I’ve never been ashamed to be Catholic before.
Not until now.
Given the nauseating information coming to light about the atrocities of sexual abuse in the Church, I am filled with so much disgust, and anger, and yes…shame.
I feel like, you tell someone that you’re Catholic, and it’s like you’re admitting to worshiping at an altar of pedophilia or child molesters. I feel embarrassed. Ashamed. But more than that, I am enraged.
I want to start out by addressing the victims. Thank you for having the courage to come forward and share your story. I am so incredibly sorry that you had to endure that, and live with the aftermath of what those sick men did to you. And I know an “I’m sorry” is laughable in response to the life altering wounds you’ve carried as a result. But you need to know that you did not deserve to be violated, especially by a man that was supposed to be in persona Christi to you and the world. I pray that God’s healing grace wrap around you, as your wounds are reopened with each and every new allegation that comes to light.
These allegations and disgusting truths that are coming to light are going to change Catholicism forever, I fear. People are calling for the resignation of Pope Francis. And frankly, I am one of those.
It pains me not to be able to throw my support behind the leader of our Church, but if the allegations are correct that he knew of the culture of homosexuality and abuse that was rampant among Cardinals and Bishops, and knowingly looked the other way…he needs to be removed.
The body of Christ – the people of the Church – are grieving right now. They are reeling. And angry and confused. And to hear that they need to fast and pray in reparation for the sins of sick, sick men, though coming from a well meaning place, is doing nothing but drive a wedge further between the lay people and the ordained. A clear message needs to be sent that this abuse and systematic allowance of such creeps to continue to abuse is coming to an end. The pedophiles and child molesters will be brought to justice: put in jail, and given the mental health treatment that they clearly, so desperately need. And that those who allowed such sick behavior to continue will be rooted out completely — up to and including the Pope.
As a Catholic, that is not a fun thing to admit, but in order for the Church to truly heal, in addition to prayer and fasting, what we need is the confidence in our leaders that they truly do have our best interest at heart, and are on our team, protecting the Institution of the Faith granted them by Jesus.
There are so many issues that are being spotlighted in all of this. So forgive me if my thoughts are a bit sporadic.
First of all, I’m so glad that the Pennsylvania Report came to light with the degree of gut wrenching detail that it did. Although reading the report and hearing about the specific, graphic detail of the abuse made me want to vomit, it needed to be shared. All of this language used to down play the gravity of the actions — “grooming,” “inappropriate touching,” “sexual misconduct,” — no. I’m sorry. A grown man made a child bleed from the anus after raping him. That is not “grooming.” That is a sick child molester that used his position of power to violently assault a child and then got away with it. He should be in jail and exposed for the creep that he is. Not slapped with a “grooming” charge and then shipped off to the next unsuspecting parish across the country.
Oh it just makes my blood boil.
And I want to pause to just say that there are good priests. Men who dedicate their lives to serving Jesus and live a chaste, holy life in devotion to the Church and her people. And it is such a damn shame that there are these bad apples that “ruin the bunch” in society’s perception. And to that end, those good priests are also hurting right now. And now, more than ever, they need our support. They need community and loved ones around them, as they too, carry society’s mark of shame around their necks in black and white. Invite them to have dinner with your family. Write them a letter of support. Because the vast majority of those in service to the Church are good priests.
But to that point, especially back in the seventies, there was/is a small, hidden culture of active homosexuality among some priests. Look at McCarrick. Homosexual orgies taking place, beach house vacations among priests where the Good Lords knows what took place. That is not okay.
And this is such a tricky issue, because homosexuality is such a hot button issue, especially among the Church.
But whether they are a heterosexual or homosexual priest, they are called to live a life of celibacy. Drug fueled orgies and pedophilia of any kind are just fundamentally wrong, particularly so for an individual placed in a position of high regard and trust.
Lastly – being gay or being celibate does not make one a child molester or a pedophile! Hell, I live a celibate life, as I’m saving my virginity until marriage. But just because I’m chaste doesn’t mean I have all this pent up sexual energy that makes me want to harm children! The men who did those things were sick, sick men, and need professional help, received from the inside of a correction facility.
It takes a strong gut to be Catholic right now.
Hearing these allegations ignites in us one of two options: fight. Or flight.
This is a defining moment in the church. Are we going to walk away and go join another church? Because believe me, they’re gladly welcoming “refugee” Catholics with big, open arms right now.
Or are we going to fight? Are we going to stand up and say, “This is wrong. This is not the Church that Jesus founded. We need to eradicate the corruption.”
And friends, I pray that we do the later. And here’s why:
We have a faith that is worth fighting for.
I don’t place my faith in fallible men who are running the religious organization, known as Catholicism.
My faith is in Jesus.
Jesus is worth fighting for. His Body and Blood are worth fighting for.
And sure, walking away would be the easy thing to do. But that would be a victory for the evil one.
I just want to close quickly with this:
Reading and hearing about the abuse scandal, part of my heart was reminded of an oddly different-yet-similar season in my own life.
During my anorexia, I lied, manipulated, deceived, controlled, and dishonored my parents. I completely and utterly shattered any trust they could have in me, through my actions. Lying about what I was or wasn’t eating, about my exercise habits, the pain from my Ulcerative Colitis, my whereabouts, my weight, my medications. I manipulated the love and concern they had for me, for my own sick and twisted ED gain.
But even though they were so deeply hurt, they knew that it was my anorexia that was making me do all those despicable things, up to and including starving myself down to 78 pounds, nearly destroying the life I was given by God, through them.
And through their pain and disappointment, they chose to love me through it. They chose to forgive me, and rebuild the trust that I had so grossly broken.
And sitting here ten years later, that relationship and bond that we have, is stronger than ever. And truly, stronger than it would have been, had we not had to walk through that valley of darkness.
I’m not saying that we as a church, need to just offer blanket forgiveness and forget this ever happened.
My parents and family and I learned so much from that period of pain. Lessons that will resonate for the rest of our lives. As well as new lessons that we still are learning today.
