My heart is sickened tonight.
I’m sure that many of you have heard the news, but just yesterday The New York Times released a grotesquely revealing article about the sexual abuse allegations against Cardinal McCarrick.
I’m not going to get to specific on the allegations, but it was just a stab in the heart to hear that a man who is so high up in the Church has allegedly been living a life of recurrent abuse, some of which even towards minors. And the real twist of the knife is that, allegedly, some higher church officials were well aware of the abuse, and not only looked the other way, but elevated McCarrick in the ranks of the clergy — all the way up to Cardinal.
And believe me, the irony is not lost on me that I’m literally leaving on a Catholic pilgrimage – The El Camino de Santiago de Compestela – tomorrow. And when you’re reading this, I will be in Portugal at Fatima.
My heart is completely broken and heavy and I just feel utterly sick to my stomach.
I want to start out by saying that there is absolutely no excuse for what McCarrick allegedly did. None. And you won’t find me trying to offer any. Not today. Not ever. Sexual abuse is inexcusable.
This is the pinnacle problem that the Catholic Church faces.
I don’t have to tell you that the Catholic Church is the butt end of a myriad of jokes. And society at large does it no favors, and even goes the extra mile to vilify it, any chance it gets.
And it is allegations like this, that make those jokes and attacks feel warranted.
Yeah, look at this situation. The Church *deserves* to be vilified. How can Catholics, in good conscience, stay in a church that is so ripe with corruption?
And friends, that is a really hard question to answer.
But after a lot of prayer, I’ve come up with two things. And I can only answer for myself – obviously, I cannot speak for everyone.
Number One: The Eucharist. I stay because I believe in the sacrifice that Jesus made on the Cross, and His true presence in the bread and wine.
Secondly, and this is the biggie: The Church is run by humans. And we are a fallen people. We do not live in Heaven. We are here on earth, where we all fall prey to the enemy. Even people in positions of power. Even priests.
We are products of The Fall, and that plays out in different ways for everyone. For me. For you. We all have our transgressions. No one is immune.
To be clear – sexual abuse, particularly against minors – is in my opinion, one of the most heinous transgressions one can make. But it is not my job to judge. Only God’s.
And God has shown us time and time and time again in the bible that fallen people can be forgiven.
Every organization has issues. Leaders and people in positions of power are not exempt to the pitfalls of our fallen world.
Here’s the thing that really breaks my heart in all of this:
The good priests.
The men who have given their lives to serve the church: they give up their right to marry, and agree to live a life alone. They leave their families and go to an assigned parish, where they serve for a handful of years, only to be sent to a new parish to begin again: always transient and having to put down new roots every few years. They live a humble life, choosing to serve God and serve His church, taking upon them the stereotypes and judgement and jokes brought about by the few “bad apples” that have sadly spoiled the incredible and faith-filled bunch.
I have been blessed to have many wonderful priests in my life. All good, godly, brilliant and humble men. And it just makes me so sad to see their vocation being dragged through the dung by the media, by fellow Christians, by society at large.
There is no resolution here tonight. This is something that the Church is going to have to overcome and rectify.
There are a lot of unanswered questions, and angry people, and rightfully so.
What I do know is this:
God has been incredibly good to me. I have experienced His love and forgiveness and grace in such life changing ways that I simply have to choose to stand by my faith. I believe that the Church is truly a gift, given and instituted by Christ. A gift that I choose to receive in faith. But it is an institution that is run by broken and fallen people. People who have weaknesses and can fail to live up to the sacred responsibilities that they are privileged to have. But I also know that we all are products of the Fall, and works in progress. And as children of the Fall, we are going to have to work together to move forward after such heartbreaking events. Because our faith is worth fighting for. And I will choose God and choose my faith every time.
And after I finalize this post, I am going to add to my book of prayer intentions that I’m creating for my pilgrimage, a prayer for the Church. That She may survive this horrible situation. And that any lingering corruption be eradicated from the root. And that the victims receive the emotional and spiritual healing from the burden they have been carrying – so often in secret. I pray that we can work together to find solutions so that this never, ever, ever happens again.
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240 responses to “Scandal in the Church”
Disillusionment is painful. Indeed, the church itself is holy, but many who worship or are ordained through the church are base and vulgar. It’s true in all walks of life. There are good doctors, bad doctors. Good teachers, bad teachers. Good police officers, bad police officers. My only judgment against someone who’d continue to go to the Catholic church is that I hope they aren’t leaving their kids in harm’s way, but of course, there’s only so much you can do without accusing every single priest you encounter. (I don’t have kids. I’m not familiar with the safety protocols.) There’s no group of people (all Catholics, all schoolteachers, all members of a certain race, gender, etc.) who are all good. It’s not possible. People must be seen individually and without preconceived notions of their inherent goodness or badness based on any aspect of their identity. That bad Cardinal will get what’s coming to him. His fellow inmates won’t be disposed to like someone who hurt children.
I love what you said about seeing people individually and without preconceived notions. Amen! Thanks Meg for sharing your heart on this tough issue. Hugs and love xox
I love how you said that we should see people individually and without preconceived notions. Amen to that, Meg! Hugs and love xox
I had not heard about this, but this really strikes a chord with me as this is what I wrote to my Facebook followers this morning:
Summer Prayer Challenge- Week 5- Our Pastors/Families
Today I specifically feel led to pray for protection for them. Each time a see a news article of a fallen pastor or a new “church scandal” my heart sinks.
Are our first thoughts of them: “How DARE they? How could a godly leader do this?” Or do we truly feel God’s heart for them? Do these things really surprise us? Satan well knows that if he can hurt the head, he can cripple the whole church…”Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter.” Today, pray for your pastor and their family. Pray for God to put his hand of protection on them. That they wouldn’t feel the need to look “strong” in the face of trials or temptations but that they would be able to have trusted people around them to share with and be supported by. Ask God to give our pastors renewal each day. May they never have to feel like they are in this alone. Ask God to give them hunger and a desire to walk closely beside him, spending time in his presence each day. That they would LOVE his word and not compromise what it teaches. Pray that they would overcome evil by the power of his blood. Pray that they would be quick to repent and to ask for help, that God would keep them from pride. Pray for their families, that they would not feel the burden of always having to look put together, but that we would view them as God’s children in need of his grace as well. Pray that God would give us, the church body, MUCH grace for our leaders. May we always be a support to them, ready to protect and believe the best in them instead of always looking for the next thing to complain about. God, may we be a church that is a delight, not a burden, to lead.
Wow – so timely and so beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. Yes – renewal every day and the desire to walk closely beside Him. Amen. Hugs and love xox
It takes courage and resilience to be a Christian. Keep the faith. We serve a risen Savior!
Thanks friend. Yes we certainly do! God is good! Hugs and love xox
Great post, my friend. I’m praying along with you. God is bigger than the sum of our sins. Jesus went to the cross for precisely this. I have faith. Love you sweet friend. Have a safe journey. 💕
Thank you Melissa. Amen to that – God is bigger!! Hugs and love xox
But it’s not just that the institution is run by humans. It is the fact that we readily admit, at the beginning of Mass, that we are human, that we are fallen, and that we seek to do better:
“I confess to Almighty God, and to you my brothers, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and what I have failed to do. I ask the Blessed Mary, ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.
