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When Silence and Complacence Are Sins

Often we have been censured for speaking out against Progressivism in the Church and in revolutionary customs. “You aren’t priests or theologians,” “You aren’t in charge of their formation,” are some comments of critics said to us as a pretext to keep us quiet.
Actually, their argument is futile. Every Catholic has the obligation to denounce error wherever and whenever it appears. St. Gertrude, who received countless revelations from Our Lord, tells us that we have the duty to correct the error, otherwise we sin.


St. Gertrude

Reading those words, “Where is Abel, your brother?” (Gen 4: 9), St. Gertrude understood that God will ask an account of each religious for the faults that his religious brothers committed against the Rule, because those faults could have been prevented had either the brother at fault or the Abbot been warned. The excuses of some – “I am not in charge of correcting my brother” or “I am worse than him” – will not receive a better welcome by God than those words of Cain, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen 4: 9).

For, before the Lord each man is obliged to avert his brother from the bad path and exhort him to the good. In this regard, when someone is negligent in listening to the voice of his conscience, he always sins against God. He cannot give the excuse that he does not have the duty to correct his brother, because his conscience is his witness that God is calling him to do so. If he neglects this duty, he will have to give an account for it, and perhaps he more than the superior, who may have been absent or did not notice the fault.

From this comes that threat: “Woe to him who does evil. Woe to him twice who is complacent with it” – Vae faciendi, vae, vae consentienti. It is evident that the one who remains silent about a fault is complacent with it, since a few words from him would suffice to prevent an offense to the glory of God.

(St. Gertrude, Book III, chap. 30, in Révélations de Saint Gertrude,
Vièrge de l’Ordre de Saint Benoit
, Paris: Alfred Mame, 1921, p. 218).

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