Gospel Mt 18:15-20
Jesus said to his disciples:
“If your brother sins against you,
go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.
If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
If he does not listen,
take one or two others along with you,
so that ‘every fact may be established
on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church.
If he refuses to listen even to the church,
then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
Amen, I say to you,
whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Again, amen, I say to you,
if two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.”
That is the gospel for Sunday, September 10 2017. I have a problem with it. Not the gospel itself that was given to us be Christ but by the way it is implemented, or not really implemented, by the Church.
Since this is a blog about priest abuse, sexual abuse being primary, the Church’s lack of implementation of this gospel…words and ideals from Jesus Christ…God… is a smack in the face to all Catholics and is especially heinous to those of us that have been abused by clergy.
Here is an old tune that I keep singing, when people went to the hierarchy about their child being molested by a priest they were ignored, offered blood money to keep silent, threatened by bishops, or told it would be handled and the priest was moved to a different parish or another diocese, (bishops helping bishops, is what they called it). When the number of those who were abused hit critical mass and lawyers were asked to step in, then and only then was something done. That’s probably because money was involved. The slander, manipulation and lies of the men in charge ramped up considerably. (For the record I made no money off of my own tragedy and molestation.)
This current pope, Pope Francis, has at least acknowledged the monstrous evil that has been the molestation of minors and the cover-ups that has reached its evil tentacles world wide. But talk is cheap…cheaper than law suits.
The correct things were said. The founding of a committee to address the scandal was lauded as a giant step. Two abuse survivors were named to the committee. Peter Saunders had been highly critical of the Vatican’s slow progress in taking measures to protect children and to punish all of the bishops who covered up for priests. He has been asked to take a leave of absence from the committee. Another abuse survivor, Marie Collins, resigned out right from the committee because of the resistance of Vatican Officials to implement changes. Pope Francis himself reinstated an Italian priest who had been defrocked in 2012 after being convicted of child sex abuse, only to again remove him from ministry.
If everyone did what God has said then priests would not abuse and if they did abuse the hierarchy would address it immediately. “If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.” What happens when the Church won’t listen??? This.