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Too Much Compassion
Can Be an Excessive Cruelty

A frequent sight today is Prelates covering-up for corrupted priests in the name of solidarity between father and children inside the Church. Therefore, it seems quite opportune to bring to light the words of St. Catherine of Siena to Pope Gregory XI in which she transmits the severe judgment of Our Lord for this behavior.
It also seems appropriate for parents to apply these words to their relations with their children inside their families.

St. Catherine of Siena

In 1372 Gerard du Puy, Abbot of Marmoutier and Apostolic Nuncio in Tuscany, wrote a letter to St. Catherine of Siena to ask her advice in certain matters. Here is an excerpt of her reply, and one can surmise from her words that the Nuncio, who was a nephew of Pope Gregory XI, was writing in the name of the Sovereign Pontiff. An excerpt from her reply follows:

“I have received your letter, my dear Father, and it gives me great pleasure that you should deign to think of such a creature vile as I am. I think I understand it; and in reply to the three questions you ask me on the part of our sweet Christ on earth, I think before God that he ought above all do two things to reform the great evils which ravage the Spouse of Christ.

The first is the excessive tenderness and care for relatives; that abuse should entirely and everywhere be put a stop to.

"The second is a weakness which springs from too much indulgence. Alas! The members of Christ are corrupted because no one reproves them! Our Lord has a special aversion for three detestable vices: They are impurity, avarice and inflamed pride. And they all reign in the spouse of Christ in those who seek after nothing but pleasures, honors and riches. They see the demons of Hell carrying off the souls confided to them and they care nothing at all about it, because they are wolves and traffic with divine grace. What is needed is a strong hand to correct them; too much compassion is at times an excessive cruelty.”

(Augusta Theodoia Drane, The History of St. Catherine of Siena and Her Companions,
Ballantyne Press, n.d., 3rd ed., vol. 1, pp. 283-284;
a copy of this letter can also be found here)
Posted Mary 8, 2010

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