In Bishop Barron’s “cry from the heart” over the clerical sexual abuse and cover-up crisis he draws a lesson from Lincoln. In the Gettysburg address, he called everyone to build rather than abandon community. Bishop Barron calls each of us to exercise our prophetic charism. We are not fighting for an institution but for the community Christ.
Some of his phrases… This is the moment to be fighting for the church we believe in… fighting to set things right, fight any way you can… because we believe in Jesus Christ… every baptized Catholic is called to be a prophet… raise your voice, don’t cut and run… we are not fighting to save an institution… we are fighting for the victims…
I am reminded of the words of a contemporary mystic, Br. David Steindl-Rast
The question is: Do we have the grace and the strength and the courage to take on our prophetic task? You see, the mystic is also the prophet. And the prophetic stance is a double one. It demands a double courage, the courage to speak out and the courage to stay in. It takes a good deal of courage to speak out, not necessarily with words. Often a silent witness is much more of a witness. By word or by silence,, the prophet speaks out. It is difficult enough to speak out and then to get out as quickly as you can, to say your thing and run. But the second half of the prophetic stance is to stay in, stay in the community against which you have to speak out. But it will not do to stay in and to blend with the woodwork, to stay in and lie low. That is not prophetic either. The most difficult thing is demanded from us: to stay in and to speak out. Nothing less will do.To stay in would be easy if we could disappear. To speak out would be easy if we could get out. But then you would no longer be a prophet, you would merely be an outside critic; that has happened to many tired prophets. They have become outside critics. As long as they were prophets within, they had leverage; they were able to change things. Now, on the outside, they say the same things, but it does not phase anybody anymore. But to stay in and speak out means crucifixion. The staying in is symbolized by this cross because you stay in; you can not go anywhere else. It is rammed into the ground, and it is the vertical post of the cross. The horizontal post symbolizes the speaking out. It happens to fit in the Christian tradition very nicely. But the cross of the prophet is there in every tradition.