made sacrifices and have already known loss, long before contrition of offenders is usually in the picture. Penitents must sacrifice, both as a gesture of satisfaction to wronged communities, and as a means of personal restoration. Leaders, too, will have to make sacrifices. I suspect Pope Benedict knows this.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Commentary, Ministry. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Pope Benedict’s Sleepless Nights

  1. Tony Barr says:


    ‘I will lie down in peace
    and sleep comes at once’.

    …. does it still work this way?

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