This is an opportunity for renewal and a potential strengthening of the Body of Christ. An opportunity to come together as broken, hurting, brothers and sisters in Christ, and creatively work in unison, for a solution to this heart wrenching situation in which we find ourselves.
I am choosing to fight.
Fight for the relationship with Jesus that has rescued me and set me free from the grip of anorexia so many years ago. Fight for my Savior who forgives me and all my shortcomings.
Fight for the Church, who though broken and bleeding now, can be made new through shining a big spotlight on all the dark and decrepit crevices of darkness.
Jesus is the Light of the World.
Darkness will never win. Not now. Not ever.
See ya tomorrow morning on the Podcast!
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398 responses to “The Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal”
Wow, what an incredible post 🙏❤️🙏
Thank you Dave. Hugs and love xox
Loved it 🤩
God bless your sincere and inspiring faith!
Thanks Renee. Hugs and love xox
Well said. It’s going to be a time of purification in our Church. And renewal. Extra incentive to keep our eyes on Jesus and not on others if we’re going to stay in the Church.
Thanks Mike. Yes. Hugs and love xox
Thank you for the courage to speak up. We, the Lay Catholics, need to tell the heirarchy that we have had enough.
Amen to that. Thanks friend. Hugs and love xox
Thank you for sharing! You post reminds me of the video of Bishop Barron who implores us to FIGHT for the church!
Thanks friend. Yes!! Hugs and love xox
It’s not our religion that’s saves us. It’s our relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Yes it is. Thanks Beth. Hugs and love xox
You have such a sane, sensible, outlook on this horrible topic. I’m not of your church but I’m with you in feeling disgusted by inappropriate behavior no matter if it does come from those who are supposedly godly men. I’m also with you in feeling like it should be fought and not run from, so hang in there and do what you can to make it go away and your conscience should be clear. This was a very good blog, I wish I had written it.
Thank you friend. Glad it resonated with you. Yes fought for! Hugs and love xox
Very powerful post. I take small issue with the idea that these monstrous priests need treatment for mental illness. As a schizophrenic, I want to tell you that mental illness is not, nor should it ever be, a “cause” for raping children. These guilty men are cretins, lowlifes, scum of the earth, worthless pieces of [bleep], but they are not mentally ill. That sounds like an excuse or a cop-out, and it defames good mentally ill people all over the place. There’s no mental illness that causes someone to rape or molest. It’s a defect of the soul, of the core of inner being, not of brain chemistry.
As you do, I too believe these priests “are cretins, lowlifes, scum of the earth, (and) worthless pieces of” refuse. And as such, I certainly believe they should, at the very least, be locked away for the remainder of their lives. Having said this, however, I can see where BBB is coming from in recommending counseling/therapy. And, yes, pedophilia is listed in the DSM-V as a mental illness. Mind you, it does nothing to justify what these horrid men did to children, but it does point to the fact that they do have problem(s), whether psychological, anatomical, or some combination of both. And as despicable as they are, they do, nevertheless, need treatment … for both their minds AND their souls. Blessings to you!
Oh, you’re right! It IS in the DSM. Well, you learn something every day. I guess I disagree with the DSM, then, but it is a problem of the mind, so it makes sense.
I guess at the heart of it, I think we should be judged by our decisions and actions, not our inclinations. That’s why I don’t like the pedophile-mental illness connection. But maybe I overpersonalized the post. 🙂
No, you certainly did not over-personalize… You made perfect sense. I guess at the end of the day I would just like to believe that even those most disgusting of men are redeemable. Of course, I mean redeemable behind bars, yet still redeemable in heart, mind and soul. Thank you so much for your comment and God bless you!
Thank you so much for this powerful and important insight. You’re so right – mental illness definitely does not make one act out in those ways. Please accept my apologies if it came across that way. Amen – soul illness. Hugs and love xox
In 2002 when the Boston papers “broke” this story we were gutted as a Faith Community and BELIEVED that our Shepherds would correct and deal with this swiftly, with the charity sinners deserve, with prayer and fasting. We gathered together learned, listened and prayed. The Trust we have in our Shepherds is shattered, but not irreparable. There are good Priests, Bishops, and leaders and they need our support – verbal, written, prayer – and encouragement. Those Shepherds who have violated our Trust must be called to Repentance by those who are themselves modeling repentance and forgiveness. Those Shepherds must face whatever charges necessary in this life.
Your experience with ED, UC and your family is an excellent example, descriptor for what is happening in the Church right now. Lies, deceit, illness, all of it. There is also renewal, and earned trust. It’s going to take some time, we have to fully unpack and deal with this stuff, to deal with all of this. Prayer, fasting and doing.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this Teri. I think I was sheltered from that news in 2002 but I can only imagine. Yes! We need to support them!! Hugs and love xox
Have you watched the movie “Spotlight”? It’s about the story that broke in 2002. I’ve watched it several times as I’ve been at the center of the metoo movement in the Mormon church and have seen the same systems exposed. It’s on Netflix right now – I highly recommend it!
I really want to! I’ll watch it this weekend!! Thanks!
Thank you for expressing the pain we are all feeling at this profaning of our holy church. We must fight for her!
Francis must resign! The bishops and cardinals must answer for their silence! The college of cardinals, especially, must be purged of the guilty before the next pope is elected.,
If only a dozen uncompromised cardinals remain, that would be sufficient. It was once before.
Thank you David. Yes we must fight for her! Hugs and love xox
Just read your post about the Philadelphia scandal. As a relatively recent convert, I agree with you on all points. This is certainly a trying time to tel others “I’m Catholic”, but like you said, if we turn and run, the devil wins. And yes we put our faith not in men but in Christ. The gates of hell will not overcome His church. Keep up the good work of spreading the gospel.
Thank you Travis! You’re right about that. Glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox
My dear sister in Christ,
As a priest and bishop in the Anglo-Catholic faith this Plague rocks my core. We experience this in all denominations and lets face it all faiths Christian and non alike…it just seems like Rome gets the press.
