Thursday, 7 July 2011

Who do I (we) trust?

Remember the lead tablets that turned out to be fakes?

Who can we trust today - either in society at large or in the Church? I was asking myself this question last night, prompted by the obvious recent scandals and by one priest in particular. I actually started counting the people I could trust. Of course, my family were at the top of the list, then came my close friends and associates and some members of my parish. But then we also need to ask who is telling the truth. In the present ongoing scandal involving the English "News of the World" publication (I have never been able to call it a newspaper), are the ex and present executives of the company telling the truth when they say they had nothing to do with the alleged phone-hacking? Can we really believe them? With regard to the Corapi case, are we expected to assume that his religious superiors are lying and publicly defaming an innocent man - even after all that weird "Black Sheepdog" nonsense (it is nonsense!)?

I know I am not perfect, and I have not always told the truth. Hands up all those who have NEVER lied at all. However, there are lies and "damned lies". All lies are bad, but there are some which are undermining, cruel and lasting. I have been lied to about money and work (by workmen and builders etc). I have been lied to by false friends and others I will not mention here. Each day as I watch the TV news I think I am hearing many lies. Who is telling the truth in Syria just now? Have there been killings of unarmed civilians there? Are we still expected to take the denials of vicious and criminal dictators seriously?

Lying is now endemic in western society - and I believe it is commonplace in the Church too. Sorry to say this, but I have encountered it and I will not say more.

Who do I trust? I trust the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I trust Our Lady and the saints. I trust my family, my dearest friends and many of those I work and pray with in "True Life in God". Do I trust all of my fellow priests? Sadly, no, for reasons I would prefer not to mention here. However, trust is always a risk, and rather than assume all others are regular liars I will offer them my trust, even if it means disappointment. I was brought up by my father to give others the "benefit of the doubt". Since I became aware of this it has been one of the guiding principles of my life, so I cannot now deny it. Whilst I cannot say that I am able to trust those who have consistently lied to me, I can offer those I am not so sure of the benefit of my trust. To do otherwise would be to fail Christ Himself. Who can I trust? I Will do my best to trust everyone except those who taken my trust and thrown it to the winds.


  1. Who was the worst liar of all time, the weakest coward, saving his own skin?

    Yes, you know of course.

    "While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. "You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus," she said.

    But he denied it. "I don't know or understand what you're talking about," he said, and went out into the entryway. When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, "This fellow is one of them." Again he denied it.
    After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, "Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean." He began to call down curses on himself, and he swore to them, "I don't know this man you're talking about." Mark 14; 66-71

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    At least nowadays it is difficult to hide and the sins of human nature when exposed become global.
    It took hundreds of years for Peter's lies to become known and play their part in revealing the saving grace of the God who knows our weaknesses.

    I like to think of the one who told lies in the concentration camp to take the place of another on the road to the gas chambers.

    Now there's a good lie!

  2. Anne, thank you, but I do not believe St. Peter was the "worst" liar of all time. I think that was Judas who lied not with a word but a kiss! The worst liar, in the end, is the one who does not repent of the lie. Some of the Pharisees were worse than Peter because they constantly denied their rejection of the truth and maintained their innocence. They were told they were committing the sin against the Holy Spirit. There are different ways of lying; the lie begins and issues from the heart whether it arrives on the lips or is expressed in another way - even by a whole way of life.

  3. Do you know Fr John I think I can only say " Jesus, I trust in You " never creatures apart from Our Blessed Mother..