CATHOLIC PewPOINT:

Through the mode of "Trinity Time Travel," we can go home again!

      Sunday we turn the clocks ahead an hour as part of the annual ritual in Spring. However, there are many within the Church who would like to turn the clock back; to turn it back to before Vatican II. It is that age-old axiom, "If we knew then, what we know now, things would be different." Retrospect is great for what-iffing, but the facts are we have made our bed and now God asks us to sleep in it.

      Many wish the clock could be turned back to prove once and for all that Pope Pius XII was not silent when it came to the Nazi menace, nor was he indifferent to the Jewish plight as some liberal Jewish factions have claimed. Catholic World News' reports in today's NEWS & VIEWS on the revelation that Pius had actually written, in his own longhand, a condemnation of Nazism but tore it up when he realized intuitively that such a statement would jeopardize the Jews further, not to mention European Catholics who were sympathetic to the Jews in their anguish and those who saw the evil of the Fuhrer's reign. For his discretion, which was the better part of valor, he is assaulted today by those who weren't there, who have no clue, but only clamor to place the blame on someone other than themselves.

      Countless faithful in the Diocese of Dallas wish they could set the clock back to before Rudy Kos slithered into their midst. So many look back at the warning signs and few did anything to prevent this pervert from becoming a modern Judas Iscariot by betraying his God, his Church, his Bishop and especially his flocks by using his priestly position to manipulate and use young altar boys for his own prurient lust. For this sin he refused to repent as documents certify that Kos reacted defensively when confronted by both the past bishop Bishop Thomas Tshoeppe, now retired, and the current ordinary Bishop Charles V. Grahmann, both of whom were aware of rumors but could obtain no definitive proof. It is also known that the Vicar General of the time Monsignor Rehkemper is believed to have covered up the problems, thus furthering the travesties from not one but three parishes. When Bishop Grahmann discovered the terrible truth, he fired Kos, dismissing him of his priestly duties and that modern Iscariot fled to a gay section of Southern California to start anew his miserable life-style. He was finally apprehended in a Hillcrest bar in the gay barrio of San Diego and brought back in cuffs to face the music in Dallas. As we all know, he was convicted a few days ago and was sentenced to life yesterday - a fitting punishment for someone who has affected so many in such a sordid manner. Tell the victims, who this man exploited, if they wouldn't like to go back to before this happened; tell the parishioners who knew what was happening but could not get through to the bishop because of controlled chain of command; tell the new Bishop who inherited this mess and has suffered gravely from it both mentally and physically; tell the pastors and their parishioners throughout the Diocese who have had to live with this stigma; tell Holy Mother Church who strives to teach chastity in her priests, charity and obedience in her people, love and understanding of all God's children. It is a complex scenario that only God can decipher.

      As the years creep up on all of us, we all realize only too well the mistakes we've made in the past and sometimes wish we could go back, but we know we can't. Or can we? Don't call it by the mundane name of time travel, but rather "Trinity Time Travel" for through prayer we can go back to our roots - to that state of Sanctifying Grace the Father gave us at Baptism and showered us with more graces through the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist in which we receive the Divine Son, body and blood, soul and divinity, and strengthened through the Sacrament of Confirmation in which we are instilled by the Holy Spirit.

      So through "Trinity Time Travel" we can go back in time. We can return to that state of grace that marked us as innocents in God's eyes. Who wouldn't want to hop this sure-fire spiritual taxi to return to that safe shangrila of being embraced in the loving arms of the Father, near the Sacred Heart of Jesus and sheltered by the protective wings of the Holy Spirit? We all can; we all have been given that passport.

     That is the beauty of "Trinity Time Travel," the key element in our lives, the saving factor of every regret and mistake in life. For God can forgive and forget. We can forgive as well, but the forgetting is much harder. The Jews who call for justice over the Holocaust may never forget and it will be some time before the people of the Diocese of Dallas can forget, but we pray they will all forgive. That takes superheroic effort - to forgive a man like Adolph Hitler and his bloodthirsty henchmen and to forgive a man like Rudolph Kos for the damage and ruin he has wrought. Many say they can't. God knows that. Maybe that's another reason He sent His Only-begotten Son to show us it can be done! What a role Model! Here was a totally innocent Man, as opposed to the two above, who forgave all. He knew those waving the fronds of palms to Him as He entered the city of Jerusalem would soon turn their emotions in the opposite direction, calling for His death by crucifixion. Yet He forgave. Christ knew it would be Judas who would betray Him, yet He forgave. He knew the weaknesses of His chosen Apostles who could not stay awake even an hour to pray with Him, yet He forgave. He knew Peter's weakness despite Peter's boasts that he would never deny His Lord, yet he did and Jesus forgave. He felt with the deepest human pain the satanic taunts and lashes from his torturers, yet He forgave. He grieved for the souls of those who turned on Him out of revenge, such as the Sanhedrin and Scribes, yet He forgave. He knew the sins of the thief Dismas, yet He forgave. And He knew the sins committed by every man throughout history, and He forgives. He knows the sins of Rudy Kos and those within the Diocese who covered up Kos's abherrent behavior, and He is willing to forgive. But in order to be forgiven, one must ask for forgiveness. Judas did not. Will Kos? We can only hope and pray for his soul as well as the souls of all hardened hearts.

     And forgiveness is the key to putting the "Trinity Time Travel" machine in motion. God has given us the Sacrament of Penance in which we need only sincerely ask for forgiveness with the intent of not sinning again, and God not only forgives, He forgets. When we are absolved in Confession our slate is wiped clean. We are able to turn the clock back to that innocent time in our souls when it was pure, devoid of serious sin, basking in sanctifying grace. As we enter Holy Week every parish makes this healing Sacrament readily available to all in the sincere hope that all the faithful will partake of this gift of "Trinity Time Travel" which the Church offers as part of the requirements of the annual Easter Duty. It is an opportunity for all Catholics to strap on their headgear, by examining their conscience, and buckle in with a sincere Act of Contrition in order to gain the maximum graces and experience the thrill of a clean heart by springing into action within the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There, no matter the sins of the past, we can return to the abode of God's fullest Love and soak in the Rays of His Mercy. They say "home is where the heart is" and our hearts will remain restless until they rest in Him. Through Him we can settle that restlessness, spring ahead to a new peace of mind and soul, and, yes, contrary to Thomas Wolfe, through the mode of "Trinity Time Travel" we can go home again!

Michael Cain, editor


Daily CATHOLIC          April 3-5, 1998