Pope Benedict XVI's resignation was but another example of the problem that the phenomenon of authority is inextricably intertwined with the phenomenon of power. Benedict was crushed by the way in which this problem is theologically, operationally and morally resolved in today's Petrine Ministry. He was crushed because he saw clearly the inherent dissonance between the authority granted to him and the power he was structured into exercising. He well-knew this was not a mere technical issue, but an issue that directly related to faith and trust in Jesus and the salvation of self and humanity. Without making noise, he tried to communicate during his tenure as the Successor of Peter that the present resolution of this problem in the Petrine Ministry was spiritually and morally unacceptable. But, there were no listeners. So, he was ensnared in a system made to fail Jesus.
Nonviolence Resource Center
He who controls the present controls the past, and he who controls the past controls the future.
—1984 (George Orwell)
The intentional presentation of historical falsehoods as historical truths is the evil of lying. The use of historical untruth to cover-up a person's or institution's participation in another evil makes the historical lie doubly evil. When that historical lie is passed on by nurturing to a new generation of innocent children, then the historical evil and the historical lie meant to cover it up become a spiritually venomous virus with innumerable awful mutations within its range of possibilities-mutations that can reach to the third and fourth generation, and beyond.
Recognizing that it is impossible for Satan to drive out Satan, for evil to drive out evil, this brief reflection might be of assistance in discerning truth and the choices consistent with truth in your Church and within the various human communities with which you are associated. Being unheeding of evil in one's midst-because evil has become normalized-does not reduce evil's power to destroy in the present or in the future.
Throughout the world August 6 is rightfully remembered as the day that humanity entered into a never-before-seen form of homicidal violence-the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, August 6, 1945. Unlike the Fourth of July in the United States, Independence Day, or the Fourteenth of July in France, Bastille Day, August 6 is a planetary day of remembrance. What is done on that day in 1945 is utterly new in human history-death finds a new doorway into life.
So we remember.
But, we forget. We forget that on August 6, 1890 another never-before-seen form of homicidal violence entered human history-death by the electric chair. On that day William Kemmler, age 30, an illiterate alcoholic from the slums of Buffalo, NY and a convicted murderer is executed by electricity at Auburn State Prison. Something utterly new enters human history—death finds a new doorway into life.
But, we do not remember. Why?