With a heavy heart and immense frustration we fulfill our duty to address the ongoing, sickening scandals in the Church. Pain and anger are widely shared.
This week the Vatican said the grand jury report revealed conduct that is “criminal and morally reprehensible”. However, the Vatican itself is under a dark cloud for announcing three years ago the establishment of a tribunal to judge bishops accused of negligence and cover up, then not actually establishing the tribunal! The deliberate foot dragging in Rome only deepens the shame of the Church, and is itself immoral.
Cardinal DiNardo, president of the Bishop’s Conference, termed the revelations “a moral catastrophe” and called for a greater role of lay people in holding clergy accountable. This must be done very soon and in a permanent manner. Real power must be shared with the laity.
It is clear that some of the bishops prioritized avoiding scandal – with secret payments and non-disclosure clauses – over their moral duty to protect youth and others. There can be no excuse for sending known pedophile and predatory homosexual priests to unsuspecting pastors, parishioners and other dioceses, when treating psychiatrists stopped recommending such action as safe. The evil one detected the Achilles heel of the Church – institutional pride, and inflated egos. It seems most likely that there are bishops who need to be removed from office, as the Pope recently did in Chile. The sooner the better.
The bishops who met in Dallas when the priest scandal first broke exempted themselves from accountability. Their time for accountability has arrived. These scandals would not have developed if our failed leaders thought of themselves first and foremost as disciples of Jesus Christ, rather than as “churchmen”. We are not interested, however, in any blanket condemnations. We know bishops who are profoundly good and upright men.
If, God forbid, you have been abused in the Church and not reported such, please do so now (Office of Child Abuse and Protection) at 301-853-5302 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We need to clean house and make sure cover ups and sexual abuse are never tolerated again.
We do believe that if statute of limitations laws are changed, they should protect youth in all institutions and circumstances, including government run schools. Equal justice before the law is foundational to our democracy.
Let us not forget that Jesus had his Judas and so do we. We also know that the power of the Holy Spirit has not been banished from the Church, and that sources of new life exist now and will always emerge. We will remain faithful to our vocations and pray that our parishioner continue to be faithful to our Church. Better days are ahead.
Scandal, Scandal and More Scandals. Posted on September 2nd, 2018
The scandals in our Church seem to go from bad to worse to horrible. Many bishops have embraced the toxic elements of their episcopal culture – failing to protect youth and creating a repository of scandal in the Church, through secret payments and cover-ups. This seems to have been common enough practice in the Church. Did they never believe Jesus? Jesus said “Everything you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight; what you have whispered in locked rooms will be proclaimed from the rooftops (Luke 12:3)
The failed shepherds will not survive, but the Church surely will. Jesus promised, speaking to Peter“ I for my part declare to you, you are Rock, and on this rock I will build my church, and the jaws of death shall not prevail against it. “(Matthew 16:18). As in many other times in our long history, the Church is in need of radical reform – quickly! We expect and require concrete reform actions from the Pope not just remorseful words.
We have placed on this website, not only the response of myself and Father Sirianni, but links to releases relevant to the controversy - The Cardinal’s Chief of Staff letter issued this week, releases from the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights, Archbishop Vagano’s letter. We highly recommend the videos by Bishop Robert Barron, Why Remain Catholic (with so much scandal) and the Q&A about the sexual abuse crisis.
We deeply appreciate the many positive comments we have received concerning our response to these crises. Our priest’s response letter continue to be available in hard copy in the vestibule.