Pondering my own abuse in the Church and pondering so many other’s abuse, and the fact that we are still seeing that nothing is really, truly, being done to address the pain and loss of faith that has overwhelmed so many people. I asked myself, what would I have done if I were a bishop? I like to flatter myself and say that I would have made sure that it would never have reached critical mass. I also like to flatter myself and think I would have listened with empathy and compassion to victims and their families who are also victims.
I am pretty sure I would not have been hateful, arrogant and aloof. Maybe a kneejerk reaction, at least with the first report, would have been horror and disbelief. The horror would NEVER go away. Any disbelief would move from victims to a disbelief that a priest could ever engage in this activity and yet has.
Again, I like to think that I would do the right thing and not be hateful to victims and their families. The operating of some in the Church out of hate belies their own distance from God, not a made up god of their creation, but the one true God. For the moment I’m not angry I’m sad. It is a sadness for everyone who is involved. It is a sadness that dwells in the very depth of me. And, of course I wait for the next time that betrayal comes to me from within the Church, (it has on numerous occasions, even as a priest), and I have to wonder will the anger come gushing back. I sincerely hope not. Dealing on a daily basis with the arrogance of some bishops, priests, deacons and lay-people is difficult. Right now it makes me sad but it’s better than overwhelming anger.
I’ll continue to flatter myself and fantasize that I am above all this corruption in the Church…and I’ll continue to hope and pray for all of us.