May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.”
Sister, this has been going on for decades with new revelations year by year. It saddens Jesus. Jesus is weeping, I think.
Consider this from His admonition to the church at Ephesus:
“I know your deeds and your toil, and your patient endurance, and that you cannot tolerate those who are evil, and have tested and critically appraised those who call themselves apostles, special messengers, personally chosen representatives, of the Messiah. In fact, they are not, and have found them to be liars and impostors; and I know that you who believe are enduring patiently and are bearing up for My name’s sake, and that you have not grown weary of being faithful to the truth.”
Liars? Imposters? Are we tolerating evil?
I think Jesus is weeping and is saying “Woe to you, hypocrites!”
“Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!”
“But woe to you, religious elites, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”
And He has more to say but He is weeping. Imagine the multitude of victims of this evil? Where is their justice.
“Woe to you hypocrites! For you tithe … and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.”
I am praying but a church that has tolerated this for so long will have to answer to our King Jesus on the day of judgement.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. Praying hard for the Church. Hugs and love xox
so well written. thank you! i often am questioned on my Faith as a Catholic. and your insight has been truely inspiring!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. It’s tough for sure. Hugs and love xox
Praying along with you. Thanks for sharing this story despite the difficulty. If we don’t share the failures of our human inhabited church, while still sharing the Hope we have, we will fail to reach those who are far away from God because of our holier than thou reputation.
Thank you J. Yes big prayers are needed. So true. Hugs and love xox
I long ago gave up on the Roman Catholic church a long time ago. This stuff has been going on for way too long and the upper echelons still haven’t figured out how to clean house from these creeps. Perhaps it is the time (well past time) to allow priests to marry and allow women to become priests.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Joe. Hugs and love xox
The Protestant Church is rife with the same scandals, only they are not as well publicized. Marriage is no cure for pedophilia or sexual perversion. Married men are every bit as capable of committing heinous sex crimes as single men.
i think you’re right about that
But most Protestant churches are for the most part locally run. Local church can fire a pastor for misdeeds. Less likely that pastor be moved to an unsuspecting church to continue misdeeds. I get it about married men being capable of sex crimes. What about women in ministry? Plus no altar boys in Protestant churches.
Actually it’s just as likely for a pastor to move to an unsuspecting church because the churches are independently run and there is little or no oversight or accountability.
Some Protestant churches do have altar boys. But that really doesn’t matter, because almost all churches have children. The Protestant pastors I know of (including at least one I knew personally) who have or are now serving jail time for ongoing sexual abuse and rape of children were not hindered by a lack of altar boys.
While women can be sexual abusers as well, the majority of sexual abuse is perpetrated by men. I know it’s very politically incorrect to point out this fact, and I know all about #notallmen, having been on the receiving end of hateful comments because I “found it necessary to mention my sexual abusers were males”.
It is naive not to protect our children from all abusers, but it is also naive to ignore who poses the most risk.
Actually, it is not just as easy for a Protestant pastor to move to another church. There is no bishop or cardinal moving the creeps to an unsuspecting parish. Protestant churches (I hope) do due dilliganve in hiring a pastor.
I can’t speak about mega-churches, but in my corner of the world, it would be very hard for an outed pastor to move on. We are the church and we make the decisions, not some bejeweled cardinal.
Have you been following the recent scandals in the Southern Baptist denomination? Or all the tragedies being uncovered by the #churchtoo movement?
I grew up in Protestantism. I know how easy it is to cover things up. If Church A decides not to have charges pressed against Pastor Wolf because they don’t want the bad press, and they convince the victims’ families to remain silent, Church B has no way to find out that Pastor Wolf is a sexual predator… until after they hire him and one of his new victims courageously steps forward. That’s assuming Church B actually believes the victim in their congregation and doesn’t accuse him/her of gossip, slander, and trying to destroy a man of God.
I have not. But that sounds absolutely heartbreaking. Hugs and love xox
Until the church steps up and properly deals with such pedophiles nothing will change. I personally know someone who was raped by a priest when he was a boy. Everyone, including his parents, turned a blind eye. It’s absolutely shameful.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. Yeah it is a really dispicable situation for sure. Hugs and love xox
Proud of you. You should, you need to share these insights. If your church is to strengthen and flourish in health, it will be because her members, like you, will stand up for righteousness and call out sin where it lies. Onward and upward. Hugs, Alan (Your brother in the Lord.)
Thank you Alan. Yeah it is a tough and frankly awful situation. If prayers are needed for the Church. Hugs and love xox
Love YOU! xox
I too will stand with Holy Mother Church. You are right. It is run by humans.
We live in a time where human sexuality is tragically twisted. Pedophile priests are a very large target, validating long-standing anti-Catholic prejudices. They aren’t the only abusers out there, by any stretch. In Virginia, A female softball coach was arrested for sexually abusing her young female players. We had two cases of men arrested for producing child pornography. The challenge to the virtuous, both lay and religious is to reclaim the Church and the culture in which it lives,
Thanks David. so true. Hugs and love xox
The problem is not only the perverted and twisted things they do, but they are covered up by the church and not reported or arrested or punished
Very sad. Many prayers for him to repent and change his ways and do tons of penance. And even more prayers for the healing of the victims 🙁
I will join you in that prayer. Hugs and love xox
People put too much trust in the church pastors. Many people worship their pastors thinking that they can do no wrong. They have much more trust in their pastors than they do in Jesus. Jesus is the only one who has never sinned. Therefore, he should be trusted more than anything else.
Thanks JB. Amen to that. Hugs and love xox
You are very graciously welcome. Hugs and love back to YOU!
Can I say that as practising Catholic I too have been horrified by what has been done by clerics here in Ireland. But, those people are not of my faith nor do they practice my beliefs. It was good to read your article and to let me know that I am not alone in seeing all mankind as weak and hoping that our Lord’s sacrifice will strengthen me and others against the “slings and arrows” that are constantly being hurled at my Church.
thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. so true Hugs and love xox
As for your two reasons for staying with the RCC: All churches are managed by people. If the key issue is the belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, there are Protestant churches which also believe in the real presence. Would you ever consider going that route?
Having grown up in a Catholic family, what I’ve seen is that for many Catholics, it’s an identity issue rather than a theological issue which keeps them from leaving the church. To leave the RCC feels like betraying your family, your identity, and in some cases your community (ethnic, local or religious).
Thank you Nick! I haven’t considered that, but my family has deep catholic roots, so I will be staying 🙂 Hugs and love xox
Clericalism, sadly, is alive and well within the Church. One step forward, two steps back. As a Catholic deacon, I must occasionally remind myself that, while I answer to priest and bishop, I serve Christ and my parishoners. With hearts heavy, true believers must, and will, keep walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Don’t let this ruin your trip. Keep yourself open to His presence. Hugs and love– Mike
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. So very true, Mike. Hugs and love xox
Sadly, where ever there is power over another, monsters will seek it. Does not change the pilgrimage to discover and live out of Sacred Love of God. May the Camino reveal light, and bring new mysteries of faith.
Thank you Ty! Hugs and love xox
God’s way will always survive…despite the bad apples. God will NOT be defeated.
