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 May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More U.S.

'It was an escape:' father of Scientology founder tells all Watch

Image of Ron Miscavige, the father of Scientology leader David Miscavige, opens up (20/20)

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Ron and Becky Miscavige escaped the California Scientology compound known as the "Gold Base" and have stepped forward to share their story. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scientology is a quiet religion shrouded in secrets - many of which are believed to be ... continue reading


'Clown-in-Chief' Obama makes skit about retirement, but here's why we're not laughing Watch

Image of Obama thinks he's a comedian, but some matters are too serious to joke about.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

President Obama, in an act of self-depreciating humor, has made a SNL-style spoof about his retirement. While amusing at moments, we can't decide if the video is good, because to make it he had to take time away from issuing executive orders, or bad, because it must ... continue reading


CIA under fire for 'live tweeting' dramatic Bin Laden raid on 5 year anniversary Watch

Image of Though some patriots were pleased to see the tweets, several compared the CIA to ISIS and their propaganda videos.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The CIA celebrated the 5-year anniversary of Osama bin Ladin's death by posting "live tweets" of the raid that killed him. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - For those who don't have a Twitter account, the CIA posted a timeline of the raid on their website.The tweets ... continue reading


Athanasius, Defender of the Incarnation: Defend the Faith! Watch

Image of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Incarnation

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Bishop and Doctor of the Church whom we honor today in the Roman Catholic Liturgical Calendar was called the Defender of the Incarnation. This title summarizes a life given over to defending the central Christian claim - about who Jesus is and who we can be - ... continue reading


No Phony Truces in the Battle to Block Most Anti-Life, Liberal Court in a Generation

Image of The United States Supreme Court

By J. Kenneth Blackwell

While much of our attention is on the Presidential race, the looming battle over a Supreme Court nomination merits no less attention.  The battle lines are clear in this nomination and the future of the Court and our Constitutional principles are at ... continue reading


Fr Frank Pavone - Amoris Laetitia: Pope Francis' Encouraging Roadmap for Families Watch

Image of Fr Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

By Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

Amoris Laetitia is a timely and loving exhortation for families towards genuine charity that begins within the nuclear family. It can be described as a new road-map for a culture that has taken a sad and tragic detour. The Joy of Love recognizes women's ... continue reading


Catherine of Siena: We Need Saints for this Missionary Age Watch

Image of Today, in the Roman Catholic Liturgical Calendar, we commemorate one of the greatest women saints of Christian history, Catherine of Siena.  While praying at Peter's tomb, she experienced the great weight of the Church fall on her shoulders.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Father, raise up women like Catherine of Siena for this new missionary age of your Church. Women who are so in love with you, and so conformed to the Image of your Son, they can do for your Church in this hour, what she did in her own. Saints are a gift for the ... continue reading


Christian student shockingly dropped from master's program for practicing religious rights Watch

Image of Andrew Cash was discriminated against for practicing his religious rights (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Andrew Cash practiced his religious rights at Missouri State University - and was dismissed from the master's program in counseling as a result. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Catholic News Agency, Cash was referring same-sex couples to another ... continue reading


Not a newsflash, U.S. government authorized use of propaganda on American people...in 2013. Here's who to blame Watch

Image of Obama signed the amendment into law in 2013.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Does the news seem a little too pro-American to you? Does it seem reporters pull punches and that the real issues are ignored? Perhaps that's the result of a quiet change to the law that took place in 2013. A law banning the use of government propaganda on the American ... continue reading


The cost of incarceration: What can we do? Watch

Image of What can we do about overpopulated prisons and ex-cons' ability to find work (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)?

By Matt Hadro (CNA)

Experts from across the political spectrum are calling for criminal justice reform, as a new White House report shows the human and economic costs of the current justice system. Washington D.C. (CNA) - "This is a singular moment in one of the most challenging issues ... 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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 15:1-8
1 I want to make quite clear to you, brothers, what the message of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, John 14:6-14
6 Jesus said: I am the Way; I am Truth and Life. No one can come to the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 3rd, 2016 Image

St. James the Lesser
May 3: St. James the Less, the author of the first ... Read More