In case you’ve been living under a rock – or you aren’t Catholic – a Grand Jury report from the state of Pennsylvania came out on August 15, 2018, that is shocking not in its 1,000+ pages of details of sexual misconduct, abuse, and criminal behavior by the Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania but by how widespread it is.
The bottom just fell out on my world. The center of my world. My church. The one, holy church…which is so deeply infested with sexual predators it’s mind boggling.
I’m seeing calls for fasting and prayer from my fellow laity in response to the Grand Jury papers from Pennsylvania.
My response: No.
I can’t pray now. I just can’t. I’m too angry.
I’ll pray and fast for the victims of my church, but not now. Now I need the energy of my anger.
Just tying those words victims of my church makes me want to put my head on the desk and weep. Or throw up when I think of some of the things that are written in that report.
I want to shout: Let the priests and bishops who sinned fast and pray.
Every single one of these people who abused children, teenagers, adults and students in the seminary should resign from their posts, turn themselves in to the police, confess their sins to a priest and then in public, and stand trial in civil court for their crimes.
Their victims deserve public recognition and apology. They were shamed, ignored, turned away, and punished for being honest. Another sin for which the clergy – charged with protecting the little ones, the flock, the sheep of Christ – stands accused.
Every single bishop, archbishop and cardinal who looked the other way, who blamed the victim, who quietly hushed it up should be routed from their comfortable ecclesiastical positions and follow the same path.
Out, every single predator or shield of a predator. Every last one of them.
I’d rather have a handful of good, holy, good and honest priests left in the church than have churches run by these fake priests. (Thankfully, I think there are a lot more good, holy, honest priests than bad ones. They have also been grossly misused and abused by this cover up and will bear much of the brunt of the public’s anger to come.).
I’m angry. If you’re Catholic, you should be, too. You’ve been lied to. You were told to follow the rules. Obey the hierarchy. You were told to respect Father and Monsignor and His Excellency. You were told to believe in their honesty and integrity.
Meanwhile, they were preying on the innocent. They were feasting on sin. They were using our money – your money – our trust – to fuel their complete depravity. They shielded themselves under the cloak of holiness while their greedy claws destroyed lives.
People are dead because of their sins. One victim committed suicide. Another murdered her unborn baby when the father – yes, a priest – demanded she have an abortion. Two people are dead from this.
This goes beyond scandal. Way, way beyond scandal and embarrassment.
I say: ENOUGH.
This corruption goes all the way back to the 1940s and all the way up to Rome. Didn’t we learn from the Reformation that corruption in Rome gets us nothing but a fractured, wounded church?
If I didn’t think this was indeed the one, true, and only church founded by Jesus himself, I’d be out in a heartbeat. But I can’t leave. I left once, and explored every other religion I could find for the truth.
There is only one Truth, one bread of life, and it is in the holy Catholic church.
But the devil has been busy destroying us from the inside out. It’s time, laity. It is time we reclaim our church. The early church began with 12 apostles and groups of people who believed in the bread of life.
If a building is riddled with rot, the timbers are pulled down to the foundation and the foundation left. New, healthy wood is built on the solid stone foundation.
We need to pull down the rotted timbers and rebuilt them on the solid stone foundation, the Rock of faith, and do it now. It may take generations. But it must start today.
Where are you? I cry. Where is my beloved, the faith of my fathers, the one church I believed in? Where did you go?
She is still here. But oh, she needs to be torn down to the foundations. The rot runs deep.