Fear of the Lord, what is it? It seems to me that the fear of the Lord has to do with keeping God’s commands. So if I believe in God and I believe in God’s commands, if I believe that what God says is true about sin then I will try not to sin and when I do sin I will recognize it and rectify it. That is what the Sacrament of Reconciliation allows us to do. It allows us to turn back to God after we have turned our back’s on God. That is fear of the Lord, taking seriously the words and teachings of Christ.
Sexual molesters of all religions, and no religion, initially seem like they do not have any fear of the Lord. Some of them most assuredly reconcile with God by utilizing the Sacraments. It can be said that they do fear the Lord. (Of course the damage that they have inflicted on those that they have molested is already done.)
Like the best of parents God does forgive us when we do sinful/bad/atrocious things then ask for forgiveness and try to change our behavior . Also like a good parent the punishment we earned by our actions is not lifted. (Child: I’m sorry for crashing the car. Parent: I know and I’m glad that no one was hurt but you are still grounded.) Love along with consequences for our transgressions, that is our God.
Those who do not fear the Lord, do not respect the teachings of Jesus Christ, do not do the right thing and do not change their ways. Who am I talking about here? Come on, you know…the bishops and other hierarchy of the Church.
Where is the fear of the Lord? Where is the concern for their own souls? Where is their living example of Christ’s love? That is where the ‘scandal’ lies, the sheer number of abuse cases needed to be handled individually and when they happened and not allowed to pile up, add up, because perpetrators and hierarchy had no fear of the Lord. Lies, moving priests around, keeping secrets, intimidating victims and their families, that is the scandalous thing.