It is a sad time for the Roman Church…a time needed for prayer and the Holy Rosary. There are many avenues that can be taken to rectify this which I won’t get into because it is not really my place. However we must remember the Church is still the Church. We must pray that the powers that be allow the Holy Spirit to guide them to rebuild the fractures and breaks that this has caused.
Also remember religion is what man says about and all men are flawed (including me), but God is not flawed.
I remain your faithful servant and friend,
Padre Eddie, would you be willing to publically call for the defrocking and imprisonment with the help, not the hindrance, of the Catholic Church of all found guilty of such barbarous and heinous acts against children?
I have called for such actions
Thank you so much for sharing this powerful perspective. You’re right – lots of prayer. I will join you in that Fr. Eddie. Hugs and love xox
Your first paragraph appears to sum up your actual thoughts on this topic. Every other Christian faith experiences the same problems- unfortunately Rome gets the press.
Therefore, Roman faith is no better or worse than other religious faiths?
Perhaps the spiritual head of your church would agree?
When you say no better than other religions faiths are you saying in regards to the situation?
What I was attempting to say rather cryptically – but not very successfully apparently – was that human nature will always attempt to deflect attention away from an indefensible position by blaming or including others in acts that in this particular case can be called evil. The Catholic Church is not the only religious institution that has been receiving publicity for the vile deeds of a number of their respective shepherds (perhaps wolves in this case?). However, by deflecting attention away from the Catholic Church by including other people, of varying or no faith, with a deviant nature does not make such acts less evil or sinful.
It is the same as saying that if enough people do wrong or commit a particular sin then it becomes acceptable over time. There are a number of examples that could be mentioned.
Romans 8:7 is worth remembering.
I would agree 100% with that, so would my other bishops. We need to remember that as Shepherd’s sometimes we have to fight the wolves off and yes there are some clergy that are wolves in shepherds cloth. Sin is sin no matter how many times it is committed. Those unrepented are given over to a repribate mind.
I truly do wish that the Catholic Church as an organization was redeemable and reformable to the point that this isn’t the constant story. Decades long abuse, cover up, secret records documenting the abuse and protection of the church by protecting priests, bishops and cardinals from prosecution. Decades surely are in reality centuries of abuse with the only reason we know of it in our time is the internet and bravery of victims.
The organization of the Catholic Church must die. It’s beyond trust with yet another reform/redemption movement.
Serve christ… Kill the Catholic Church as an organization.
As BBB pointed out so sensibly, though, the overwhelming majority of priests, bishops and cardinals are not criminals; they are innocent. To move to “kill” the whole body because one leg is broken is an extreme and unnecessary move.
It really is deplorable what happened, but I do believe that restoration and renewal is possible, instead of death. Hugs and love xox
Your article is well written however I would not call for the resignation omg the Pope because the culture was so known that there is not one seior member of the clergy that did not know of the practice and culture of abuse. There would be no one to be Pope. Instead I propose we determine if he was a perpetrator (I hope not), and if he was not then let’s see what he does next. Maybe he will expel them from the clergy and turn them into law enforcement. Let’s not be so quick to crucify the head of the church. My opinion only.
Thank you so much for this perspective. Very good points. I will pray hard for him. Hugs and love xox
“A grown man made a child bleed from the anus after raping him. That is not “grooming.” That is a sick child molester that used his position of power to violently assault a child and then got away with it.” – I applaud your courage of calling a spade a spade and not beating around the bush with words. As you very well know that I do not see eye to eye with you in many issues but with young people like you with the moral courage to stand up, there is still hope in this world.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. Yeah there is definitely still hope!! God is always good and can heal our wounds. Hugs and love xox
I applaud your courage and your faith. Unfortunately, as a former Catholic, I cannot in good conscience support this church either with my prayers, or with financial support. This poison within the organized church has tentacles that go back several decades. It took a long time for me to reach this decision – it came after many years of witnessing the denial of the powers that be within the church. I take comfort in knowing that the real church are the people of God, not an organization. It saddens me deeply even as my anger is ignited again and again by those who mock the name of Christ by their actions and inaction. I choose to honor God outside the walls of the institutional church. Perhaps I am wrong, but I see nothing good to fight for within it. I wish you blessings of peace and comfort. May God guide you in your struggle.
Thank you Carol. It is definitely a tragic situation. And I understand where you’re coming from. Big hugs to you xox
Thank you. I send sincere prayers for you and for all affected by these horrific events. Hugs back xo
Yes! There is power in prayer!! Hugs and love xox
Carol, I’ve made the same decision about my membership in the Mormon church. It’s difficult to imagine giving support to a church when the leaders are either abusers themselves, or are protecting the abusers or are protecting those who protect. The culture of enabling pedofiles is as big a problem as the pedofiles themselves.
It truly is. I just cannot believe that the Christ operates only within this particular theatre. For me God, Creator, Christ, operate everywhere and within everyone. I take my spiritual sustenance from the beauty of the earth itself, which was sculptured and painted by the divine hand. I have not given up my faith. I have just chosen to express it on a different path.
Beautiful perspective. One thing I’ve noticed since deciding to leave…..how much beauty there is in the world. Religion taught me that those who conform to the standards and culture, doctrine or not, are more worthy than others. That’s not how God operates. Once I stepped outside of the confines of religion, I could see the beauty in everyone rather than a select few.
Why do organized religions do this? Not unlike the pharisees of yore…. and yet I believe the Christ to be inclusive, not divisive. I think that, in and of itself, is telling.
I definitely can relate – I love feeling God’s presence in nature 🙂
It really is a wonderful world.
Insightful post – thank you for sharing!
Thanks friend. Hugs and love xox
Take heart. Christ promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against his church. There may be leaders of the church who have committed atrocities, but the vast majority of priests are genuinely and sincerely trying to serve. Individuals may be in error, but this is the church Christ Himself founded, and it will survive. Christ is still present in the Eucharist. Yes, we will fight, and our first weapon must be prayer. May no one despair because of the sins of men, but remain hopeful in the truth and love of God.
