Priests, bishops and lay Catholics who cause scandal are living lives cut off from God, and their corruption ends up poisoning others, Pope Francis said.
Abuse by clergy, he said, is “particularly serious since these persons are in positions of great trust, and they are called to levels of service that are to promote and protect all elements of the human person, including physical, emotional and spiritual health. This relationship of trust is critical and demands a higher sense of responsibility and respect for the persons served.” Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican observer to U.N. agencies in Geneva
This echoes what I have been saying all along. This echoes what a lot of people have been saying all along. At a meeting of our diocese it seemed to me that there were many priests making excuses for the wrong doing of their brother priests. I said, out loud and to this clergy gathering, that we are priests and more is expected of us. There was silence. After the meeting several priests said that they agreed with me. (It really should have been all of them.)
This evil perpetrated by men did drive many people away from the Church. Then the cover-up drove more people away. They were confused and blamed God, it was not God doing all of this but human beings. In a casual conversation I had with the mother of my god-daughter she said that because she knows me and knows that I have been speaking out about this issue for a very long time she was able to see first hand that not all clergy thought that this atrocious evil was okay. It made a difference to her. So many people do not have knowledge of any member of the clergy who was disgusted by the way other clergy members and members of the hierarchy acted and reacted.
I understand molesters as sick individuals, I understand that it is a burden, that it is a cross to bear this unnatural attraction. However those are not excuses to give a pass to the people who molest. Compassion for molesters does not dictate treating victims atrociously, as has been the case. Forgiveness does not negate punishment for evil deeds and bad behavior. Ask a parent…and remember God is our parent. It would be truly baffling that the thinking of so many members of the Church became so twisted and perverted if it weren’t for an understanding of the effect of original sin on all people. That is not an excuse either.
Dare I say I see a glimmer of hope.
As I said in my previous post, Sorry doesn’t mean anything without the understanding of a victims brokenness. It can also be said that those who abuse others in any way are also broken. broken individuals begetting broken individuals. This is why we need the love of God.