I just finished a telephone call with a non-priest friend of mine who needed to vent. And the issue he was venting about was the clergy. Since I often need to vent about clergy too it was a welcomed conversation. He does not understand all of this craziness happening in the Church. (Join the club.) Why wasn’t anything done to the priests who sexually abused children? Why wasn’t anything done when Catholic Universities, orders of priests and nuns, parishes, dioceses, bishops and diocesan priests taught and/or continue to teach heresy? Why were evil things allowed to go on for so long in the Church? When did it become ok for priests, bishops, nuns to lead double lives; the second life being the antithesis of the gospel? When was it fine to abandon the breviary, holy hours, the rosary?
He echoed my thoughts about so many of these issues. When the Church stopped blaming everyone and everything else for the scope of the scandal, (thanks to Pope Benedict XVI), there was a shift in the public presentation of the Church in the west. Several things started to be emphasized; this is not an exclusively Catholic Church problem. (Sadly that is true but does not negate the fact that it happened in an institution that by her very nature is held to a higher standard…God’s standard.) The percentage of priests who sexually abused others is small. (What is the percentage of clerics who aided and abetted that small percentage that abused? That number is not given probably because it is not known.) “We need to keep money for our, dioceses, charitable work.” (The implication is twofold, victims of sexual abuse are not deemed an important work in the Church, and money for abuse settlements mean that the victims are taking away from the charitable works of the Church.) It is a very subtle form of discrimination and does nothing but stir up animosity toward victims. It is also incredibly offensive. And this is my favorite. After the indictment of Bishop Robert Finn and after he admitted knowing about chid pornography on a priests computer, “For our part, we will meet these announcements with a steady resolve and a vigorous defense.” Really? A vigorous defense… The actions are indefensible. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY THAT WOULD BE THE RIGHT THING, THE POSITIVE THING, TO DO!!!