Yes it will! Hugs and love xox
I saw you liked my blog on Christianity and Society’s Ills. This type of thing is exactly what led me to write it, though I certainly didn’t have this news in mind. I can’t argue with my atheist friends that the church is pure, because it isn’t. Because people are involved, just as you have said. Though I left the Catholic Church of my upbringing years ago, I mourn with you this news, and I wish you well on your journey. It’s your journey. Ultimately, we are all accountable only for ourselves. You are light and salt, Safe travels!
Thanks Kevin. Hugs and love xox
You are going into your pilgrimage with good intent and God always looks on the intent of the heart rather than the religious label we humans like to wear. The only label that is going to get us into heaven is Christian, and God will be the judge as to whether we really are a Christian or not. I know the church says only they are the conduit to heaven but the Bible doesn’t say that at all. It talks about an individuals relationship with God through Jesus and that’s the simple Gospel preached by the apostles. Yes here in Australia an Archbishop is going through a lengthy court appearance for allegedly covering up sexual abuses and one high up church official has been convicted and is trying to avoid jail on the pretext of age. You made the point well. Humans in this world of sin are fallible. The Gospel message is valid and we shouldn’t let the performance of humans detract from that message.
Thanks Ian! Hugs and love xox
Beautifully said! As usual! 🙂
Thank you Kelly! Hugs and love xox
Very well spoken. Enjoy your trip! Be Blessed!
Thank you friend. Hugs and love xox
Thank you for this thoughtful post. Many organizations go through scandals and difficult times. Idealistic people, especially youth give up and toss the whole thing.
Our church almost lost an entire generation of young people when a beloved leader had an affair and a child.
This is the link to my blog post addressing the issue of failures of imperfect leaders.
Thank you friend! Hugs and love xox
Thank you for pointing 2 great insights after you prayed. Prayer is very essential. Let’s cover one another, especially the priests, consecrated persons, etc, with prayers of protection and strength to fully and continuously follow and serve our Lord God.
thank you Nadine! Hugs and love xox
As an Christian, not Catholic, I do not say anything to my Catholic friends about the scandals. I remember how I felt in the 1980s when TV “evangelists” were caught in all kinds of scandals and even now how unscrupulous some of them are. I would in no way want to be identified with them. I think there is damage done in both what would fall under the umbrella of evangelical world and also in the Catholic world by various scandals. However, we cannot let sinful men keep us from God. The tricky part is being a witness for Christ even though sinful men muddy the water so to speak.
Thanks friend. Hugs and love xox
This is why our faith and trust must in our Heavenly Father and in Christ rather than in religions and spiritual authorities. We need to exert discerment in all things. A job (priests, bishops, etc.) in an organization does warrant moral soundness; living above reproach without the grace to do so is very difficult because the flesh is weak.
With this said, we are to love God and one another, which means we show compassion toward the sinners (but not excuse or justify the sins), as Jesus has done (the adulterous woman, the thief on the cross, etc.), and pray for them so they find God and repent.. A special prayer for those who were hurt, who endured the alleged abuse. Justice will render, one way or another.
Compassion is stronger than judgment, and love, stronger than hatred. Above all, God is sovereign… not religion. God doesn’t need the Catholic Church to love his children, to be an active presence in their lives. All He needs is someone who seeks him and if the Catholic priests would genuinely seek Him, they would experience the Bible in such a different way.
In my earlier days, I met a Catholic priest who was a born again and spirit-filled priest (some 30 years ago when the Catholic Charismatic Movement was widespread), and what a beauty to hear him speak of Christ. He is the only Catholic priest I ever met whose behavior inspired me to seek God (not the mass, not Catholicism, but God).
great points! Hugs and love xox
Very thoughtful post, per usual. I can’t say that I feel any worse about this than I would if it had happened in another organization. I wonder if many view these acts as worse than if they happened elsewhere because of the Church’s claims about who she is. If she is the Bride of Christ, then how could this happen, right? I do firmly believe that holiness and sanctity are more easily obtained as a Catholic than another kind of Christian, but that does not mean that all Catholics seek holiness and sanctity. Many do not, in fact, as we see here.
thank you friend. i appreciate you sharing your thoughts on it. Hugs and love xox
Couple things; first, you are not on a Catholic pilgrimage. This is something between you, your mom and God…NOT the church. Is it a Roman Catholic tradition? Maybe, but it’s about God, not Catholicism.
And the scandal is an RC problem. Sadly, it seems to put a black eye on God, but it’s our job as Christians to keep our witness pure, to make sure people understand this is just what you pointed out…
This as a people problem, not a God problem. It just makes things tough when talking with those not of Jesus’ fold.
Caralyn, keep your focus on WHY you’re doing this and WHO you’re doing it for. Don’t let human failings elsewhere damage what you are doing where you are.
I’m of Jesus’ fold. I go to a Lutheran church, but my place with Christ is my identity. So it should be with you; Catholicism is your path, but Jesus is your only identity.
Thanks Jeff. A people problem – i like that. Hugs and love xox
We Protestants are not untouched by scandals (sin, really) of this nature. The Southern Baptist Convention is being rocked by multiple cases of abuse and the covering up of that abuse. While that’s not my denomination, I am so angry at and saddened by what’s come out. I feel the same about the problems in the Catholic church.
More and more I believe that God is revealing these things and giving us no room to wiggle. It’s time to repent and clean house.
Thank you Marie. amen. Hugs and love xox
That the Church has survived two thousand years, sometimes under the temporal leadership of seemingly unworthy people, is testament to its being founded and protected by Christ.
Prayers for you on your pilgrimage.
Thanks Bill. Hugs and love xox
Your blog has been of interest to me for about a year, and an article on the scandal of the Church is the reason why. Fourteen years ago, I chose to go through the RCIA and become a member of the Roman Catholic Church. This was not the start of my spiritual pilgrimage, rather, I had been involved in the Protestant church. These are the reasons that I chose to be RC: the church calendar, the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, which incidentally based on a Greek word for Thanksgiving ,and the liturgy I find it moving to know that a billion plus people are reading, and praying the same at one time. This number increases for their are other denominations that use the same liturgy. Thanks for your post
Thank you friend! Hugs and love xox
Yeah it’s a shame when the Church try to keep scandals like that away from people instead of during something about it.
Thanks Michael. Hugs and love xox
Great post. If we can just really hold on to the idea that we are the church, us little people with testimonies, it changes the narrative. The scandal in “the church” breaks my heart, but we are the church and our job is to go forth and love people and share the good news. Jesus encountered the scandal of the church when He walked the Earth, too. He had some choice words to say about it all, but He went around bringing hope to people anyway, healing the sick, spreading the good news.
Thank you friend. Hugs and love xox
I’m so sorry about this, Caralyn. I have had horrible things happen by the hand of “godly” men and have seen horrific things happen to truly Godly men, things no one ever deserves.
There is much that is biblically off about practices of the Catholic church, things that are mere traditions of man and not based in scripture at all; but, that is another topic for another day. All that matters is our saving faith in Jesus Christ. I pray that as you seek Jesus, He would be found by you, and that He would lead you and your mama further to the truth. May He comfort and grant peace to you and your heart tonight.
Love you, sister.
Me too, Analee. Thanks friend. Hugs and love xox
One other thought- please do not let the sins of men rob you of enjoying your time with your mom on your journey of seeking God together.
