It's a very simple concept, really.
Indulge me please, while I tell a short story, a parable if you may.
Many years ago, my mother and I were visiting one of her close friends in the USA who was an illegal immigrant. She had traveled to California on a tourist visa and had opted to stay, in hopes of providing better financial support for her family. Back then, it was easier to do so, with lax enforcement, no laws yet for employers to ask for social security numbers, and no computerized documentation. It was different from the immigration issues that the US is suffering from now. In fact, to deal with the growing base of illegal immigrants, the INS (the US govt agency in charge of immigration, now known as the USCIS) instituted a period of amnesty to legalize illegal immigrants in the US. They issued a list of requirements and those who qualified were encouraged to apply and become legal immigrants. Mom was asking her friend why she hasn't applied, since this was a golden opportunity for her to become legal and finally find decent employment, not to mention ease her stress of being found by the INS. She replied that a couple of her friends advised her not to even try, since they thought she was ineligible, so she had not even looked into it. My mom insisted that she at least consult a professional, but her friend refused, saying that she trusted her friends and they knew what they were talking about.
I am reminded of this story because Mom recently spoke about her. It's been about 20 years or so, and I had also heard about her friend's children having some sort of family difficulties. It turns out that she's never become legalized and has spent the last two decades making less than minimum wage. All these years she's been sending her earnings to her children who, without their mother, had been dropping in and out of school, dabbled in illegal drugs, and had children out of wedlock. Mom also discovered, a few years after the amnesty ended, that her friend had been eligible after all, and could have become a legal, permanent resident in the US. It was a very, very depressing thing to hear. I knew her children and saw what they went through without their mother. Their father had issues of his own and was basically absent throughout their formative years, and even now is not one to be relied on. So they had grown up on their own, fending for themselves, going through life in the Philippines by being taken advantaged of by relatives and friends - frequently losing their way. What made it even worse was the fact that, if not for those (I assume) well meaning friends of their mother with faulty information, they would have been with their mother in the USA, the land of opportunity, and might have led a different life. Surely, better than what they are going through now. At the very least, she might have been able to come home and seen her children, who she's so far only watched grow up in the sporadic pictures they've mailed her.
What moral can be found from this story? I think, it is better said in tagalog.
Mag ingat sa mga nagmamarunong.
You may ask why I would feel the need to share this with you all?
Well, it just struck me that a lot of the recent communication from the Easter Group is based on conjecture, which they then choose to disseminate to their members as facts. Frank takes tidbits of information (oh say, a couple of sentences from private letters not addressed to him) gives it his own spin on things, and proceeds to blast it out as THE truth.
Take for example,
"What the IC is doing now is trying to appear to comply with the Vatican's directives, but not really doing so."Really Frank? Did you ask the Vatican if they have approved of what the IC has done, or are you conjecturing to your benefit? IF you did ask, why not blast the Vatican response? You should be trumpeting that for all the hear. We certainly would be quite interested, and your email blasts would fare better than the automatic deletes they are getting now.
Or how about,
"...it is clear that the IC did not follow Cardinal Rylko's directive regarding the apology for the public scandal..."Is it such a far fetched notion to expect that if the IC was working closely with the good Cardinal on this, that they would ask for his approval/opinion on the final wording of the apology in the ad? If you're so sure they did not follow the directive, it wouldn't be hard for someone who has such easy access to the Vatican as yourself to tell the Cardinal yourself, right? Oh wait, maybe that's not a good idea...you might be told that it's none of your business.
Since the IC refuses to follow the Vatican, and since CFC-GK still has these partnerships with pharmaceuticals with contraceptives, CFC is still not in "good standing" with the Vatican.
Once again, are you sure you are stating a fact or simply a misguided assumption that you are passing off to everyone in the FFL as fact? Do you think your clever "quotations" will save you from having to admit that you are saying this without proof, without verification, and without cause?
If you think about it, giving your opinion on these letters without having seen the rest of the communications between the IC and the Vatican is much like jumping in midway on a conversation after only hearing a few words: You will most likely be wrong, you will most likely make a fool of yourself, and you are more than likely to mislead those who trust you.
Will you trust a mechanic who diagnoses your car without opening the hood? I didn't think so.
My father always told me, "Running your mouth to look smart makes it much easier to make a fool of yourself than keeping quiet and looking ignorant."
That's why I love him to death. He's saved me from social disaster many, many times.
You don't want to lose all your credibility, Frank. That, my brother, is what you simply cannot afford to lose. Evangelism requires a certain amount of it, and isn't that the main platform the FFL is running on? You owe it to your followers to retain your credibility. Actually, you owe it to your brethren to practice what you preach.
In your own words, brother:
"Let us pray for our brethren who are in CFC-GK."
"They are our brethren and not our enemies."
"Finally, keep your hearts pure and humble."
So let go Frank. Please. There is much work to be done, shouldn't you be getting on with it? We sure are. Why can't you?
Does anybody here have any more quotes from Frank himself (and his many books) that he should be practicing as well?