Tautala Saʻo

 

IN tali i laʻu tusitusiga I Faitioga a FaifeauTasi le tagata faitau fesili:

E tatau ona tatou fifilemu pe a iai ni faiga le tonu? Pe a le pisa alii ma tamaitai lotu ma le au lotu, ou te talitonu e sili atu le agasala nai lo le mea o loo tupu. O le lalafi i tua o tapuaiga sese a lotu, o se see maseesee. Ou te iloa e toatele naua i le Ekalesia o taumafai mo le paia e ala i le le leoa, ona o le fefefe i le a pe faʻafefea ona latou taʻuina. E sili ai loʻu leo ​​ma misia le faʻailoga iloa o ono i ai se sili atu avanoa o suiga. Loʻu fefe mo mea na e tusia, le o oe o loʻo fautua mo le leai se pisa, ae mo le tasi atonu na sauni e tautala a le poto pe leai, o le a filemu ona o le fefe i le misia le faʻailoga poʻo le agasala. Ou te fai atu laa ese ma solomuli i le salamo pe a e tatau ai… Ou te iloa e te manao i tagata uma ia fealofani ma agalelei ae…

 

IN SEASON AND OUT… 

There are several good points above… but others that are fallacies. 

There is no question that it is harmful when Christians, especially the clergy who are charged with teaching the faith, remain silent out of cowardice or a fear to offend. As I stated recently in Savavali Faatasi ma le Ekalesia, the lack of catechesis, moral formation, critical thinking and basic virtues in Western Catholic culture are rearing their dysfunctional head. As Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia himself said:

… E leai se faigofie auala e fai atu ai. O le Ekalesia i le Iunaite Setete na faia se galuega le lelei o le fausiaina o le talitonuga ma le lotofuatiaifo o Katoliko mo le sili atu 40 tausaga. Ma o lea ua matou seleseleina faʻaiuga - i le malae taʻavale, i o matou aiga ma le le mautonu o o matou lava olaga. —Areti Epikopo Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., Tuʻuina atu ia Kaisara: Le Faiga Faʻaupolokiki a le Katoliko, Fepuari 23rd, 2009, Toronto, Kanata

In the same speech, he adds:

Ou te manatu o le soifuaga faʻa onapo nei, e aofia ai le olaga i le Ekalesia, e afaina i le le malie o le mafaufau e faʻatiga na mafua mai o le faʻautauta ma amio lelei, ae o le tele lava o taimi o le palaʻai. O tagata ola aitalafu le tasi i le tasi faʻaaloalo ma talafeagai faʻaaloalo. Ae e ao foi ona tatou aitalafu le tasi i le isi i le mea moni-o lona uiga o le moligao. —Archb epikopo Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., “Tuʻuina atu ia Kaisara: O le Faiga Faʻaupolokiki a le Katoliko”, Fepuari 23rd, 2009, Toronto, Canada

In other words, we Christians tatau lava defend the truth and proclaim the Gospel:

…preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. (2 Timothy 4:2)

Note the word “patience.” Indeed, in the same letter to Timothy, St. Paul says that…

…the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, forbearing, correcting his opponents with gentleness. (2 Tim 2:24-25)

I think what’s being said here is quite self-evident. Paul is not advocating silence or that “everyone get along and be nice.” What he’s advocating is that the Gospel—and the correction of those who don’t follow it—always be done in the imitation of Christ. This “gentle” approach also includes our attitude toward our leaders, whether they are clergy or civil authorities. 

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for any honest work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all men. (Titus 3:2)

 

FA'ATA'ATA'I

The question was, are we to remain silent in the face of injustice? My immediate question is, o le a le uiga? If by “speaking up” you mean, for example, going onto social media and raising awareness, that may be very appropriate. If it means defending someone who needs our defence, then probably yes. If it means adding our voice to others in order to resist an injustice, then probably yes. If it means speaking up when others won’t (but should), then probably yes. So long as all is done according to alofa, because as Christians, that’s who we are!

Love is patient and kind…  it is not arrogant or rude… it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. (1 Cor 13:4-6)

However, if it means going onto social media or other forums and attacking another person in a way that violates their dignity, is disrespectful, etc. then no. One cannot defend Christianity while behaving in an unChristian manner. It’s a contradiction. The Scriptures are clear that one cannot simply “step out and [sin and then] retreat into repentance if you must,” as my reader puts it. One cannot solve one injustice with another.

Further to what the Catechism states on avoiding slander, calumny and rash judgments against others, [1]vaʻai I Faitioga a Faifeau its teaching on the use of social communications is clear:

The proper exercise of this right [of communication, particularly by the media] demands that the content of the communication be true and—within the limits set by justice and charity—complete. Further, it should be communicated honestly and properly… the moral law and the legitimate rights and dignity of man should be upheld. It is necessary that sui uma of society meet the demands of justice and charity in this domain. -Catechism o le Katoliko Ekalesia, l. 2494-2495

There is also the importance of the “internal” versus “external forum.” When an injustice occurs, it should be handled in the private or “internal” forum whenever possible. For example, if someone injures you, it would be wrong to go onto Facebook (the “external forum”) and attack that person. Rather, it should be handled in private (the “internal forum”). The same applies when issues appear in our parish family or diocese. One ought to speak to one’s priest or bishop first before taking issues to the external forum (if justice demands that one should). And even then, one can only do so as long as “the moral law and legitimate rights and dignity” of the other are respected.

 

NOT THE MOB 

There is a growing mob mentality in the face of the sexual abuse scandals or papal controversies in the Church that all too often violates basic justice and charity; that bypasses the internal forum or dispenses with mercy and removes one far from the imitation of Christ who always sought the salvation of even the greatest sinners. Don’t get sucked into a vortex of hostility, name-calling or seeking vengeance. On the other hand, aua lava nei be afraid to be bold, to charitably challenge others or to step into a vacuum of silence with the voice of truth, always showing “perfect courtesy toward all men.”

For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it… whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. (Mark 8:35, 38)

Admittedly, it is sometimes a fine line when we should speak and when we should not. Which is why we need the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit more than ever in our days, particularly Wisdom, Understanding, Prudence, and Fear of the Lord. 

I, then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call. (Eph 4:1-5)

 

Mark is in Ontario this week!
vaʻai iinei mo nisi faamatalaga.

O Mareko o le a taina le manaia matagofie o le pao
McGillivray kitara acoustic faia e lima.


vaʻai
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Faʻamanuia ia oe, ma faʻafetai. 

 

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