Anthony Esolen: Watchdogs and Wolves

What Catholics Can Do Who’ve Lost Faith in Their Bishops and Even the Pope (“Don’t Leave Christ Because of Judas”)
November 19, 2018
Legatus Withholding 2019 Vatican Tithe
November 19, 2018

Editor’s note: Pictured above is a detail from “A Saint Bernard Comes to the Aid of a Lost Woman with a Sick Child,” painted by Charles Picque (Belgian, 1799-1869) in 1827.

By Anthony Esolen,  Crisis Magazine, November 19, 2018

“Do you not know,” says Saint Paul to the lax and factious Corinthians, “that we shall judge angels?” They had ceded to the unbelievers around them the authority to judge a controversy between Christian brothers.

But Jesus says, “Judge not, lest you be judged,” because the criterion by which we measure others will be our measure too, and we are not likely to pass that test. Does Paul contradict Jesus? Not at all.

Consider the Pharisees, who liked to pray and fast conspicuously, pulling long faces so that everyone would know they were in the grip of holiness. Jesus calls them hypocrites, the same name he gives to the man who would take the speck out of his brother’s eye while he has a plank in his own. That word hypocrite too has to do with judgment: Greek krinomai—to answer for, to give an eloquent reply, as if in a court of law. Hence hypokrisis—the practice of sub-locution, surreptitious behavior; to hide what you really are beneath the play-acting. The Pharisees are hypocrites both because they pretend to judge others by standards they themselves do not meet, and because they are actors of holiness, presenting themselves for the judgment and the applause of men….Continue reading…..