Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W. Hudson

4/15/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In my 30 years in Catholic journalism, I have never encountered such breathtaking arrogance.

I will not quote directly from the article - there is no need to infect readers with the Phariseeism pervading Ruse's psychological/spiritual analysis of Thomas Williams. The readers can judge for themselves. I've been the target of similar, and worse, invective from self-appointed Catholic accusers  -- such as Ruse, which I've always ignored and just done my work. But when someone goes out of his way to make life harder for a man who is trying to put his life back together after years of humiliation I cannot ignore it.  There are few actions I can think of that are further from the spirit of Pope Francis than Ruse's public intrusion into the life of Thomas Williams.

Christ Before the High Priest

Christ Before the High Priest

Highlights

By Deal W. Hudson

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/15/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Crisis Magazine, Austin Ruse, Deal W. Hudson, Thomas Williams


WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - A few days ago Crisis Magazine, which I once led for 15 years, published an article, "Thomas Williams Agonistes" by Austin Ruse. The article was removed the same day it appeared.  I don't know why the editors at Crisis took it down - but it should have never been published in the first place.  In my 30 years in Catholic journalism, I have never encountered such breathtaking arrogance.

Thomas Williams was once a well-known priest in the Legionaires of Christ.  He left the priesthood and eventually married the woman with whom he had fathered a child. The scandal was obvious, and Williams dealt with it honestly and without excuse. Time has passed, and Williams was recently hired by Inside the Vatican as a contributor.  Austin Ruse, who calls himself a friend of Williams, took it upon himself to decide whether or not Williams should be allowed to continue serving the Church.

I will not quote directly from the article - there is no need to infect readers with the Phariseeism pervading Ruse's psychological/spiritual analysis of Thomas Williams. The readers can judge for themselves. I've been the target of similar, and worse, invective from self-appointed Catholic accusers  -- such as Ruse, which I've always ignored and just done my work. But when someone goes out of his way to make life harder for a man who is trying to put his life back together after years of humiliation I cannot ignore it. 

There are few actions I can think of that are further from the spirit of Pope Francis than Ruse's public intrusion into the life of Thomas Williams. What makes Ruse's article even more pernicious is that he would have you believe that his willingness to green light Williams' association with Inside the Vatican makes Ruse look like he's a good guy, willing to forgive this poor sinner. 

When the Pharisees picked up stones to throw at a woman caught in the act of adultery, Jesus said to them, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" (John 8.10). This verse is so familiar its message of radical forgiveness can be forgotten, especially when there are new occasions to use your role as a Catholic leader to either award or deny your Catholic seal of approval on a sinner whose sins have made headlines. 

A Pharisee never sees himself as throwing a stone, a Pharisee always sees himself as protecting the standards of his faith, keeping his community of faith from harm.  His intentions may be good - who knows - but the Pharisee, if unchallenged, only infects his community with enmity. 

These words of Jesus Christ go to the heart of the matter, but bear in mind that no Pharisee ever sees himself as the one being addressed:

Judge not, that you may not be judged,
For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again.
And why seest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye; and seest not the beam that is in thy own eye?
Or how sayest thou to thy brother: Let me cast the mote out of thy eye; and behold a beam is in thy own eye?
Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam in thy own eye, and then shalt thou see to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
(Matthew 7:1-5)

It may be that the editors of Crisis just let the Ruse article slip by, at least I hope so. Or it may be that some attentive readers objected to bald-faced  Phariseesim being allowed a voice in an otherwise valuable Catholic mouthpiece. That's the function of an editor, to save his magazine and his authors from embarrassment, even if an author wants to embarrass himself.  Editors have to learn how to say, "No"!

Ruse's nonsense is representative of a wider problem in the pro-life movement, among so-called conservative Catholics, and all those who are on the side of traditional values. Those who serve on the front lines of these battles can easily come to think of themselves as the only men left holding back the surge of moral disarray and decline.  How easily we forget, "seest not the beam that is in thy own eye?"

Thomas Williams will continue to serve the Church, and because of all he has suffered, due to his own actions, his future years of service will be infused with a greater humility and compassion.  When faced with a man or woman who has fallen, who has not lived up to the standards they have professed, Williams will not feel any impulse to judge them, refuse them entry back into the community, he will want only to offer his help.

© Deal W. Hudson, Ph.D

-----
Deal W. Hudson is president of the Morley Institute of Church and Culture, Senior Editor and Movie Critic at Catholic Online, and former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine.This column and subsequent contributions are an excerpt from a forthcoming book. Dr. Hudson's new radio show, Church and Culture, is heard on the Ave Maria Radio Network.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2016
Universal:
Human Solidarity: That the aged, marginalized, and those who have no one may find-even within the huge cities of the world-opportunities for encounter and solidarity.
Evangelization: Seminarians and Novices: That seminarians and men and women entering religious life may have mentors who live the joy of the Gospel and prepare them wisely for their mission.



