Thursday, September 13, 2018

A Summer of Shame

Where to begin?

For the past few weeks I've been struggling to process the news coming from the Church. It's bad. Very bad. And the rot goes all the way to the top. Bishops protecting their brother bishops, the Pope admonishing victims for gossiping and calumny. Can you imagine? It made me sooo mad. And now he has “no comment.” I know he doesn’t have to answer to anybody (except God), just like he’s not answered the dubia (going on 2 years now), but isn’t the beginning of wisdom the fear of the Lord? How about sacking the bishops who allowed the abuse to continue? How about cleaning up the house of God? It reminds me of the quote by St. Chrysostom: "The road to Hell is paved with the bones of priests and monks, and the skulls of bishops are the lamp posts that light the path."  ETA: It's his feast day today!

This is the
damning testimony from Abp. Carlo Maria Vigano. He had warned Pope Francis about Cd. McCarrick but what did Francis do? Lift the restrictions Pope Benedict had imposed upon McCarrick, thus allowing him to make appointments. I am sure all these allegations will be proven true in time. Then there's the Grand Jury report from PA. I've not read it--it's over a thousand pages--that's how bad it is. But I’ve learned from reading summaries that 80% of the cases are of male on male predation, like it was in the 2001/2002 scandal. By the way, we watched an excellent movie—Spotlight—that covers it. I don’t understand why the media is silent about this summer’s scandal. I don't care that the worst of it was in the 1970s and 1980s, it has to stop completely.

"Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!" declares the LORD. ~ Jeremiah 23:1

The Church already has protocols. My understanding is that a priest who has affairs with women or has children with one is laicized. If a seminarian has homosexual tendencies, he’s not ordained. But clearly, these practices have not been followed in recent decades. It’s total rebellion against the Church’s teachings on chastity and sex. When Humanae Vitae came out, many in the Church were shocked. They thought that Pope Paul VI would get on with the times. When he didn't, dissenting priests taught against it. And now we see the fruit of rebellion. As shameful as all this is, I agree with the words of Pope St. Gregory the Great: "It is better that scandals arise then the truth be suppressed." Jesus Himself told us that the truth will set us free (John 8:32).

For the first time in my life, I am anxious about many things, but especially for the Church. How many will lose their faith because of this? How many good priests will be painted with the same brush as those who are wicked? Where will the sheep go when there's no shepherd? I am deeply troubled. Wounded. I know something about shame. I think of the victims--the children, the young women, and the young men who wanted to give their lives to Christ. What courage it takes to come forward when you are ashamed of what's been done to you. And what courage it takes to stay in the Church when her leaders fail you. I stay because Jesus, my dear Jesus, is in the Church. Because in the words of Peter: "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life." John 6:68  Indeed. I won't abandon Him now, not after what He's done for me. I will help carry this Cross. I will remain faithful. But it's a FIGHT to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus in these stormy times. 

I heard this joke at one of the Marian Eucharistic conferences on how various people have sought to destroy the Church. So Napoleon and a Cardinal are in conversation. Napoleon, frustrated, says, "I have the power to destroy the Catholic Church." The cardinal says, "Your Majesty, we, the Catholic clergy have done our best to destroy the Church for the last 1,800 years. We have failed, and so will you." The best jokes really do have an element of truth in them, no? All joking aside, I am thankful that our good priests are asking for change and accountability in the way things are done. Please feel free to add your own signature to the letter. I humbly ask to please also pray for the Church and Her good priests. Thank you so much.

This is my favorite prayer for priests--from the Little Flower--St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus:

O Jesus, Eternal Priest, look down with love upon Thy priests.
Fill them with burning zeal for the conversion of sinners.
Keep them within the shelter of Thy Sacred Heart.
Keep unstained their anointed hands which daily touch Thy Sacred Body.
Keep unsullied their lips purpled with Thy precious Blood.
Keep pure and unearthly their hearts sealed with the sublime marks of Thy glorious Priesthood.
Let Thy holy love protect them from the world's contagion.
Bless their labors with abundant fruit,
and may the souls to whom they minister on earth be one day their joy and consolation in heaven.

PSS: An excerpt of a wonderful letter by J.R.R. Tolkein to his son during the 1960s. 

Last year I read and reviewed The Devil Hates Latin by Katharine Galgano. It now seems like thinly veiled fiction. 

Saint quotes are from Traditional Catholic Priest. A great resource. 

Sorry about the long and ranty post. I guess given enough time even I could bear to write about this. Parce Domine.


Mirka Breen said...

I am sorry that human frailty doesn't spare any house. It isn't my church, but I do have a love for many historic and aesthetic fruits of Catholicism.
I also had two friends in the past who were raised Catholic and left the church because of these very acts of betrayal by their Parish priests. Both were molested as young children. In one case it was not so much the weakness of that single priest, but the fact that when my friend told her family , their family refused to believe her because it was too unbearable or uncomfortable for them to face the ramifications. A double wound there.
You are clearly not the matriarch of such a family. Good for you. Focus on the truth.

Vijaya said...

Oh, Mirka, it makes me so sad to know you also know of people who've been abused and who were not believed. Shame upon shame. I want justice so badly, here on earth.

Sue said...

It's so sad. I recently saw a post on the "Me Too" topic related to Christian Writers Conferences. Another sad making thing.

Hope you aren't getting flooded!


Vijaya said...

Sue, I can't believe I'm seeing this more than a year later...I pulled this up for some links to send to a friend. I wish there weren't so many MeToo stories.