At The Chrism Mass, (which is really quite a nice Eucharistic celebration and everyone should experience it at least once), priests recommit to the promises of priesthood. This year I was particularly struck by this:
At your ordination you accepted the responsibilities of the priesthood out of love for the Lord Jesus and His Church. Are you resolved to unite yourselves more closely to Christ and to try to become more like Him by joyfully sacrificing your own pleasure and ambition to bring His peace and love to your brothers and sisters? And of course we all answer; I AM.
One of the things that really jumps out at me is; sacrificing your own pleasure and ambition… Wow! It would be fairly easy to point out where we all, me included, fail miserably at sacrificing for the sake Kingdom. (I enjoy ice cream for dinner and find it pleasurable.) But when we look at the dire nature of those promises one must ask… …What the hell happened? A culture in the Church developed and still thrives where it seems nothing is sacrificed for ambition. I actually had a priest say to me many years ago, “Do as I say not as I do” I was only 18 at the time but even then I knew that was a dangerous way to live. He was dead serious and I was horrified.
Now and in the recent past, and maybe even the not so recent past, there were choices that clergy members needed to make. One had to decide to molest or not to molest. Then the clerics that wielded some amount of power had to decide to deal with this because of its blatant evilness or not deal with it, at least not in a godly way. They often took their cues or orders from someone higher than them on the food chain and it all stopped, (like the buck), with bishops.
The choice for the underlings was/is defy the bishop and pretty much sacrifice personal ambition or go along with evil. To some of them the allure of being considered a, “team player”, or a, “member of the boys club”, was more than the evil they were confronted with. So the very people that we as priests are supposed to, “bring His peace and love to” betrayed our promises and our brothers and sisters. So I have to ask the obvious, WHAT IS TAKING THE CHURCH HIERARCHY SO LONG TO BRING THE LOVE OF GOD TO THIS ISSUE OF CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE AND BRING THE LOVE OF GOD TO THE PEOPLE AND FIX THIS?