Tiger, Toyota, and the Catholic Church

Failures are inevitable. It’s never if failures happen, it’s when.

The deeper concern is dealing with failure when it happens. Here are three recent examples.

Tiger – Slow and measured response.

Toyota – First caution, then the top man at Toyota went public, hung his head, took responsibility, and continued to apologize until people stopped asking.

Catholic Church – Cover up, partial apologies, and cover up some more.

In my opinion, Toyota displayed more character than the Catholic Church. In this case, character means integrity and humility. I’m not saying Toyota laid its soul bear. It may be they have more to say. However, in my opinion, a religious organization needs to take a lesson from a car manufacturer.

It’s time for the man at the top of the Catholic Church to hang his head and apologize until people stop asking about pedophilia, lies, abuse, and cover-ups. The longer he waits, and it’s been too long, the longer he will have to hang his head in shame.

Personal lesson: Freedom begins with confession.

The extent of confession is determined by the extent of the offense. Public offenses that damage others should be confessed publicly. Private offenses should be confessed in private. Secret offenses should be confessed secretly.

For clarification, secret offenses include things like unspoken coveting or lust. It’s not necessary to go to a neighbor to confess that you covet their house.  It’s not good to go to another person and confess, “I lust after you.”


What’s your opinion of Tiger, Toyota, or the Catholic Church’s strategy for dealing with failure?


Grace Freak

Dan Rockwell

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9 Comments on “Tiger, Toyota, and the Catholic Church”

  1. Jared Young Says:

    Did you know the Pope has diplomatic immunity? So even if someone came to him with knowledge of a criminal act he cannot be brought into court. Crazy!

    I think Tiger handled it well. I didn’t realize he was Buddhist until his ESPN interview. He let a lot of people down and I think his agent is trying hard to restore his image (I heard he is the new spokesperson for Windows 7 now)…which has failure jokes written all over it, but that’s for another time.

    Toyota: Of course they handled this best. To lose face in a Japanese culture is probably the worst thing that can happen. They are doing something about the problem, and it did get blown out of proportion because of the media. But Mr. Toyoda handled it well like a respectful Japanese business man should. They’ll be back on top in no time.

    I think we can learn a lesson from these three examples: God is still Sovereign and knew this would happen, He still wants to draw all three of these guys to Himself. And when we screw up that same God is waiting for us to come crawling back with repentance on our minds and confidence in our hearts that Christ forgave our sin at the cross, so wallowing in our trespasses is only spinning our wheels.


  2. landsway Says:

    I find one of the most difficult things about dealing with failure is moving past it. The Catholic Church has not done a good job at all. Toyota has done all right for a corporation and Tiger is having to deal publicly with private matters so that one is tough. The church and Toyota can share blame since they are not individuals, but Tiger has to do like we all have to do in dealing with personal failures. The devil will continue to condemn us forever even though he is the one who tempted us to fail. Individual failures can be hard to get over because we know we are the ones who failed; however we need to look to Jesus for cleansing and understand 1 John 3:20 which teaches that “If our hearts comdemn us, God is greater than our heart.” All have failed but we need to know how to get past it.

    • Dan Rockwell Says:


      Thanks for pointing out an important distinction. I agree 100%. Public interest in the Wood’s situation reflects a sick interest in other peoples failures. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be consequences but I think it’s private matter. It is the business of those directly involved.

      Best to you,

      GF readers can read more of your thoughts at: http://landsway.wordpress.com/

  3. Jack Ducharme Says:

    I’ve been contemplating a response to this post for several days. I am a practicing Catholic now and while there are many things that are espoused by “the Church”, I continue to believe in what God says. First and foremost, please understand that I in no way condone the actions of the pedophile priests. I believe that these guys should be banished from ministry forever to a life of silent servitude and penance in some hard labor condition with NO contact with anyone except God. I must however point out that you will not hear about these types of things on the “protestant” side of the aisle because there are no collective deep pockets to sue for money damages. If the Catholic Church was destitute, these claims would go away. I’m not saying they are unfounded…only that they make news because the earlier ones made news and the Church paid money out to those that made claims. If the Pope was truly complicit in this activity, he should apologize to the world and ask forgiveness of man and God. If he were to do that, ask yourself, would it change the news coverage of the next report of an incident? A large portion of the incidents occurred many years ago yet we are still finding “new” victims. Will it ever end? I doubt it as long as there is a dime left in the coffers of the Catholic Church.
    Tiger…don’t care…private matter and I really have no interest.
    Toyota…I own two Toyota’s and believe they are fine. It intrigues me that you didn’t hear all the hoopla about the 1.7 million Chevrolet Cobalts that were recalled in February 2010. Who owns Chevrolet? GM = Government Motors. Who is making the claims against Toyota? The Government.

    Really enjoy Gracefreak!

    • Dan Rockwell Says:


      Thank you for stopping in. It’s always good to connect with you. And you have my respect for the comment you left. It’s all part of the conversation.

      Best to you,


      • Jack Ducharme Says:

        There is an interesting commentary article in our paper today by George Weigel, which tends to support some of my comments. Originally published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the article speaks of the efforts the current Pope has made against this problem and buttresses my arguement about following the money.
        Keep the faith…

      • Dan Rockwell Says:


        Thanks for the update. I’ll add that Toyota’s very public stance probably costs them gazzillions also.



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