The summer of shame is well in the rearview now, and we’re underway into a whole new calendar year. As 2018 waned, the days shortening and the nights darkening, it seemed that there would be no end in sight for the rage and pain felt by faithful and lapsed Catholics alike; how could this vile evil be seeping forth from the Church we knew and loved?
For survivors of abuse – men and women who knew all too well the evil that often lay hiding in plain sight – this pain was compounded by perceived silence and cowardice from high. Where were our pastors and shepherds back at the height of the summer’s scandalous and widely-splashed headlights?
Ramifications - Pastors - Lack - Credibility - Log
Little by little we began to grapple with the ramifications of too few pastors speaking out due to, perhaps, their own lack of credibility. It’s awfully hard to condemn the log in your brother’s eye when you’ve got a telephone pole sticking out of your own retina. Others held back out of fear, perhaps at the advice of legal counsel. Still others felt – rightfully – personally horrified and enraged by the failures of their brothers when they had themselves been struggling heroically, often with little support, to walk the walk.
Many Catholics left. Some had distanced themselves eons ago, but made their separation a public affair after ingesting the wretched evil laid bare in the Pennsylvania report.
Others - Believing
Others quietly stopped trusting, stopped believing, and stopped attending.
For those who stayed, each of us have had to answer, if only for ourselves, why we did.
Peter, do you love me?
God knew that each of us who profess a faith in Jesus Christ and the Church He founded would need to dig deep in these days “to give an explanation for the hope we possess.”
It’s not like this was...
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To despair is to turn your back on God, you can never despair.