What’s wrong with this picture?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jul 16, 2018

Do others share my discomfort with this story?

Catholic Charities office sues diocese in Minnesota (CWN, July 12)

“We believe the complaint will be properly resolved through the judicial process,” says the spokesman for the St. Cloud diocese. And maybe it will.

But then there’s 1 Corinthians, 6:1-8:

When one of you has a grievance against a brother, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints?

Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?

Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, matters pertaining to this life!

If then you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who are least esteemed by the church?

I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no man among you wise enough to decide between members of the brotherhood,

but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers?

To have lawsuits at all with one another is a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?

But you yourselves wrong and defraud, and that even your own brethren.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Jul. 18, 2018 1:53 PM ET USA

    Good advice, but I had expected an analysis of the merits of the case which would be in line with going to the saints. Note the lowercase s in saints.

  • Posted by: feedback - Jul. 17, 2018 11:18 AM ET USA

    There is a growing, widespread, general disregard for the Canon Law in the Church. In some cases justice may be easier obtained through civil court proceedings ("before unbelievers") than before the "brethren." The other option, of course, is "to suffer wrong and be defrauded," but this would require truly heroic Faith.

  • Posted by: fenton1015153 - Jul. 17, 2018 9:16 AM ET USA

    This is not inconsistent with the state of the church. Our Bishops have been looking to the law of man to solve their problems for a very long time. So having an entity like Catholic Charities sue the church is perfectly in accord with the actions of our Bishops. The Bishops have made this bed that we all must lie in now.

  • Posted by: dfp3234574 - Jul. 16, 2018 8:44 PM ET USA

    Well said and cited, Phil.

  • Posted by: ElizabethD - Jul. 16, 2018 6:10 PM ET USA

    I thought it seemed to be a case where it was not actually a dispute between them at all but a legal tool for protecting the assets that were supposed to belong to Catholic Charities from the bankruptcy assets. The diocese may otherwise not be all that free at this point to transfer assets to another entity.