Amen to that, Grace. God will prevail, even in the most deplorable of situations. Hugs and love xox
All priests and ministers found guilty of sex abuse of whatever kind should immediately defrocked, excommunicated and put in prison with the help, not the hindrance, of the church authorities. Anything short of this is complicity with the perpsand betrayal of the victims. Retweet
As a former, in childhood, Catholic, pre Vatican two, myself… I ask do you agree, and would you be willing to publically call for this kind of action from the church?
You probably know already, I am your brother in Christ, but not a Catholic. There have been some controversy among some on the Protestant side as well. When these things unfortunately occurred, I had to remind myself of what Paul wrote concerning following too closely to teachers of the Gospel. He warned us not to badge ourselves with a certain slant of teacher and teaching, but rather remind ourselves of the words of Christ, the Redemption for all. When we put too much faith in a man or woman, we must remember, they are like us, faulty. I have often had to shake myself up and remember it’s all about Jesus, the One without blemishes. No need to be ashamed of your righteous anger. Love to you and your faith journey. –Alan
Thank you Alan, you’re so right — it’s all about Jesus! We must keep our eyes on Him in these painful times. Hugs and love xox
It is sad. Justice will be done. Jesus will make sure of that.
Jesus warns us: “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?”
Of course there is this: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble and sin by leading him away from My teaching, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone as large as one turned by a donkey hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”
God is God. Justice will be done.
It really is so sad. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. God is God. Hugs and love xox
Unfortunately, it might be very, very difficult to find anyone in the hierarchy who did not know what was going on. If the pope goes, who will take his place?
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Madeline. Yeah it is a very messy situation. I believe God can make it right. Hugs and love xox
My hope would be Cardinal Robert Sarah.
Revelation 18:4. It is in the Bible, it includes Protestantism.
I’m disappointed. Are we forgetting that Jesus died for our sins. That penance and reconciliation are integral to Catholic identity. Joining the mob mentality of putting someone’s head on a spike will not solve anything and draw us closer to Satan than our Lord and Savior. Succumbing to fear of being ashamed of being Catholic? I thought you had more faith than that. Asking for the Pope to step down? C’mon. What does that solve except put the Church under secular control – which I think is one of the motivators on the rapid dissemination of these events.
What those priests did was beyond reprehensible. They should be removed from contact with kids and not protected from civil authorities. Victims should go to civil authorities because not doing so give the impression of wanting it to be handled privately. I understand being put in public is victimizing the victim again so we need to be cognizant and sensitive to their pain.
How the victims were treated by the Church could have and should be better.
Remember we all have one God to answer to when we depart this life and answer for our actions here on this earth. I pray that you and all of us receive God’s mercy and grace. Remember too that he who is without sin cast the first stone and Jesus, being without sin, did not.
Let’s protect our kids and potential victims as best we can and unselfishly be there to help heal those who need it.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this difficult issue. I think that lots of our thinking and judgement is clouded by the disappointment and anger with the situation. I will join you in that prayer. And thanks for this wake up call too. Hugs and love xox
The broad church, its government structure, much of its teachings is already secular. This expands to Orthodoxy and Protestantism. The entite structute is secular and corrupt, deeply rooted in paganism even before it was institutionalised. Just see how Paul, in the first century, had to deal with sexual perversion in some churches. It were only the Jews in Jerusalem that were fully functional. Jesus never came to start a religion, go back to what He told the woman at the well. The religion and the bulk of its structures are man-made perversions not in line with the Bible. It fails the Word of God in so many respects, be it Catholic or Protestant. The thing is that we as Christians lack the integrity to live according to His Word, because we don’t know or apply what it teaches. Instead, we follow human dogma, thereby creating a quasi-Christianity.
Very great post. There are many things that lead to this. First, many people look at these priests as perfect sinless people. They are not. Second, people think that because they are away from the real world that they are unable to do bad things. That is definitely not the truth. A priest is human like anyone else and is prone to do evil things if he is not paying attention to what they are doing. Those who think they can blot out evil on their own strength is more prone to do evil. Jesus Christ is the only sinless man to walk the earth. Even when tempted, He did not give in, and He was in far worse situations than these priests. Trust in Jesus Christ. He will get you through.
Thank you JB. You’re right – we are all fallen. Jesus is our hope during these times. Hugs and love xox
You are very graciously welcome. Continue to be the lovely lady you are now. Hugs and love back.
“Jesus is worth fighting for. His Body and Blood are worth fighting for.” Amen and amen! My prayers are with you and every brother and sister of courage and integrity fighting to restore the Church to purity. Blessings to you!
Yes He is! Thanks friend. Hugs and love xox
Well-stated. The Church is acting like these priests were godless sinners who are just now repenting and seeing the light of Christ. Yet they were self-proclaimed men of God, living in the faith and the Holy Spirit, and actively blaspheming against it, harming the young and innocent in the process. They are on par with the Pharisees. Such sins following such a vocation are not matters lightly forgiven, and the actions may indeed be unforgivable in God’s eyes. I’ve read the Bible enough times to know that truth. We’ll pray for them, the victims, and our Church nevertheless. God will help his Church and those who love his Son.
Thank you so much Rob. Yes I will join you in those prayers. Hugs and love xox
Hi Carolyn Very brave very strong words. As one looking in from another denomination I want to comment briefly on other denominations taking in refugees from the Catholic Church. Firstly it must be devastating and disillusioning to find that their leaders have betrayed their trust and hide this behaviour and endorse it behind closed doors. You’re right not everyone in leadership endorses it or encourages it or even know who is committing this sin; the majority wouldn’t tolerate it if they knew who these people are.
On rescuing those who have left the church because of this, it isn’t quite as simple as one or two sinful acts. It is much more to do with the debate over the authority of the church verses the authority of the bible. Which one is inspired by the Holy Spirit, which one reveals life giving truth and which one gives assurance of salvation. Protestants believe as you have pointed out in your own personal conviction here that it is Christ who saves and redeems us from sin.