Thanks again – very true 🙂 Hugs and love xox
Spot on Caralyn. Thank you for not making excuses but also telling us why staying is worth the fight.
Thanks Tim! Hugs and love xox
Unfortunately, the sexual abuse of minors in church leadership is not reserved only for the upper echelons of the Catholic Church, Protestant churches have had the same issues and coverups. Even high government officials have been involved in this behavior, which was an open secret that people did not want to tackle due to the high position of the individuals. God is no longer allowing this sin to continue and is bringing it out into the open and before the public. This could lead to massive changes, repentance and a move of God. God is no longer tolerating cover ups and the damage done to young ones in any setting. It is being exposed so it can be dealt with, so that a succession of vulnerable victims will stop. Painful as it is, what has gone on for years is being dealt with. I pray that God would expose and remove all sexual predators from the church–Catholic and Protestant.
Thank you friend, i pray that too. Hugs and love xox
xoxo Hugs and love to you!
Excellent post! Hope you’re enjoying your pilgrimage. Cant wait to see the new insights!
thank you friend. I am! i’m trying to upload the videos! Hugs and love xox
Very well said, Caralyn, as usual. Have a safe trip.
Thank you Amy. Hugs and love xox
Caralyn, I’m with you on this — heartbroken. May the Lord cleanse and purify His church.
Thank you Clara. Hugs and love xox
This is beautiful. Well said.
Thank you friend. Hugs and love xox
Don’t get too down about this. Even Peter denied Jesus three times, and he was the first Pope. Paul put Christians to death. But it’s a horrible thing to do to another human. It often ruins their lives. So efforts have to be made diligently to clean this up. Jesus said. “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.” Mark 9:42
Thanks friend. very true. Hugs and love xox
I cannot agree with you more and I cannot thank you enough for this post! God bless the humble and life-giving priests who sacrifice for us, and prayers for our beautiful Catholic church :).
Thank you Teresealee. Hugs and love xox
Caralyn, the Joy of the Lord is your Strength, and will continue to be your Strength as you keep your focus on Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit within you, will guide your mind and spirit, as He is always pointing and drawing people to Jesus Christ, and giving Christ the Glory.
Praying you and your Mom are kept safe, as the Covering of the Blood of our Lord Jesus protects you, and also as His Pure, Holy, Sacrificed Blood flows through the veins of the bodies of your Mom and you, keeping you healthy and strong for your journey.
Also praying Caralyn, for the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of the Resurrection, to be speaking encouragement from Scripture into the spirits and minds of you and your Mom daily, on each part of your walk.
Praying and believing Holy Spirit to protect your mind from negativity that will attempt to invade and cause oppression and depression, particularly following the terrible news you recently heard and shared here.
Holy Spirit has called and led you along with your Mom, on this journey and mission in your lives, at this specific time for a purpose. His purpose is for each of you to be drawn closer to Jesus Christ our Saviour, to experience more of the Power and Presence of Holy Spirit within you, manifesting Himself in boldness, along with the Fruit of the Spirit being visibly and vocally evident in your every action and word, all to the Glory of our Heavenly Father.
Holy Spirit is going to guide you Caralyn, in powerful Prayers for others, like you have never experienced, and you will see and hear of God answering the prayers, as others will also see these answers, and hear of them, Glorifying God, giving Honour to Jesus Christ, blessing others, and drawing still others to a closer relationship with our Lord Jesus.
Some who are searching, will see the Radiance of God on your face Caralyn, and you will have opportunities to share a deep experience with Jesus.
The Living Word of God, Jesus the Christ our Messiah, will be evident, and will be noticed by many, as the Spirit of God will powerfully, yet gently, and in a positive manner, as you are able to pray and share the Written Word Of God which Holy Spirit inspired each author to write.
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,
10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,
11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,
12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
God’s Abundant Blessings and Grace on you and your Mom,
Gosh this is so beautiful. Thank you George 🙂 sending so much love and prayers! xo
I have been struggling with this SO much. Thank you for writing this. I will be reading and re-reading this over and over to gather the inspiration and courage to stay where I know I belong. God bless you.
thanks for sharing your heart. so glad it resonated with you, Mimi. Hugs and love xox
Pope Paul VI warned us.
He said,”The smoke of Satan has entered the church”.
That was fifty years ago.
The reality of God gets lost in all this filth – all of it is Satan’s work.
Hold to what you know and never doubt.
It’s tough, I’m no stranger to having disillusion towards the church having witnessed first hand some crazy scandals that would be too long to explain in a comment. I never wanted to set foot in a church again. As time went on God slowly healed the wounds and lifted a lot of bitterness and jadedness I held onto. In the end I realized the reasons I go to church are 1) Hope is found in Christ. I’ve tried many things to replace that, but nothing replaces that. 2) Christ gives hope to others through me and everyone else that walks into the doors. I think about in Acts when the believers got together, it was a community of people that loved God and loved each other. It says they shared what they had and no one was in need. This is what the church is meant to be, a place that welcomes all and gives hope to all. People will always let us down and this is because like you said we’re in a fallen state. I will be praying for you and the hurting people, that healing will come and what needs to be addressed and corrected will be.
Amen- hope is found in Christ! Hugs and love xox
And thank you for your prayers!
No problem! Enjoy your trip!
If we all live like apostle Paul who said that rather than do something (even though it’s in good faith) that will make others stumble in their faith, he wouldn’t do it at all. It’s a hard principle yo live by especially to someone like me who is always conscious about what others do or say about my actions.
I’ve learned a long time ago not to view people with my own standards, each person with his or her own life. That way, there is as little disappointment as possible.
That way when others stumble, it doesn’t affect me, I only pray that the person finds his or her way back.
Thanks for this great insight. Hugs and love xox
An interesting and saddening piece for all those with faith. However I want to remind everyone we live in both a secular and ecclesiastical world when we have faith and practice it.
Now our primary reason for going to a church is to express our own devotion and worship. The building holds significance for us but is not important in real terms as we can be imprisoned and still maintain our faith. However, those responsible for the spiritual welfare of the church are accountable for their actions. When they break civil or criminal law they are accountable to the courts. In this case although the Catholic Church may have been aware of the allegations it is not authorised in law to conduct a criminal investigation.
So just as you an I are viewed innocent until the criminal actions are established the senior church officials must view those allegations as unproven.
If the church had used the biblical standards for appointment of leaders, (found in the letters to Timothy and Titus, being free from accusation is a requirement) it could have acted in a differently to protect the flock. However, when clergy are employed the most effective way of limiting the damage is to act pragmatically, remove the person from direct daily contact (promote them or give them administrative functions).
As Christians we have to apply the same principle of the “Golden Rule” in all situations. However, once the truth of a matter is established the church must act as soon as it can to protect the congregation (not the church). In his 1st letter to the Corinthians Paul told the congregation to put the wrong doer out of the congregation.
All abuse is wrong, abuse of power particularly, child molestation is wrong, however as Christians we know that we render an account to God for our own actions. The Cardinal will face the Criminal Justice System just as every abuser should, the outcome should lead to those who covered over his sins (if they clearly believed the allegations) will have to answer to the same authority and live with conscience, praying God will forgive them.
The Catholic Church and so many other religious groups are riddled with scandals like this but the real fact is that society at all levels is riddled with this depravity.
