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Pastoral writings from the perspective of Traditional Old Roman Catholicism in the Anglican Tradition by Rutherford Cardinal Johnson Count of Sainte Animie

19 February 2013

The Multiplier Effect of Vindictiveness

J.M.J.

Vindictiveness is a harmful trait. Its destructive nature spreads out like ripples on a pond or even sometimes waves on the ocean in a storm. Its causes can be varied. Sometimes it is extreme egotism. Sometimes it is low self esteem. Its specific, underlying cause in all cases, though, is the sin of pride. To illustrate with an example, there once was a vindictive woman who was an extreme bully. She kept others down through intimidation and would brook nothing that she considered a challenge to her perceived authority. She bullied those around her, even those who were largely responsible for her success. Anyone who challenged her, she sought to destroy. There were those who did try to stand up to her, but they all either failed or had to back down, cowering in the corner.

Then there came a man who finally stood up to her, for he would not be subject to her bullying. Not surprisingly, this vindictive woman not only sought to destroy this man, but also his family. She was not content to deal with the problem she had with the one man and felt the need to extend her vicious reach to those closest to him. That is the behavior of an extremely vindictive bully. And, as is also common in such situations, the other victims, the man's family, turned on the man and blamed him for the problems that they were facing at the hands of the bully, rather than blame the bully herself. Such is the vile and destructive nature of an intense bully. There is no love, no compassion, and no feeling inside such a person. Christ is not in the heart of the bully, but rather the heart is empty.

Indeed, the vindictive behavior of an extreme bully reaches out well beyond their principle target. Such a bully will not hesitate to strike out at whatever or whomever can be used to hurt their principle target. Most people react out of fear, which is never a good response. Most people give in, knuckle under, and crawl. This does nothing more than fuel the behavior of the bully, making them increasingly stronger and more confident in their bullying. Rather, bullying must never, ever be tolerated. Like the evil that it is, it must be fought, opposed, and brought to light so that victims may gain their strength back instead of the bullies.

One person, one bully, acting on the sin of pride, may do an immense amount of damage to many people. This is the work of Satan. This is a sin crying out to Heaven to be avenged. Far too many people on this earth right now are being kept down physically, emotionally, and spiritually at the hands of bullies because people give into fear or greed and selfishly make the decision not to stand up to bullies. So, the victim suffers. Those around him suffer. His work suffers. His spiritual life suffers. His family suffers. His emotional health suffers. It is time for people to take back their power from the hands of the bullies. Enough is enough.

+ Rutherford Cardinal Johnson

11 February 2013

Benedict XVI

Sub Tuum. 

It was with extreme sadness that I learned of the Holy Father's pending resignation to take place at  the end of the month. Benedict XVI was (and still is) both a forward-looking leader and one who is well-grounded in faith and tradition. This is not a unique combination of traits, but it is not common. What has made Benedict such a good Pope is his true humility. This is not a false humility or humility as so many people wrongly understand it. It is not failing to exercise the Petrine office to the fullest. He was (and still is) the Pope, and he took his office seriously. Rather, the humility that Benedict possesses is that true humility which is a complete surrender to the will of God. This is what has made Benedict such a special and effective Pope in this crucial time in history when secularism has threatened the faith from without and modernism has threatened the faith from within. The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Holy Church, and I believe it is in fulfillment of that promise of our Lord that people like Benedict come to the Petrine office.

We wish the Holy Father a blessed and spiritually rewarding retirement and thank him for the kindness which he has shown us. It will never be forgotten. Now let us all follow the Holy Father's example of trusting in the Lord and doing His will. Let us never be afraid for the future of the Church, and let us be always thankful for this period in which the Church has been blessed with the pontificate of Joseph Ratzinger, Benedict XVI.

+ Rutherford Cardinal Johnson