As a priest I was very uncomfortable on this past Sunday, Priesthood Sunday. Why? It wasn’t difficult to figure out. I did ponder it. I did pray about it. And of course the reason I came up with is three-fold; With the clergy sexual scandal there is shame about what it is that a small group of priests did to both children and adults in their charge. Then there is the shame that has been further inflicted by all of the clergy and hierarchy who helped hide this, who turned a blind eye to this, who did nothing, out of their own fear of reprisal from the Church or from a twisted sense of loyalty to the perpetrators. Lastly I am ashamed at the way my beloved Church made excuses, placed blame on others, and refused for so long to take any responsibility that wasn’t thrust on them by the courts.
There should have never had to be stipulations in non-monetory settlements for apologies from bishops, ads taken out thanking victims for coming forward, becoming transparent as far as knowledge about abusers in the ranks… This should have all happened voluntarily, and all along, not just after the scandal came to light.