A final thought, personal commitment to Christ means that when everyone else is doing wrong or too afraid to do what is right we continue to live up to our Christian commitment. The actions of others may affect our emotional wellbeing but nothing should separate us from the Love Jesus and His father continue to show.
As a friend once said to me “don’t demand perfection from others, because when you do you give them the right to demand it of you!”.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this tough issue. Hugs and love xox
With scandals it’s always the same : they turn your life into a sex and money show.
Very sad. Hugs and love xox
Thank you! Hugs and love xox
Have a great Camino, and continue to take solace in the Eucharist. Thank you for your examination of this difficult topic.
Thank you James 🙂 Hugs and love xox
I like to boil things down to their simplest elements. So,when people consider leaving the Church because of scandal I might say one of two things: If all the good people leave, then only bad people will be in the Church,” OR, “If you find a denomination that is without scandal or is perfect, let me know. I want to go with you. Why settle for second best?” We are not in the Church because of it’s perfection, and we don’t leave it because of it’s imperfection.
Thanks Kim. Very true. Hugs and love xox
Thank you for your thoughts on the Church! What you said about everyone is human even those in the Church. I have seen both sides of the abuse; but also a few of my closest friends are priests. I have learned that they have personal lives and family, and experience the same feelings of joy and hurt as we do. These dear friends always have my back when I am up or down, as I am for them.
Enjoy your visit to Fatima – a few years ago I went to Fatima and the 150th Anniversary of Lourdes with one of my priest friends (and a few other friends!!). Although I am a Lector, EuchMinister, teach RelEd to autistic children, I am not always very religious in my opinions; but Fatima and Lourdes gave me a different experience of life. I did a few Blogs on my journey. My one suggestion, take a journal with you, and write all your thoughts and experiences, it is something you will treasure.
Thank you Pamela for sharing your thoughts on this. I’m sorry this hits so close to home. Yes! Trying my best to journal through it 🙂 Hugs and love xox
Despite its sickening subject, “Spotlight” has become one of my favorite movies. I realize part of my love for this movie is the focus on investigative journalism, but I also recognize and appreciate the themes of courage, bravery, tenacity, determination, and willingness to fight for what’s right. We as Christians are tasked with similar themes, to spread the love and good news of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
I haven’t seen it! I’ll have to check it out. Thanks Laura Beth. Yes – fight for what’s right indeed. Hugs and love xox
It’s an excellent movie, with a stellar cast. XOXO
can’t wait to watch it! xx
Let me know what you think!
I’m eager to hear your thoughts and perspective.
Same thing went about when Israel Houghton, a much revered Christian musician got married again, after a divorce, to a model who didn’t have a really “Christian-y” history…
There needs to be prayer for the church, as well as prayer for our leaders…no matter the err. Saul did foul acts whilst in power, yet David sternly defended him when the servant had drawn his sword to kill Saul, by saying a truth we should all adapt to: He is annointed of God.
Let’s pray that the leaders we get up there be annointed of God and that the sustaining grace of God be upon them as they lead…
Yes prayer for the church and it’s leader indeed. Thanks friend. Hugs and love xox
You’re welcome. You’re a really fast replier, I really like that! Keep on and God’s grace and mercy be upon you. Blessings, or as we say it here in Kenya: Baraka!
Haha Baraka I like that!! ✨💛✨
Thank you for not making excuses and also for your prayers for the Church. As so many have said in the comments, these types of heinous acts take place in all denominations and are not limited to ours.
After a period of attending churches from various denominations, I decided at the age of 16 to convert to Catholicism; the Catholic church was where I personally felt God’s presence most and I’ll continue that path. It’s not perfect but it has led me to continue to seek God.
Please continue to pray; I will be doing the same. God bless- Ashleigh
Thank you Ashleigh. Yes – I will definitely continue to pray! Hugs and love xox
The Catholic church is not the only victims of such scandalous acts. My Aunt, who is literally one of the most laid back and non-judgmental believers I know, was married to her husband for over 40 years. They had two kids together and her husband was the pastor of a Baptist church. A church that I grew up in mind you. They relocated as he became the pastor of another church that offered him a parsonage. He stood behind the pulpit and preached many a fiery message, great sermons, and even sang in a gospel group. Anyway, main focus of the story. He ended up having an affair with the wife of a deacon at the church he served. A man who my entire family had the utmost respect for as a Man Of God, did something like that. I have other stories too from my PERSONAL LIFE that turn my stomach as well. Trust me, It’s happening everywhere and it is truly a sad state of affairs that humans as a whole have fell in to. Corruption is everywhere and the Devil is running rampant. That is why we need to Guard our Hearts. I could go on forever but I don’t wanna start preaching in your comments section. lol. Just know I am praying for you Caralyn. Literally every day. Your story is truly inspiring and as I have said many a times before, you have an absolutely beautiful soul. You have been a blessing to COUNTLESS people I am sure. Keep it up. Hugs and Love from TX as always! XOXO
Hi Paul, thank you for sharing that. oh gosh, i’m sorry to hear that. that breaks my heart. yes – guard our hearts. Hugs and love xox
Disclaimer: I’m not a Catholic, but my family at large is. In my mother’s small town, any time a priest is even suspected of doing something inappropriate, the first step is to have him step away from the position he holds. It helps victims, if there are any, come forward more freely without the fear of talking about their priest they see every Sunday at mass. After investigation, they move forward, but I feel that, in cases of sexual abuse, we need to, as they do, start with the idea that the victim IS telling the truth and investigate with that in mind. Not the other way around, which seems to be the norm – not only in the religious environment, but pretty much anywhere this happens.
Hopefully the Church at large will find a more proactive way to deal with this problem moving forward, and both our children and the priests will be safer for that.
Thanks Miss Jay – yeah I pray that too. my deepest prayers, i pray that. Hugs and love xox
This is heartbreaking and the Catholic Church is not alone in this. As a Protestant my heart has also been broken with the many ministers in our church that have completed terrible sins and brought disgrace on the church. What is really sad is, as you said, it hurts the many good priests and ministers who serve their people faithfully. My husband was a pastor of small churches and through the years we accumulated no wealth – but rather often gave of our own salary to help others. Yet we often faced those who talked about how the church only wanted your money – pointing to the TV big name preachers. But I’m glad you are not giving up on the church. Until Jesus returns, it will remain a institution filled with many great people – but always a few “bad apples” I join you in praying for all who call ourselves Christian that we live up to that high standard – and that those who have been hurt will not lost faith in God or in His church.
thanks Barbara, yeah it is really so hard. wow – that’s awesome that you gave your salary – how incredible. Hugs and love xox
It’s a sad thing when those leading do terrible things, but it’s also a sober reminder that we all fall short of the glory of God. Sometimes, sadly we need that reminder, so God leaves things as they are. It means many will get hurt in the process. Even the innocent. This is very sad, but Scripture reminds us that sorrow is better than laughter. (Ecc 7:3) It’s a hard love. Keep your chin up, and keep praising God. He’s overcome the world. Your heart is precious to Him too. <3
I really is so sad. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this tough issue. amen – He has overcome the world!! Hugs and love xox
I think you are correct in your conclusion. Any organisation involving humans even the church (any church) will have those that do wrong things (even dreadful things!) simply because we are a fallen people. I think this may be aumented by the vow of celebacy expected of catholic priests. While some may be specially called in this way as Paul states, it is not natural for most (men in particular). My personal feeling is that it can make stumbling block to those wishing to serve God in ministery, the supression of natural God given sexuallity can then turn to pervertion and sadly abuse.
