I don’t think… I don’t know… I don’t care… I am too busy…

I received a link from one of you readers to a page at Glen Beck’s place.  He posted a couple lists.

Here are the “7 National Crimes” by William John Henry Boetcker published, as far as I can tell, in the early 20th c.:

  1. I don’t think.
  2. I don’t know.
  3. I don’t care.
  4. I am too busy.
  5. I leave well enough alone.
  6. I have no time to read and find out.
  7. I am not interested.

These might be easily translated into “7 Ecclesiastical Crimes”.

I don’t mean that just for clerics, by the way.  I mean that also for lay people.

Connect them to two-fold command of Christ, or the precepts of the Church, or the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

There is another list over there that is interesting as well: “The 10 Cannots”

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. acricketchirps says:

    NOT leaving well enough alone has often been just as much a crime…often with far more devastating consequence.

  2. Pingback: I don’t think… I don’t know… I don’t care… I am too busy… | Fr Stephen Smuts

  3. anilwang says:

    Not to make excuses, but I think there are some legitimate reasons people in modern times fall into those traps, namely we’re not God.

    We constantly get bombarded by people who want our attention, our time, our money, often using sophisticated marketing techniques meant to tug at our emotions or trick us into listening (e.g. asking for help, then if you pay attention, bombard you with a sales gimmick). There’s also information overload and news stories that pull us to take action about everything, everywhere, immediately. We either spread ourselves too thin and ineffective in everything, or become numb and indifferent, or we accept our limitations and tune some things out using the above expressions and focus on what we can.

    I think it’s wrong to focus on the above expressions, especially when we’re talking about bishops which have to deal with this in the large scale. IMO, instead what’s important is to develop the proper discernment and courage to focus, act on what we can do and the proper attitude of poverty of spirit to strip away all the unnecessary things of our lives that weaken us (e.g. being a news junkie to the extend that you have no time or ability to do anything with what you know, and no time to do anything else, or an entertainment junkie to the extent that you pay no attention to the things of the Lord unless they are entertaining, etc), and fortitude to carry out the will of God (e.g. penance, fasting, ability to accept scorn from the world, etc).

    By this measure, many priests and bishops lack the proper discernment, courage, poverty, and fortitude to their station. Unfortunately, many laity such as myself are not free from this sin either. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

  4. LadyMarchmain says:

    Interestingly, I just today came across a similar list compiled by a faithful parish priest (requiscat in pace) compiled with reference to some of the inertia he witnessed over the last few decades of the previous century:

    1. It’s not my responsibility
    2. Let Rome take care of it
    3. It’s always dark before the dawn
    4. C’mon, lighten up
    5. The Church is doing just fine
    6. Leave it to the Holy Spirit
    7. I am humble and obedient
    8. I follow the Pope

  5. Lin says:

    All reasons why Obama got elected!

  6. Deacon Jay says:

    To: anilwang

    It seems as if that is exactly what you are doing – making excuses!

  7. stephen c says:

    I have never read Flannery O’Connor but I remember – perhaps wrongly – a quote of hers via Amy Welborn or someone like that – she said “Please don’t talk to me about the poor as if they are all that different from us. We are all the poor.” Fr Z’s list, and Lady Marchmain’s list, go far towards explaining that quote…

  8. Unwilling says:

    I’m afraid.

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