Since I do a lot of praying and I am desperately trying to hear God and allow the Holy Spirit guide me on the issue of sexual abuse in society. (I beg God that is what I am doing.) The issue has morphed from being about the bishops and the priests hiding molesters, enabling molesters, covering-up for molesters to the societal sin of sexual abuse.
That of course does not let the Catholic Church off the hook for the crimes and sins that a large number of the clergy participated, (the monsters who hid, enabled and covered-up abuse make up a huge percentage of that plethora). The cliché; slow as molasses in January, fits here in the excruciatingly leisurely way the Church is dealing, or not dealing with their own culpability in all of this.
It has entered my prayer, (and I truly hope this is not “of me”) that it is the Catholic Church who needs to lead the way in battling this societal dirty little secret that crosses all boundaries. But first the Catholic Church needs to get her own house in order to be an effective advocate for victims.
Alas I will not live to see this happen, re: molasses in January, but it needs to happen. It boggles my mind that a lot of the faithful and a lot of the bishops and their cadre have not, at least realistically and publicly, acknowledged that the clergy sex scandal that they helped to create has disillusioned the young. They only see the bold-faced lies and the spin masters that the Church put on/to this scandal and so do not want anything to do with it now and do not see themselves coming back in the future.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has mounted a campaign to try to get lapsed Catholics to return. The strategy of the tv ads that I have seen concentrate on the rich history of the Church. But we live in a, “What have you done for me lately”, society and lately all the Church can offer is liars, criminals and inaction in the face of scandal. I deeply believe a non-court ordered Mea Culpa would have gone a long way.
Even though I will not see fruits of the Holy Spirit is at work to cleans the Church I know it will happen. God is the author and an expert at end-a-rounds. God will use that to bypass the hard-of-heart that exist in todays Church.
Yes the history of the Church can be very impressive and even today Catholic Charities is one of the nation’s most extensive social service networks, serving more than 10 million poor adults and children of many faiths across the country. And that fact should matter. But it doesn’t. Why? Guess.