That being said, Jesus said “I will build My church”. Religious organisations, catholic, protestant or whatever, are man made. The real church Christ is building has no denominational walls but is built of those who, though still fallable, truely follow with a pure and sincere heart, such as those devoted souls you describe.
Thanks Claire. Hugs and love xox
I feel badly for the good priests.
Sadly, abuse reaches all parts of society, no where is immune. What is different about the Catholic Church is that worldwide they have covered up abuse claims and resorted to moving a priest to a new parish, whilst protecting a known pedophile and completely discarding the trauma and pain of the victims.
If a teacher sexually abuses a child, he/she are jailed and never allowed to teach again. If a priest does it, he will remain a priest, no legal consequences, he will be transferred and often given complete freedom to continue grooming and abusing children.
Look at George Pell. He abused boys in Australia for decades, got promoted, ignored abuse claims of priests below him, then was promoted to the Vatican. What kind of message does that send?
These allegations are not new. They’ve been around for decades. It is completely egregious and yes, it paints all priest with the same brush which is completely unfair. I had some wonderful priests at my local parish growing up.
The Catholic Church is being presented with a major decision: evolve or become extinct. If priests could serve God AND marry and have children a) they’d attract more men wanting to serve God and b) perhaps this abhorrent abuse would decline. 🤷🏻♀️
Very sad news but not surprising in the least.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this tough issue. Hugs and love xox
I heard Bishop Barron talk about this in his new study on David. He was reflecting on the high priest Eli, his corrupt sons, and Samuel. The church was corrupt, and Eli did nothing about it, so it was taken down. God will allow the consequences to fall as they must. However, in the wings, he was raising up Samuel and David to restore it all.
Right now, we are at record levels in our seminaries across the country. I know that we are bursting at the seams here in Texas. Why?
As Bishop Barron would ask candidates why they would possibly enter the priesthood when it is so difficult, they almost all responded, “I want to be a part of the solution.”
Consequences are falling, and it is so painful. It should be. But there is hope. Those good priests you talked about? There are more on the way.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this tough issue, Karen May. That’s so refreshing to hear! Hugs and love xox
Dear Carolyn, you’re doing a great blogging job! Thank you for this immense contribution.
I was born into the First Baptist Church. When I couldn’t stomach unscriptural proclivities of that assemblage, I asked myself, “How do you reprove a whole Church?” Ephesians 5:11 & 2Timothy 4:2 teach it. “Get out of that assemblage!” That was the answer I came up with. For twenty years I was, wrongly, churchless! Towards the last eight years, I began to pray for my place of assemblage, so hungry and very thirsty for the fellowship with HIM, according to HIS Hebrews 10:25 protocol. I got an answer -for my sincerity!
1Timothy 4:3 prophesied, “Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” It is not the priests of Catholicism who sacrifice their conjugal rights to do God’s work in His vineyard. It is purely the teaching of Catholicism, quite contrary to 1Timothy 4:3, quoted above. I didn’t write the Bible! For playing (an unconstitutional) God, the consequence, quite unpalatable, is the result of homosexuality and the pedophiliac cruelty rampaging the church (Deut. 5:32). Every Good Friday the Pope’s followers must abstain from meat (which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving).
Shall we be Biblically true to ourselves? Where, in the 66 Books of Scripture, does it say that the Eucharist turns into the very flesh and blood of Christ? 1Corinthians 10:16-17, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17) For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.” The bread and the wine are merely emblematic of our communion with Jesus. 1Corinthians 11:33, “Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.” They used to bring the elements of the communion to church, as this verse reveals, from home.
No Catholic mass is conducted without the adorable worship of Mary, the mediatrix of Catholicism. 1Timothy, 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” so, if there’s only one mediator, and Catholicism offers an eisegesis of Mary as a mediatrix, has the Pope not led 1.2 billion Catholic faithfuls into error by changing the word of God to read an unscriptural, “For there is one God, and TWO MEDIATORS?”
There is no femininity in heaven. How come you offer the invocatory, mass prayer of Queen of the angels? If Mary is the queen of angels she must have a throne! Any? To retain the Mariolatry ‘mother of God’ definitely makes Mary a ‘Goddess,’ in the celestial assizes, whether one likes it or not. How do I know femineity has no existence in heaven? Matthew 22:30 tells me so.
The First Baptist Church now teaches John 3:3, which was never taught to me in the 60’s & 70’s. BBB, what does Catholicism teach concerning John 3:3, the practicality of which lies in Romans 10:8-10 –the only methodology to soteriology?
I remember quite well that the Pope told the world that he had been mandated by Jehovah to edit the 10 Commandments, some months ago. He did everything possible not to disappoint us by making the 2nd Commandment of Exodus 20:4 & 5 the first casualty. The only reason the Pope will utter that is because an unawareness of Revelation 22:18-19 lives with Catholicism. I love you BBB, and all who do not see the exegetical truth of Scripture and like I’ve mentioned, you are doing a great job!
Thanks so much friend, for sharing your thoughts on this tough issue. Hugs and love xox
Most welcome, you are, dear BBB. Keep up the good work.
Hello Pastor! What a wonderful journey you are on with so many people prayers no for you! Including me. I am not Catholic, but as you know on my blog I’ve stated I’ve felt adopted when visiting church for Mass and my sister in law Has a strong faith despite end stage cancer. Enjoy every step
I can’t wait to read about how God changes you through your personal pilgrimage!
I have a favor to ask of you! Not being Catholic, I lack understanding in certain areas. When you get back and later have time, he is where the a Catholic churc loses and confuses me. Criminal acts are being committed. Why doesn’t the Pope call the guilty to turn themselves in for prosecution? Why and how being above and beyond the law? Or why doesn’t the Pope call them all to the Vatican, remove them from the church and have them all arrested by their home countries to face charges! How can the Pope allow criminals to continue to represent God?
Ok, that’s for a later date and I trust you to help me learn and grow in my faith!
For now, soak in every God-given second of you days! Prayers, love and blessings, Rick
I am so proud of you!
Thanks Rick, for sharing your thoughts on this tough issue. I will try to answer that when i return. Thanks for the prayers! Hugs and love xox
I am so with you on this… so hard to see something like this happen. There really are so many good pastors and priests out there they are loving God and serving well. I can’t give up on the church either. She, in her beauty, will still carry a beautiful message of hope to the world BECAUSE of Jesus💕
Thanks so much! Hugs and love xox
May the Holy Spirit convict every sexual offender, drawing them to repentance at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ. May they weep deeply as they grieve the sin they have committed against the sheep they were appointed to shepherd. May they be removed from positions of power until they are delivered from evil and their lives produce a harvest of good fruit (not gifts, but FRUIT).
May the Father wrap His arms around the victims as they process through the traumatic ramifications of sexual abuse on their body and soul. May they find healing, hope, and yes…forgiveness in the shelter of His wings (Psalm 91).
Thanks Jodie. Amen. Hugs and love xox
Thank you Jodie. Amen.