We/I don’t believe that the church has the power to save or redeem one from sin in and of itself, only true conviction, confession and repentance of sin will achieve this. Christ alone is the head of our church Christ is our mediator not the church, not a priest and certainly not a pope. Christ resides in our hearts. Christ does not reside in a building or a sacrament. We all represent the presence of Christ not just a Priest or a church building or a particular denomination. Truth is found in the bible alone it is our authority that tells us how we should live before man and God. The Catholic (universal church) is the body of Christ who are true believers.
That being said none of us do that perfectly or even very well as you have pointed out from your own life experience. Forgiveness is there for the most saintly of people right through to the worst of humanity if they will only turn and ask God for forgiveness from their sin. Ultimately our sins are against God not man.
The person who is forgiven is the one who turns to Christ. in essence salvation is from the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit that reveals truth to us through the word of God, the holy scriptures. There is no salvation outside of this criteria.
Thank you friend. Yes very devastating. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this difficult topic. Hugs and love xox
This has been hard. And then there are the things that have been done to try and cover up…bleh.
What the church needs right now as a whole is the same thing each one of us needs when we fail…a resolve to confess sins, do penance, and make amends (as the Act of Contrition says, albeit I’m paraphrasing). But first we need to fully confess, and right now I feel like many parts of the Catholic Church in America are struggling with that.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. You’re right this is a “come to Jesus” moment. Hugs and love xox
You’re welcome! And thank you for being an advocate for survivors. The Church (the Catholic Church and the Church Universal) needs more voices like yours! We need more voices calling for complete reform of minds, hearts, and souls!
I am humbled by your words. thank you again Brendan. Hugs and love xox
Caralyn, sometimes “like” is just not enough. Thank you for this. Hugs, Amy
Thank you Amy. I appreciate your support. Hugs and love xox
We must be careful, as the saying goes, not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Twenty or so years ago, Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) foresaw a Church much smaller in numbers and means than the current version. If that’s what the Church needs to look like in order to fix this situation, so be it. Benedict then foresaw a new springtime for the faith, led by that smaller but faithful core of believers. Yes, we must fight, because, as you wrote, the Church, as it is meant to be, is worth it. And the best way to fight is through absolute fidelity at every level– laypersons, deacons like me and others, priests, bishops, cardinals and pope. After a proper investigation, anyone who has tarnished that fidelity should resign or be removed. And in the end, if we hold to the truth, we will be okay. But there is much to be done. Hugs and love– Deacon Mike Clapp.
Thank you so much for this powerful perspective, Mike. That is a really great point. And you’re right – it is so so worth it. Hugs and love xox
It’s noon Friday now, and I’ve just come back from a couple hours of Eucharistic Adoration. And I find myself conflicted about Pope Francis and whether he should resign. Pray for me as I sort thoughts out and create a blog post soon.
Heart wrenching post, yet your beautiful heart shines through. Jesus name isn’t going to be tarnished because of the sinners you referenced. But their names will be.
Hugs my friend. Xoxo
Thank you Melissa. Amen. Jesus will always prevail. Hugs and love xox
Very well written! I have heard some despicable things from various leaders in this whole situation, and I do agree that the corruption at the top must be addressed. I have seen this abuse happen in tons of religious circles and excused depending upon the notoriety of the individual. Thank you, as always, for how you articulate on the tough issues and for your unwavering commitment to Jesus above all!
Thank you Matthew. A difficult situation but we place our hope in Jesus. Hugs and love xox
So true! I’m not leaving either! Strong words, strong stand! Keep up your good work expresssing the feelings of many of us! Live Truth, Live Catholic!
Thanks Janeen. Yes! We must stand by Her! Hugs and love xox
Here is a perspective:
Thanks Michael! Looking forward to reading it. Hugs and love xox
Thank you for writing this. I am angry too. I did see a report the other day that seems to indicate that the rumors about Pope Francis are not true and are drummed up by conservatives in the church who have wanted to start trouble against him. It wasn’t but a couple weeks ago that he made a strong statement about things when they were beginning to rumble in the news but then it all exploded so fast since. I hope that as some of the smoke can clear from this, that he CAN act. Time will tell. He, to me, doesn’t seem like the kind who would sweep it. He’s always been no-nonsense, not part of a church good ol’ boy type of network. Benedict, and I’m sorry to those, but JP2 too, were more like that. Back when the 1st big explosion of all this came to the fore, in 2002 or so, mostly in The Archdiocese of Boston (bringing down Cardinal Law etc..) we were fortunate here that our pastor got up and without any hesitation, said that we were all in a safe environment in our parish. I too feel sorrow and sorry for any victim of any of this, any where. I was fortunate to have grown up in a parish where the priests of my childhood were honorable to their calling, and while I wonder about one of them since then because he is no longer a priest, we as kids were NEVER in a dangerous environment with any of them. In my childhood parish’s diocese, there is alot of fury right now and the calling for the resignation of their present Bishop. They finally published a list of their diocese’s priests who have been charged, suspected etc.. 2 priests on the list served in my childhood parish, but luckily after my childhood, if the allegations were in fact true. I am glad too, to see that a follower of your page who is protestant, wrote that protestants have had their problems too. Yes they have. You see it in the news about a minister doing this or one doing that with all the excuse that they are saving everyone, that they are following scripture this/that way. You see some of these Mega Churches around the country where everybody goes because “oh the minister is so wooooonderful” and they think nothing of giving them $$$$ to fund their big stadium mega church, and then you hear about embezzlement etc.. You hear about physical abuses toward kids too.