Comments


More U.S.

Pokemon Go player with CCW halts attempted robbery Watch

Image of A Pokemon Go player has halted a robbery.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A Pokemon Go player with a concealed weapons permit stopped a robbery in Las Vegas. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Good for one Pokemon Go player who stopped a robbery thanks to the Second Amendment, which allows Americans to protect themselves. A group of six ... continue reading


'I was thinking as long as I have my hands up ... they're not going to shoot me.' Police fire shots at unarmed black therapist as he lies on the ground asking not to be shot Watch

Image of Officer shoots unarmed black man then cuffed him (WSVN).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Behavioral therapist Charles Kinsey was attempting to calm his autistic patient, who had run away from a group home, when officers arrived on the scene and shot him. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to WSVN, officers in North Miami responded to a report of ... continue reading


DEADLY heatwave settles over U.S., here's what you need to know to stay safe Watch

Image of Most of the U.S. under alert.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The worst heatwave in years is here and it will scorch the entire country from Central California to the Great Lakes, to New England. The heat will be dangerous and persistent. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Ask people what the most deadly weather phenomenon is ... continue reading


Texas female teacher slammed to ground - White officer claims blacks have 'violent tendencies' Watch

Image of Breaion King was slammed to the ground for not moving her legs.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A disturbing video was recently released over a year after a white Texas officer slams a black second-grade teacher to the pavement. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The video was recorded on the officer Brian Richtor's dash cam. He pulled second-grade teacher ... continue reading


'Here the church is their family and they know they are loved': The Church reaches out to Hispanics Watch

Image of Over half of Catholic millennials in the United States are Hispanic.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Louisiana's Diocese of Shreveport has hired its first diocesan for Hispanic youths. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hispanics compose over half the United States' Catholics yet several states offer little to no Spanish-language or Latino-centered church groups.The ... continue reading


Deacon Fournier on the Parable of the Sower, the Seed and the Soil Watch

Image of The meaning of the agrarian parables that Jesus used has become increasingly clear as I watch those fields become green every Spring. Of course, preceding all of this, there were barren looking fields, seemingly lifeless, that is before the seed was sown. Preparing the ground for the seed involves hard work, cooperative weather and the goodness of the God who created this beautiful and fruitful world.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Living Word has been sown within us. We must assist in cultivating the ground of our hearts in order to be more fully transformed by grace and reflect the Image and Likeness of God. We are called to grow in holiness and allow the Risen Life of Jesus Christ to ... continue reading


305k believers gather in Washington DC to pray Jesus 'resets the generation' Watch

Image of Tim Tebow makes appearance and speech (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Hundreds of thousands of Christians met at the National Mall in Washington D.C. this weekend to join together in an event aimed at resetting the generation. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to its website, Together Reset believes there is power in ... continue reading


Who Are the Mother and Brothers of Jesus? We Are! Watch

Image of Through our Baptism, we are all invited into the very family of God. We are the mother and brother and sister of Jesus

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Through our Baptism, we are all invited into the very family of God. When we choose to be obedient to the will and the Word of God; we enter into an eternal relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We actually become a part of the "family" of God; ... continue reading


God's Not Dead 2 Billboard deemed too 'provocative' while atheism ads go unnoticed Watch

Image of Atheist group spreads hate unchallenged.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Notorious atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has purchased billboard space near Cleveland airport to greet the Republican National Committee (RNC). Meanwhile, a pro-religion message has been disqualified. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Religious ... continue reading


Baton Rouge Shooting: New information revealed about war veteran gunman Watch

Image of Shooting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Six people were shot Sunday morning in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Three of the victims were police officers, each of whom were killed, and three were civilians, all of whom survived the shooting. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sunday morning, 29-year-old Marine Corps ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • World Youth Day 2016 begins! Find the event's FULL SCHEDULE here
  • Prayer for Healing HD Video
  • Sts. Joachim and Anne: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, July 26, 2016
  • Daily Readings for Tuesday, July 26, 2016
  • Pokemon Go player with CCW halts attempted robbery
  • Daily Reading for Thursday, July 28th, 2016 HD Video
  • Bernie Sanders dominates first night of Democratic primary

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 44:1, 10-15
1 Next let us praise illustrious men, our ancestors in their successive ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 132:11, 13-14, 17-18
11 Yahweh has sworn to David, and will always remain true to his word, 'I ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:16-17
16 'But blessed are your eyes because they see, your ears because they ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 26th, 2016 Image

Sts. Joachim and Anne
July 26: Saints Joaquin (sometimes spelled "Joachim," ... Read More