After the recent Pennsylvania report that has come out once again a gaping wound has been opened for all to see. I have a few thoughts about this and the reactions from both inside the Church and outside. I’m horrified not only that Priests, Bishops and others would sexually abuse children but that the Church would knowingly allow it and just shuffle them around to repeat their sickening behavior. It further boils my blood that the Church is supposed to be the moral compass for its members, how can the Church be trusted to provide any moral teaching when the very people espousing the teachings are living a morally bankrupt life themselves. I’m mad, I’m mad as hell about this and deeply deeply pained that the Church I Love has yet to take responsibility, has yet to have a Mea Culpa moment. Still there is a shifting of blame to individuals but only when there is incontrovertible evidence She cannot deny.
Many have left the Church over this and sadly many more will continue to leave. This too is deeply painful, how can change happen if you do not stay and be the Change that must happen for the Bride of Christ to be all that she must be. If the Church and Her teachings are true (and I believe they are) How can people as deeply angry and pained as they are find a way to leave. How can you leave if the singular most important teaching that Jesus is Truly Bodily Prescent in the Holy Eucharist? is True?! What comes to mind is once again Simon Peters response to Jesus, “To Whom shall we go?”. I was raised to Believe that the Roman Catholic Church possesses the fullness of Truth and that all others by comparison are but dim reflections. So I find myself in an awkward place, aligned with my Brothers and Sisters who long for the Change, who long for and must demand (quite frankly) for that Mea Culpa without reservation. She must declare herself guilty of betraying the Trust and Faith that has been placed in Her. It is my opinion that it will be only then that Trust can be regained, Forgiveness offered (to the Church) and Healing begin. You cannot heal without first acknowledging you are in need of healing.
My last thought. I’ve done a lot of reading recently about this and one of the things I keep reading from those inside the Body of the Church some of whom complain that there is too much attention being focussed on the Catholic Church. So what! It’s not the attention being focussed on the Church that’s the problem, its the acts that were done and covered up that are the problem. The Church is not the victim here, She is the perpetrator and the one in need of forgiveness and Penance. The Sooner she realizes this the sooner, forgiveness, healing and growth will happen.