Personally? I think its time for one of 2 things. Either let married priests or female priests, or both, into Catholic clergy. Back in the back in the day (DECADES ago) the church could count on a priest and a nun from every family. Then as the 60s became so wavy in every aspect of social life, and the church changed with Vatican 2, so did the amount of priests. Seeing all this sickness, makes me wonder if they, in the 70s, saw the slip in priests getting worse and tried to bandaid it by letting in anybody they could get just to boost numbers, especially in big parishes. That may not be accurate, just a thought. Lets hope actions can come up that can help ALL our angers heal. Keep going to church! The church has been through schisms over its centuries and they all eventually healed. This will too. Hugs and love! xoxoxoxoxoxo
Thanks Miguel for this perspective. I hope you’re right about that. You’re right – every religious organization has their problems. Those are interesting solution ideas. Big hugs xox
Sorry, but I found your post to be as phony as the Catholic Church. If you read the Bible you’ll find out there is nothing new under the sun. Mankind as abused itself for thousands of years and in thousands of ways. As sad and unthinkable as that is! It’s what you get when you put your faith and trust in mankind and religion. It’s unthinkable to me that people sitting in church any church know so little about God that sex abuse makes sense to them. When we took our kids to childcare at church we interviewed the people providing the care and we would check in on them unannounced and randomly, because as their parents it was our job to protect them. If you think this is bad because its the Catholic Church aren’t you cheapening all the sexual abuse against women, men, kids in elementary schools, or how about College Athletes! Our society is in big trouble and sexual abuse is only a small part of it. We as Human Beings need to treat each other way better than we do, way better than we have for thousands of years.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this difficult issue. There’s definitely truth in the fact that we all need to do better. Hugs and love xox
Thank you for those powerful, heartfelt words and for caring!
Thanks David. Hugs and love xox
Wonderful, meaty thoughts all through this. All very Biblical:
“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath. Ephesians 4:26
Your anger is Biblical, appropriate. Let it have its season, inspiring you to do the right things, as you obviously are in tonight’s article. Then let it go once it sets you on the right path.
The best part of your article is the shortest: “I don’t place my faith in fallible men who are running the religious organization, known as Catholicism. My faith is in Jesus.”
One of the hardest facts to make clear to those who judge God based on people’s action is that God is not a church. I heard people rail against God for teachings of the church, right or wrong. Whatever their pick, they need to talk to the right party. In tonight’s case that is the Roman Catholic Hierarchy and NOT the Roman Catholic Church. You and those like you do the true heritage of Christianity proud, regardless of denomination. Reforming and not running is absolutely the correct response. Listen to St. Paul:
Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? 1 Corinthians 1:12-13a
Paul wrote that regarding sectarianism, but it is appropriate here, because, ultimately, it is about unifying as the bride of Christ and not splitting off into man-made groups. Certainly perverse groups!
So, as I wrote at the top, tonight’s missive is spot on and eminently, Biblically correct. So well done you! I know you don’t enjoy these sorts of topics, but sometimes I think you do your best writing when you’re pissed off, whether it’s about something like this or giving ED the literary finger! You become that insightful, inspirational, warrior for the Cross. That’s why you inspire so many and why I enjoy you so much!
Hopefully you saw my email. Happy to help, if you wish. Hugs & blessings!
Finally, I know you are having trouble responding tonight, so know that my prayers are with you. Not easy for you at all!
Thank you Jeff. You’re right. Feel t and then let it go. And it’s so true – my faith is in Jesus. Not an organization. Organizations are ripe with corruption, no matter how “holy” or “upstanding” they may be. We are children of the fall and reflect that in even our best pursuits. Thank you for your wonderfully kind words and friendship as always Jeff. Yeah – didn’t help that I was out with a friend taking a walk so I couldn’t respond! Haha Hugs and love to you and Julie xox
Ah! I thought perhaps some stress. Thankfully I was wrong. I trust your walk was refreshing! Looking forward to another Beautiful Morning!
Yes! It was a great time 🙂
This why I walk with no church. This has been going on for decades.
It is definitely a sad situation. Hugs and love xox
Amen! I pray for a good house cleaning by the Lord! He will make things right.
thank you Ryan. I will join you in that prayer. God is greater! Hugs and love xox
Great post, my friend. I am impressed with your candor and agree that a few poor examples don’t “make” the church or the other honorable priests who have spent their whole lives serving their parishes and doing good work. Thanks for your insights and keep up the great writing. All the best….
Thank you friend. You’re right – there are so many good good priests who have devoted their lives in a beautiful way to the church. Hugs and love xox
Very well said! I still have faith but definitely not with the church. Signed my son up for weekly religious classes and I was trying to have a conversation with the priest….he couldnt be bothered. I don’t think jesus walked this earth acting like that….lol I’m trying to do the right thing and I come home shaking me head.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this. I’m sorry you felt ignored by the priest. Hopefully he was just busy or having a bad day! Hugs and love xox
Trust me, it happens in Protestant churches as well and also get covered up. On my blog, there is a post about this. The thing is that you shouldn’t be ashamed to be Catholic but rather that we should be ashamed to be Christian. After all, 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 teaches us not even to eat with gossipers, frauds, greedy folks or sexually perverted who call themselves believers, but to evict them. When South Africa’s foremost Pentecostal church covered up the statutory rape and sexual abuse of a stunning BLIND 13-year old girl in the 1980’s, I was furious. The Christian community in Cape Town, South Africa quickly forgave a pedophile, one that I know personally, then allowing him to be in contact with teens at youth camps, with parents none the wiser. I personally know another convicted pedophile who got away after molesting well over a hundred minors. He only got a light commuted (?) sentence. (im not English) so he wasn’t even jailed…..and soon was at it again, for the past thirty years, to molest even more. Fellow Protestants treat him rather well, while I was ostracised after warning parents, churches and local Christian radio stations. There are more case studies of apparently innocent, “very OK” Protestant child molestation. Just don’t wear robes or carry chalices – only then does it sin. Corporate Christianity really, really sucks sometimes. It is apalling how bad our Scripture knowledge is and how terrible we are at living up to it. We cherry pick our values, as a community and excel at being hypocrites in a corporate sense. I stepped out of church in 2007 and have never been happier, after I found that almost half our last charismatic Protestant church were involved in all manner of sexual iniquity, swinger’s club in church, cross-marital sexual acts while they were being vociferous about all Catholics going to hell, in their expert opinion. It is ghastly, no place to worship.
