The signature of our time is the betrayal of the small by the powerful. Bureau thugs with mammoth government backing surveil Catholic families; protestors fester in prison for years without a trial; bishops are stripped from their flock without canonical justification. And the man who should most have our backs, the man who has charge over God’s little ones, instead undermines the Faith and honors our antagonists in the Vatican. It’s no wonder we feel the need of a strongman.
George Pell was such a one, a colossus literally and figuratively. At 6 feet, 4 inches, Pell was commanding in physical stature alone, and his intellect and courage only magnified his eminence.
The hard loss of Cardinal Pell on January 10, one year ago, came only days after Pope Benedict’s death. It felt as if God was systematically removing the very people we hoped might be able to rescue the Church from her troublous situation.
But rather than put our hopes in a mighty champion like Pell, it seems God wants us to realize our own strength as baptized Christians. It is time for confirmed soldiers of Christ to muster. We can be Pell-ish ourselves, attending closely to the cardinal’s words at the end of his long life serving his beloved Church.
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