This is a guest post from “The Son”.
I have been completely heartbroken since I read the PA Grand Jury report on the sexual abuse crisis in the Church. I can’t even begin to describe this pain, so I will leave it to the psalmist:
I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
it is melted within my breast;
my mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
you lay me in the dust of death.
If I am feeling this broken, how much more must the more immediate victims of this crisis feel? I can’t even begin to comprehend what they have suffered at the hands of these heinous men who used the fear of God as their shield.
The response, or rather lack of response, of the Bishops has done nothing to help heal this wound. If anything, it has made it worse. These men were (are?) our shepherds! How could they enable such vile and demonic evil against the innocent and defenseless‽ Do they not fear God‽ The flames of Hell‽ The millstone that they so richly deserve‽
This is my second time experiencing the bishop’s response to the abuse crisis. Living in Massachusetts, I saw first hand the revelations coming out of Boston (and the rest of MA) in the early 2000s. To my eternal shame, I defended the bishops. I would trot out all the statistics I could to downplay the severity of the crisis. In my heart, I know I doubted the allegations of many victims, and thought the victims, not the perpetrators were the ones assaulting the Church.
In my shame remembering how I defended the indefensible, I want to run away from this Church so full of demons. My faith has been shaken more than ever before. But where could I go? I have Christ’s assurance that the gates of Hell will never prevail over His Church. So, I must respond to Christ as the apostles responded, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
I will stay, a sheep of the Good Shepherd’s flock, but I repudiate these false shepherds. They, who share in the fullness of Christ’s priesthood, must act as Christ did and sacrifice themselves for the Church. All the bishops in the United States must submit their resignations, and then spend the rest of their Earthly lives in prayer and penance, as reparation to God for their sins and those of their brother bishops. It does matter whether a particular bishop is guilty or innocent, culpable or not; Christ was innocent, yet he sacrificed his life in reparation for the sins of man. These men have acted In Persona Christi on the Altar, they must now do so on their knees as they beg God to forgive them.
With our limited perception we most likely cannot see how, but God, and only God, can bring good out of evil. I hope He can use this terrible evil to bring renewal to His Church. I also pray that God uses my heartbreak to renew my soul’s love of Him. As Oscar Wilde said in The Ballad of Reading Gaol:
Ah! happy day they whose hearts can break
And peace of pardon win
How else may man make straight his plan
and cleanse his soul from Sin?
How else but through a broken heart
May Lord Christ enter in?
“The Son” is the father of “The Moose”, and is a computer programmer by day and solver of all the world’s problems by night. He has recently published “The Sinner’s Chaplet”, and hopes that many people will pray it in reparation for the sins of the church.