Oh gosh that is so horrible. Just breaks my heart. I am so sorry to hear that. how awful. Thank you for sharing that. Hugs and love xox
Yes, it is saddening, isn’t it? Then we Protestants crack inartful jokes about Catholic priests or condemn all Catholics to hell. Oh, this is so righteous and loving to bash others when they’re not present to defend themselves. I must be forthright to prove a point: one Sunday evening, we attended a Dutch Reformed church service and there was this girl, late teens or early twenties, in the skimpiest of miniskirts, exposing what can, trying to be civil, be described as “deforested loins.” I was so uncomfortable. The blood drained from my face. She went up to a young man who sat there praying, to give him a loooong hug. I see this as sexual assault but I invoked the fury of hell when I discreetly asked the pastor to address the way some ladies generally dress in church. In the same denomination, for many years, I was made unwelcome when not dressed in a suit. Often did I see mothers compete with daughters, both revealing wayy more than what is decent. How is that any different from a priest with fiddly fingers? Should the pot call the kettle black?
I apologise if I was too forthright yet, as the sexuality is displayed in public, the public should address it. Love from Cape Town.
Modesty is a beautiful thing.
Oh, so true! Xo
Don’t be ashamed…the Church is good, but it’s some of the men who are evil. There have always been men who have tried to destroy the church from within. Remember though, that most of our priests are good and Holy men who are as devastated by this as we are. Send your e-mail address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you some information that will explain what’s happened and where the church goes from here. I see there are a plethora of comments and links. I’ll check those out, but also have mine to offer.
oremus pro invicem.
You’re so right about that, Ray. There are fallen men. But Jesus is always and forever, good. Big hugs to you x
As a former Catholic, and as someone who got to know Jesus inside the Roman Catholic Church, I get where you are coming from.
But let me give you something to think about: The kind of church that we belong to also matters much to us, not just our relationship with Christ. Because it is only when we are in the company of other true believers of Jesus, being discipled by those who are more matured than us in the faith, and being surrounded by our siblings in a loving and forgiving community, can we truly become the persons God wants us to be. And I’ve found this to be true in my own life; I could never have reached where I am now if not for my church.
I’m not saying of course that there is a perfect church, because there is none. But there must be a limit to how much we can tolerate….
Blessings to you.
Hi Arjay, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, and for giving me that to think about. Hugs and love xox
Quoting from u
[Or are we going to fight? Are we going to stand up and say, “This is wrong. This is not the Church that Jesus founded. We need to eradicate the corruption.” ]
Fully agree with that!
We should FIGHT!!
This problem of abuse not isolated to Catholic churches.
Churches today, across denominations are a far cry from what we read in Acts 11.26.
But I can share that once we start to FIGHT for truth and justice the way Jesus wanted, we will be labeled “anti-establishment”, “not submissive”, “rebellious” and “thrown out”, “thrown under the bus”
I myself have been ostracized by the church I grew up with, and by churches, because I had spoken and fought against leadership abuses … money issue, nepotism, oh yes, Senior Pastors appointing their own wives and family to position to control church finance, abuse volunteers as “free labors” … and what’s happening in Catholic church happened in other denominations as well
How long have I been fighting against leadership abuse? 30 years and counting
But this is what I can boast of
And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.
Over the years the Lord had brought to me, true friends who are real disciples of Jesus
This is the real church we should be having. The church is about people and community.
and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.
People who truly love God and care about others in truth and righteousness. People who will contribute to other’s blessing.
When we fight, there will those in leadership who will tell us “we are Christian, we should be peaceful, we should be nice and polite”
But to what extend?
Share one more incident and I would end this ..
One time I was involved in volunteer counseling and Bible teaching. A lady who attended my Bible class regular said to me “my husband kick me and attack me “. It was real, her bruise and injury were visible.
I said to her “call the police, stop him from hitting u”. she said ” but the Senior Pastor told me not to”.
I ask why? She said ” the Pastor told me Christian should not use lawyers and law enforcement against their own people”.
What do you readers think?
Weeks later again she ask me for help and prayer about the same problem, I said to her blunt and direct “Next time your husband attack u, YOU GO STRAIGHT TO THE KITCHEN, GRAB A FRYING PAN AND WACK HIM!”
This is call “self defense”
Beware of hypocrite leaderships who pervert justice and rob the innocence, especially those who practice “victim blaming”
Jesus began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.
we should fight for truth and justice
Jesus died on the cross for truth and justice to set us free from sin, death and corruption
I’m Orthodox but my heart goes out to you and all other Catholics because I feel like we are still the same church. This Pope seems like a complete disaster, almost like a plant to deliberately continue this terrible blot on the Church. All the mainstream clowns hated Benedict, but at least Benedict stood up and called out a good many problems with the world and the Church. Francis just seems like he tells the non-Christians in the media everything they want to hear. Very sad and infuriating.
Good on you for not leaving the Church. It’s the laity that needs to demand changes. No gay priests would be a good start. What do you think about allowing priests to marry? That’s what my church does and it seems to curtail abuse dramatically.
Anyway, God bless all the faithful and the victims of this terrible abuse. I’d hang all the pedophiles and other sexual abusers if I could—and I’d enjoy every minute of it—but then again I’m an imperfect man.
thank you so much Alex. Yes, we need to demand a change. Allowing priests to marry is an interesting idea. When they join the priesthood, they are marrying the Church. It is a sacrament of vocation – just like the sacrament of marriage is a vocation. You devote your life to your spouse, and in their case it is Christ in the Church, and it is really a beautiful thing. Hugs and love xox
It’s an interesting question. From what I understand, the prohibition on priests being married is not scriptural, but traditional. My grandfather, an orthodox priest, told me the prohibition stemmed from a desire to curb church land from being bequeathed to priests’ families, but as other measures were put in place to prevent this, the prohibition was lifted (at least in Orthodoxy). Bishops and any other higher ranking clergy, however, are still not allowed to marry.
