Posted by: L. E. Barnes | October 4, 2010

Monday Message

Bishop Timothy Dolan uses the earthquake in Haiti to discuss the perennial question of why there is suffering in the world.



  1. […] Monday Message […]

  2. Good comments. I think also God permits disasters to get our attention and to do penance for the many sins of the world. I have been surprised that no one has talked about the corruption of successive Haitian governments at the root of the shoddy construction that, no doubt, exponentially increased the death toll. What will the people do about that? What will we, for that matter, do about that?

    • I don’t know if disasters are in any way a means for a nation to atone for its sins. I mainly want to be careful not to sound judgmental, as if people are suffering because they have offended God. I’m sure that at times such is the case, but surely not always.

      You’re right about the corruption in Haiti’s political system. It seems that poor little country has never had a halfway decent government in its history! Doubtless some of Haiti’s hardships are self-inflicted, not only from corrupt regimes but from the beliefs/lifestyles of the people. Voodoo seems to permeate every nook and cranny of their society, for instance.

      And you’re right in pointing out that some of it comes down to personal responsibility. And we as Christians of course bear the responsibility of helping those in need. As Peter Kreeft notes in “Catholic Christianity,” the Bible doesn’t so much focus on the “why” of suffering as it does on what our response to suffering (both our own and others) should be.

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