For as long as the New Testament Church was recording its gatherings, people have been bringing corruption of one kind or another into it. Ironically, Rome, the city which is know as “home” to the Catholic Church was one of the most corrupt, as can be seen by the first chapter of Paul’s epistle to them.
As I have done at least two other times, I will quote your own wise words and then comment further,
“Number One: The Eucharist. I stay because I believe in the sacrifice that Jesus made on the Cross, and His true presence in the bread and wine.
Secondly, and this is the biggie: The Church is run by humans. And we are a fallen people. We do not live in Heaven. We are here on earth, where we all fall prey to the enemy. Even people in positions of power. Even priests.”
These were reasons why you say you will remain faithful to the church and God. I cannot count the number of people I have talked to over the years who no longer attend weekly services in any church because of the faults they find in the people. It may be the clergy, the choir, the church staff or the members but they see to want a perfect church. To that I say, if you ever find a “perfect” church, don’t join it- you’ll ruin it! We are all fallen and of the same sin nature. As you said, there is no excuse for the actions of this or any other person who engages in such behavior and he will have to answer to God for this. I hope and pray that he will confess and repent before his own judgement before the throne of God, and I pray for the survivors of his actions as well.
As for you, remember those priests who commit their lives to serving the Lord. Those of us called into ministry (I am not a Catholic priest but a Baptist minister), please know that the bar is already set higher for us and that people are watching. By the same token, with more at stake, it should be an honor to each and every member of the clergy to be entrusted with the confidence of those who come for comfort.
Your faith has brought you through so much and it is a faith in Jesus Christ, not a faith in fallible man that did that. Don’t let the downfall of one man destroy that for you.
Love and Blessings,
Thanks Jim for sharing your thoughts on this tough issue. Hugs and love xox
I think that it’s being made an even bigger deal because it is from a Catholic church. We tend to put the church officials on a pedestal and we forget that they’re humans too. A crime is a crime, no matter who did it and to whom it was done.
Church leaders make mistakes, from small to heinous, and are just as prone to sinning as other people, whether they be persons of authority or not. Take heart and keep faith. One man’s mistake does not in any way, diminish God’s greatness. As for those judging Catholics who remain in a church that they say is full of corruption, take a look at the government. It’s also full of corruption but we don’t suddenly pack our bags to move to a different country. We don’t only become faithful when everyone around us is perfect.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this tough issue, Monique. Hugs and love xox
Seems like God is sending you on this journey. I cannot make sense of it either but somewhere in the midst of all this chaos is your purpose and even they are but people and that is why Jesus is the only way.
Thanks Sharon 🙂 Hugs and love xox
This kind of scandal reminds me of really how flawed religions are as organisations as it becomes about the many not the few. A relationship with your God or creator has to be a personal journey and not one about the rules and faiths of many.
Thanks Simon for sharing your thoughts on this tough issue. Hugs and love xox
That’s ok… Happy to. Love and hugs xxx
This is absolutely perfect! The Holy Spirit is heard here Caralyn. Do you mind if I post it on my Facebook page, Catholics Mean Business?
thank you John. Would be honored! Hugs and love xox
I did not read the article you refer to in your post. Unfortunately, however, I am very aware of the “sins” of the church, which have been going on for many decades. I am from Newfoundland and the church there was rocked by the same kind of allegations culminating in a criminal trial of clerics and brothers who abused youngsters at the Mount Cashel Orphanage in St. John’s. Many left the church. Many are still trying to rebuild lives. It is a very painful situation that has recurred all over North America. Too many lives have been shattered as a result of predatory men who used the church as a hunting ground and abused their authority.I feel for you. And I thank you for your thoughtful post regarding this terrible situation. I will add my prayers to yours and I hope you have a wonderful experience at Fatima. God bless you.
Thank you Carol for sharing your thoughts on this tough issue. Hugs and love xox
You’re welcome. I sincerely hope you have a wonderful trip.
Thank you for shedding light on this issue (I was not aware of the news). After reading your disclaimer, I elected to not read the NYT article – I appreciate the warning!
While these developments are deeply upsetting, we ultimately can only be responsible for governong our own behavior. If we each commited to doing as the Bible teaches – “love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and strength” and “love your neighbor as yourself,” imagine how different our world might be!
After all, if we obey the first command, then adherence to the second one should naturally follow, no?💡
thank you for sharing your thoughts on this tough issue. true. very true. Hugs and love xox
Surely, it is saddening to hear our trusted leaders fall into sexual sins. As you rightly observed, we cannot begin to offer excuses; what is wrong is wrong. But God forgives them all, so who are we not to?
Thank you Victor. very true. Hugs and love xox
I associate with your pain. The inhumane acts made public not only give the Church an ugly scar, but it causes many to doubt Christ’s love. It is a reminder that we are weak without Christ. When you think you’ve become too spiritual, you are walking too close to the fall.
thank you Douglas for sharing your thoughts on this issue. So true – weak without Him! Hugs and love xox
Theleaders in the church, no matter what church or what rank they attain, are still humans. Sometimes the human outweighs the Christian.
The head of the Catholic church in Adelaide (South Australia) was found guilty by a court, of failing to report sexual abuse by a priest, even though he had been made aware of the abuses.
Now the human comes out. Despite being found guilty, he is refusing to stand down from his position in the church, even though he has been sentenced to 12 months detention (only in his sisters home), so he is still getting paid. And he plans to appeal the decision, despite originally trying to have the charges dropped because he was in such poor health.
Meanwhile, all the people that suffered abuse, get to see him being found guilty by the court, but not being given a custodial sentence, just home detention, while they have to carry on knowing that the people, church officials, who committed the crimes, carry on their lives without any major punishment.
I know God forgives, but the Bible tells us we have to repent first. There are a lot of people who are convinced God will forgive them no matter what. The word repent comes from the Greek word Metanoia (Meta = to change + Gnosis = knowledge), so repent really means to change the way you think. But as we see, some people think that because they have attained a high rank in the church, they will be saved no matter what.
David, you make some interesting points. Many of them I agree with but others I take issue with to some extent. You said that God forgives but first we must repent. If we look at Jesus being crucified, His words on the cross were, “Father forgive them, for they know no what they do”. He did not say, “if they repent”. Forgiveness is actually a one-way street. Someone sins against you and you forgive them. Whether or not they accept the fact that they sinned or repent is now on them. If they deny their actions, they must answer to God, (and they will). What forgiveness does is allows you to be freed from any anger or resentment, free from feeling the need fro vengeance, and the knowledge that God will take care of things.
Relationships can be restored if the other person repents. In this way I agree with you. Repenting is needed. You are also so very right about the human side of this and other people coming out. As I mentioned in my own post, the clergy are held to a higher standard than others are and we should be. People are looking for spiritual guidance and direction in how to find and follow a most holy God. If the leadership anointed with this calling fails people, the flock feels misled. However, as you said, even the highest ranking, most educated and pious cleric is human first.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this incredibly difficult issue. it is so tough. and so heartbreaking. interesting about Metanoia. Hugs and love xox
“How the mighty are fallen!” – book of Lamentations
You’re certainly not alone; these scandals are to be found everywhere, whether the leaders are old or young, married or celibate, religious or otherwise.
