In fact, “niceness” is often the enemy of kindness. “Nice” is often code for “avoiding conflict” or “passive-aggressive.” Now, speaking ill of others, or speaking in insulting, mean ways is always wrong. Civility is essential. But leaders cannot fail to name the issues simply to avoid embarrassment or hurt feelings. There are worse things than embarrassment, and it’s impossible to lead while obscuring the obstacles.

In the Church, especially, Love can carry us through the humiliation, through the pain, through the discomfort of opening addressing what we’d rather not talk about.