By Kaelanne Jordan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Does God allow bad things to happen as a form of punishment? Archbishop Jason Gordon tackled this question in an Instagram live chat Tuesday, April 2.
The truth, he asserted, is quite the opposite.
“Look at it as special treatment and love from God so that you can bear fruit,” the Archbishop of Port of Spain told viewers, mostly youths, in a discussion on ‘Faith and the Counter Catholic Culture’.
The Instagram chat via @catholictt was a pilot Lenten initiative of the Archbishop to promote dialogue with youth and young adults. Part two continues today (Friday, April 5) at 7 p.m.
Using the example of the parable of the barren fig tree, the Archbishop said when “manure” comes our way, it is an opportunity to bear fruit and return to God in a new and revived way.
The issue of Catholics not being discouraged in light of the recent scandals affecting the Church was the first question posed to the Archbishop.
He responded that this was a significant question as it’s on everyone’s minds. He then opined that the scandal generated “more publicity” because its Catholic.
“It seems as if the Catholic Church sex sells more than any other sex…It’s not like we didn’t do bad things, we’ve done terrible things… it seems as if it’s everywhere and it’s not as if we are the only ones in the foolishness but we have to say at the same time that we should not be in the foolishness,” he said.
The Archbishop further reminded faithful that this “foolishness” must not deter or distract Catholics from God and Church.
On the issue of pedophilia, the crux of the scandals, he again reminded viewers that the problem isn’t with priesthood and celibacy, rather, that pedophiles seek out places where they can get easy access to children.
“And so the Church is one place….you’re right, the evil isn’t just in the Catholic Church, it’s really across the whole of society,” the Archbishop said.
Agreeing with the Archbishop’s sentiments, one person commented that each Catholic has to bloom where he or she is planted.
The Archbishop agreed, adding that if bad stuff is happening in the Church, Trinidad and Tobago and even the world does that mean we leave?
“No! So we have to bloom where we are planted,” he reiterated.
Commenting on one viewer’s observation that the Church is lacking youth, the Archbishop recognised that while true, it does not apply to all parishes. He believed the reason many youth are turning away from the Church is because Catholics are not living as Church and witnessing to the culture the way they ought to.
To this, one viewer posed the question, “How should we witness then?”
“It’s difficult,” he agreed and suggested each person should choose to live right and help Church become a better Church.
“We have to find a way to renew this Church. It’s gonna take a lot of prayer and a lot of us working together to try and create a culture that we can hold to,” he said.