NEWSFLASH: The women in a certain [formerly thriving] section were just visited by their new priest. In addition to the other introductory information he passed along, he praised them for their fidelity, sadly noting that much of the RC leadership had defected out of sheer pride. They were there when everything was good, when the accolades were rolling in, when the limelight was on them. Once the road got a little rocky, they threw in the towel — since they don’t know how to deal with crosses.
Now I haven’t had time to check sources, and I find the reported incident a little strange given Fr. Scott Reilly, LC’s following recent assurance to U.S. RC:
Understandably, in the midst of the present circumstances there have been a few of our members who have felt that they can serve God better by separating themselves from the Legion and Regnum Christi; others have opted temporarily to step aside to see and evaluate, waiting also to see the outcome of the Visitation. The vast majority has opted to continue doing as much good as they can from where they are, knowing that our time here on earth is limited, and trusting that with the guidance of the Church whatever needs to be corrected in time, and whatever is good will be confirmed. Each one has made his or her choice before God, moved by their love for him and their desire to serve him to the best of their ability, and for no other consideration. Let us have great Christian understanding and respect for all. Each of us must presume the best and purest intention in the other, pray for each other, and recognize that each one of us suffers and recovers in different ways and at different times.
But for the sake of making a point, let’s assume there are witnesses to corroborate the alleged incident. Pride can be a good thing. It depends upon the context and how the word is being used.
Growing up in the French Catholic school system, one of the first lessons a young student learns is that romantic-based languages often have two words for one English counterpart. This is because the English word contains both meanings. To understand which meaning is being used, one has to look at the context.
Law is an example I deal with every day. In French the word law can translate into loi (or lex in Latin). Each of the Ten commandments is an example of loi. Or the word law can translate as droit (ius in Latin), meaning a system of jurisprudence or law in the broader sense. The American legal system is an example of droit.
The same is true of pride. Depending upon the context, pride translates into French as either orgueil or fierté. Orgueil is the type of pride that denotes arrogance. For example, refusing to apologize for having slandered victims of sexual abuse is an example of pride that translates into French as orgueil. This type of pride is one of the seven deadly sins warned against in the Bible.
In contrast, fierté is a type of pride through which one identifies with the goodness of something. I suspect it may be related to the French word foi, which means “faith”. A couple examples of fierté come to mind. “Displaying the same pride in his Catholic faith that had been instilled in him during his Marine Corps training, the pro-life priest went on national television and defended Catholic teaching on contraception.” Or “A proud Catholic mother, Mary resigned from her apostolate to devote more time to her children’s needs.”
There is nothing wrong with this type of pride. In fact God loves this type of pride, as we read in Psalm 47:4 (“[The Lord] chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves.”) Like any good father, Jacob took pride in his descendants, the Jewish people, whom God chose as His own. Far be it for me to accuse Our Lord and this venerated Old Testament Patriarch of a deadly sin. I’m not that proud. I am, however, proud of our Old Testament heritage as Catholics. Hence the difference between orgueil or fierté.
So faced with this type of situation, I would guess that a certain amount of fierté would motivate a person to leave. After all, not apologizing to one’s victims for having unjustly tarnished their reputation is an example of orgueil that few Catholics wish to identify with.