Enjoy a holy pilgrimage and be refreshed 🙂
Thank you Fr Bench for sharing your thoughts on this tough issue. Very true – they are everywhere. God bless, Father!
Awesome post, honestly I don’t understand how people judge God, based on the actions of man.
thank you friend. same here. Hugs and love xox
May all denominations (different members of the same body) stand with the Roman Catholic Church against evil
Thank you for this truly excellent article. I agreed with every word. I do hope all is well with your double pilgrimage. Right now, I’m having instruction towards being received into the church. You are a good example! XXXX
thank you friend 🙂 Hugs and love xox
Yes! Amen to all of it. So many people lose faith and judge because of these situations and more so when someone of a higher position. But we’re all sinners and we serve one judge. We can’t lose our faith in Jesus. This simply helps us understand how much more we need of God, not how far we need to get away from Him.
thank you friend! you’re so right – we really do need Him! Hugs and love xox
My gosh! So sorry to hear such news! As ONE in the body of Christ we are not supposed to be dragging down each just because of one mistake. We all make or have made mistakes haven’t we? No one is better than anyone, for there is NONE that doth good, no, not one. I will be agreeing with you in prayer for this 🙂 blessings and love! <3
thank you Tammy, yeah it’s super sad.
You’re welcome much! 🙂
I know it is sicking. I mean…how can priests think you can abuse children and then *poof* your sin is “gone”. That’s not how Christianity works. It’s like Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” I kinda disagree with the “not judging” in THIS case. However in the same sense (in my interpretation) of what you said, I CANNOT make the judgement what will be done by the cardinal.
It really is. So so sad. Amen to that. Hugs and love xox
Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Whenever we take our eyes off Christ and look unto man or organizations it often is disappointing, look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith!
That is so true. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this tough issue. Hugs and love xox
First of all, thank you for checking in and “liking” my blog, “The Alphabet”. Given the time, I like to see something my readers have, themselves< done. Hence, my read of "Scandal in the Church".
You are so right to be angry about abuse in the Church, especially among its hierarchy. I also agree with your position that the Church, an organization created by God and led by imperfect humans, is not, of itself, a bad institution. My personal relationship with God in and through the teachings of the Catholic Church is rock solid. We will all be judged when we die and those who have misrepresented the Church through their words or actions will be judged accordingly. Meanwhile, never give up on the faith God has given you. I certainly won't.
Thanks friend for sharing your thoughts on this tough issue. Hugs and love xox
I just heard about this based on your post and grieve with you and all those impacted by McCarick’s abuse of power in raping people he was to shepherd. I am not a member of the Catholic Church; however, I believe what the Aposrle Paul said to the Corinthian church (1 Corinthians 12:12-14) “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all it’s many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by One Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.” I join with you in healing for praying for the victims and conviction and repentance of the members of the body of Christ.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this flight issue, Nita. Hugs and love xox
Let Christ alone have a say in this,” Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone,” John 8:7
Funny thing is that religion is suppose to make people good. Someone can say that if a person of such high rank in the church could be so corrupt and heinous, how can the common person understand the teachings of the church. Are we missing God’s message that are written in our sacred books? What religion can make the world good????
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this tough issue. Hugs and love xox
It is unfortunate that some priests joined for all the wrong reasons, not for the love of God but for self gratification. I do not condone what they have done but we should not judge the church in its entirety but the actions of individuals concerned. The percentage of clergy that have abused is about 7 percent. In my opinion 7 percent too many. The number of parents that abuse children esp children under 12 months is far higher ( see link ). Do we put all parents in one basket? NO of course! So we should not fall into the trap of leaving the church because of the mistakes of the past. Much of the abuse happened in the 50s/60s/70s. There is more accountability now. The catholic church is the largest christian institution, spreading across catholic schools, welfare organisations and orphanges, hence the high number of abuse than any other church. (see link) http://childwise.blob.core.windows.net/assets/uploads/files/Childabuse_infographic.pdf
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this difficult topic. Yeah I think accountability is important. Hugs and love xox
I hope you are not wearing those golden shoes on pilgrimage! And that the time with the Lord is allowing the spirit to percolate through you. We had Cardinal O’Brien here in the UK, and the Anglican church had bishops of their own, guilty of these sins. I hope there is less naivety now than a few years ago about the harm that can be done to vulnerable people in this way.
Haha thanks – yeah definitely stuck with hiking boots! Hugs and love xox
Keep the faith as long as you believe in your heart thats what matters.
Thanks Martha! Hugs and love xox
Hopefully some helpful thoughts here….https://derekmaul.blog/2018/08/21/catholic-scandal-the-power-equation-and-the-need-for-reformation/
Thank you Derek. Hugs and love xox
Thank you for this post. I find abuse of any sort appalling when it is hidden in an institution it is even worse. My partner is polish and I went to mass with her after a long time away from the protestant church. My faith has been rekindled. As you rightly say they are human and only a fraction of the church. What is important to me is that as an institution the church has opened up on this occasion and dealt with it. I hope it is a sign of things to come and these people have no where to hide. People will then hopefully start showing more respect for the people running the church and the turn to the important element which is God himself.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this incredibly difficult issue. Hugs and love xox
As a non-denominational Christian, I have so much agreement about what you say about your church because it is true for all churches. They are run by humans and humans are fallible. It’s very sad that there has to be sin within the churches and communities of believers, but none of us are perfect without sin and we all have beautiful Savior who loves us no matter what we do. That includes the Pastor’s, Preachers, Minister’s and Priests. Everyone is fallible. Everyone makes mistakes, no matter how simple or horrendous they are. We as people say that there are some things that are unforgivable, but our God does not see it that way. As hard as it is for us to accept, God can and will forgive anyone who asks for it and lives redeemed lives. It’s unfortunate that some of our leaders from all churches and denominations have had to fall so far to learn just how deep the grace and mercy of our Lord is. For myself, following Christ does not have to do with an institution, it is purely about my faith, but if it weren’t for my church and the support I get from it’s other members and my church family, staying strong in my faith would be extremely hard at times. My church is my home and even though I don’t know much about the story of what happened with this priest, I can only imagine the hurt and the pain it has caused the members of this particular church. I pray that everyone can stay strong in their faith and remember that we serve a loving, and great God who forgives everyone and can heal our hearts.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this incredibly difficult issue. You’re right – God loves to forgive. And we are in need of His forgives. I will definitely join you in that prayer. thank you for stopping by. Hugs and love xox
Jesus condemned the religious pharisees in his time for hypocrisy. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. (Matthew 23:27). Real Christianity is not based on church membership or position, but on having a right relationship with Christ. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
(2 Corinthians 5:17) And how a person obtains right relationship with God is not through rituals but through faith in Christ. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (Romans 5:1). Many religious people became a member of a church not by their freedom to exercise their own will but decision of their parents, and then many aspired for religious position without real relationship and salvation in Christ.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this difficult issue. You’re right – our faith is in Christ. Not a religious organization. Christ alone. Hugs and love xox
[…] Collar has a great blog called Beauty Beyond Bones. She asked and answered the question of why Catholics would stick around in this disaster […]
Thanks for the link up! Hugs and love xox
Shirt dresses, look great on you. This, is my favorite picture of you. Well. The jack fruit one. A tie, maybe.