I have been somewhat silent about this current scandal in the Church. But that changes today, when I make my statement.
The current scandal and the McCarrick scandal are not only unacceptable, but abominations that are truly disgusting and stomach churning. There is no explanation or excuse. It is disappointing, shameful, and sorrowful. It is faith-shattering and completely opposite to the teachings of Our Lord.
With that said, I am going to address a few things that I have seen pop up in my social media accounts:
I am leaving the Catholic Church.
Fellow Catholic, I invite you to stay in the Catholic Church. Not because I condone what happened but because of the following reasons:
1) Leaving the faith would be like committing spiritual suicide. The Church, for all its flaws and sins, is still the One Church Christ founded. It is still the one Church that has the fullness of the Truth and the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Are you ready to leave His Church, the One who doesn’t forsake you?
2) Leaving the faith would be like in the following analogy: If you have kids under your protection and a bear comes to attack them, do you just run away or do you do your best to fight the bear? I hope you choose to fight the bear. In this case, the bear is evil, and it is not good to just turn away at the face of evil. You have to grab it by the horns and fight it best you can. We, as Christians, are called to courage, much like the courage displayed by St. Joan of Arc or St. Catherine of Siena.
I am not giving one cent to the Church until this scandal is resolved satisfactorily.
I invite you to rethink this statement. The people that would suffer are not the abusing priests or their cover-ups. No, the suffering people would be the poor, sick, and forsaken that the Church takes care of on a daily basis around the world.
Also, let’s define satisfactorily. What would be a satisfying resolution? That all the abusers and their coverups go to jail? That they are laicized and thrown in jail?
I want to remind you that for a vast majority of these cases in the PA grand jury, the statute of limitations has run its course. A lot of these cases include priests that are retired or deceased. I am not saying that it is okay just because it happened a very long time ago. What I am saying is that legally, in a lot of these cases, there’s not much we can do anymore.
But let’s not give hope up. This is an excellent example of what needs to happen. As much as we might hate it, we need a lot of these scandals to happen so the ranks of the Church are cleaned and cleared up. As Jennifer Fulwiler said in her show on the Feast of the Assumption: We hope and pray that this is the extent of it, but we know that is very likely not the case. So we need as many scandals as necessary to clean up our church.
The Grand Jury report coming out of Pennsylvania showed that in and of itself the vast majority of these cases happened before the early 2000s. Which means that the shakeup that happened in Boston in the early 2000s probably worked in changing the procedures about what happens when a priest abuses his position and the most vulnerable within their flock.
Let’s brace for the upcoming storm and resolve to be strong in our faith. Let’s have the courage to stand up for what is right, and let’s commit to doing our best to protect everyone within out Church. Not just from predator clergy, but from predator laypeople who manage to infiltrate the ranks.
For every one bad priest, there are probably 10 or more good priests out there.
We should allow priests to marry. This wouldn’t happen if the priests were married.
Not so fast. Most pedophiles are actually married men. I read the statistic somewhere and I can’t find it anymore. (Boo!) But even if we choose to ignore that fact, a homosexual man is not likely to be attracted to a woman. Ask your nearest friendly gay man. And, even if a woman is married to a predator, we are expecting women to absorb the violence that a predator doles out? That reduces these priest’s wives to an object that gets used to calm down the predator instincts. That doesn’t sound very christian to me.
So, what can we do?
Well, we start by praying for our good priests, because they are also having a hell of a time with all this. And we need good priests now more than ever. We pray that the evil priests get weeded out, and we stregthen our prayer with fasting. I know we need to do more than send thoughts and prayers, but this is a very good start indeed, for even though some of our priests may be corrupt, God is never corrupt.
We continue by writing to your local Diocese, where you can calmly explain that you will be praying for good priests and outline your outrage about this unacceptable, disgusting behavior by the bad priests.
Also, pray for the predator priests, for even if our human nature tells us that they should rot in Hell for eternity, our Christianity teaches us to pray for their souls, and even calls us to forgive. However, forgiving is not condoning.
I don’t know what else we need to do. I would certainly love to hear your thoughts on this.