To the editor: I have some reflections on the crisis in the Roman Catholic Church related to sexual abuse. The church is both a religious and political organization.
To the editor:
I have some reflections on the crisis in the Roman Catholic Church related to sexual abuse.
The church is both a religious and political organization. One of the characteristics of any large bureaucratic institution is self-preservation including denial of wrongdoing (including our present government).
However, the church, as an institution based on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, needs to have a very different orientation: that man who lives by the truth comes out into the light, so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done by God (John 3:21).
Only the truth will set the church free in its present crisis – if there has been a cover up in high places, which is not proven.
It has been said that the Easter timing of this crisis was unfortunate. Perhaps the opposite is true. The church needs to experience its own passion and cleansing of the temple before it can be renewed by a resurrection experience.
The church needs to reveal the truth both past and present at whatever level about the scandal of sexual abuse within its ranks. This is the cost of following Christ by the grace of God.
The root cause of this abuse needs to be identified including the possible role of mandatory celibacy. Are there any statistics comparing sexual abuses by the celibate with the non-celibate?
The other side of this is the compassion of Christ for both the victim and the abuser – Jesus came for “sinners not the righteous” and we are all sinners one way or another, but the suffering of the victims needs to take priority.
Finally, I continue to believe that the vast majority of our priests are good and faithful servants of God who give their lives for their parishioners.
They especially need our support at this crucial time, including our prayers to uphold the whole church into the light of Christ.