It’s an interesting question with no easy answers. One would think, however, that the church would unequivocally punish, excommunicate, and expel sexual abusers and those who cover for them.
thanks for sharing your thoughts, Alex. What an interesting perspective. I agree. there needs to be a strong stance of no more. Hugs and love xox
Thanks for sharing this Caralyn! I was mortified when I heard this and truly disgusted. I truly echo the same sentiments that you shared and hope to one day that this never happens again. There are times in life when I feel ashamed of my religion because of these scandalous incidents but I never waver in my faith in God. Thanks for always being a positive influence in my life with your strong belief in God!
Thank you so much Mark. Yeah it is such a sad sad situation. I really appreciate your kind words 🙂 Amen – never waiver in that faith! Hugs and love xox
You raise many good points!
thank you Anne. Hugs and love xox
Saint Oster once said to Our Lord when weaker followers left Him, “Master where else would we go?” We are in the same boat as St Peter. This is the last house on the block for me. (Excuse the mixed metaphor) I was an Episcopalian, a church filled the souls totally adrift, hoping to rationalize whatever sexual behavior they possessed
or desired, with living a righteous life. From my own experience I found that moral compass impossible to guide my life by. I became Catholic and let chastity work its way into my life and world view.
Catholicism really is a beautiful thing. thank you for sharing your thoughts David. Hugs and love xox
Where else would we go…so true
“never been ashamed to be Catholic until now”? Have you been living on a desert island????
easy now 🙂
It is heart breaking and many of us of different traditions are supporting you in prayer. Thank you for this honest and post and encouragement to the wider church.
Thank you so much for your encouraging words and prayers. Hugs and love xox
[…] https://beautybeyondbones.com/2018/08/30/the-catholic-sex-abuse-scandal/ […]
thank you for the link up! Hugs and love xox
Thank you for sharing this post. It is so hard when leaders fail especially in such dark ways. Fortunately Jesus is still Lord. Those who commit such crimes against children will face the wrath of Jesus on judgement day. Jesus said it himself when he said it would be better for them to tie a millstone around their neck and be thrown into a lake then to face him on judgement day. My hope is for the Catholic church to be purified. I am not Catholic, but in this day and age, we need each other more than ever as followers of Jesus.
Thank you friend. Amen – Jesus will always and forever prevail!! You’re right, I was thinking about that earlier today — Jesus definitely didn’t mince words when talking about that! So true – nothing more powerful than a supportive community. Hugs and love xox
We are all unique and we need to keep our focus on the goal, Life eternity after this life.
Amen to that! Hugs and love xox
It hurts, and it must be fixed. We got to pray for the innocent victims, their families, innocent priests the faithful and the church. This cancer will be cured in Jesus Holy Name
You’re so right – we must pray. Hugs and love xox
I have always felt the Catholic church is wrong in so many ways. The Bible explicitly explains so much, but the Church and leadership choose to do things their way. Communion is for all that have faith in Jesus per Jesus himself. That failure in the Catholic church right there is just amazing. Then there is mother Mary. The only way to pray is to Jesus directly. That is biblical. And the Pope being a direct line to Heaven? Nope! You will never see that in the Bible. I doubt the church will ever change. I think a lot of Catholics are thinking that too. Many are converting to protestant religions. At my church the converts always say, “I never knew these things were in the Bible.” We hear it often.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. Hugs and love xox
My heart is broken wide open by this news. So, so sorry for the victims and for the faithful parishioners like you Caralyn. Prayers.
I will join you in prayer. So sad. Hugs and love xox
I feel remorse for those who would have intervened had they known, with such a blanket curse being placed over the church. I also read about the report on Catholic orphanages and the atrocities occurring since the forties (or earlier?) in them. I was abused as a child physically, verbally, malnourished, sexually abused, exploited and manipulated, but certainly not to the degree these children have been. I have been working for years on recovery. I cannot imagine where these poor souls are mentally today! If we cannot identify and make right what happened, we have to make sure it never occurs again. I think to “us outsiders”, the most concerning thing is the size of the organization perpetrating this, and who they are. With that kind of evil power and intention, what else have they hidden? Will we EVER be able to trust the church again? Are there others doing it? How do we help the victims? I think we all have to step up here and help in every way we can no matter our religion or religious or spiritual beliefs. I don’t believe the Catholic Church can fix this on its own, even beyond charges and arrests and sentencing. I don’t believe the world can or should trust them to. But that’s pretty tricky- separation of church and state and all. My guts want to run screaming mad into buildings with torches. But the rational side of me says that’s no better. What do you think it will take to fix the damage, the institution, the reputation, and most importantly, the evil desires within and the protections the church gave them to keep breaking the souls and minds and bodies of precious children for decades and decades?
Oh Amily, my heart breaks to hear what you went through. I am so sorry that you endured that abuse. I am sending you the biggest hug in the world right now. You’re so right – never ever EVER again. It is such a hard situation. Thank you for having the courage to share your story. Sending enormous hugs and love xox
My dear friend
The root of evil lies in all of us, thus in all religions too even in those who represents the religions. What is this evil in us? – it is our mind that often controlls us in different ways – some are caught in greed, others, in power, again others in ego, then in such ones in hate and violence and also those in lust – keep on going Christ in you and also when others commit bigger sins, even within the Catholic Church, keep your mind pure so that it does not reives the effects other others whose minds are in darkness. My Master Sant Kirpal Singh used to say: stay in your religion where you were born, not necessary to dig new wells (new religions), but necessary it is to become a good Catholic, a good Protestant, a good Muslim, a good Buddhist, a good Sikh, a good Christian etc. and as Gandhi has put it: “Be the change if you wish to see a change in the world…” – so please, my friend, do not adopt the dark colour of evil deeds commited by others, no matter which outer lable they belong to – Go your way in light and harmony and lets pray that those who are in darkness may see the light again that they be aware of their own evil deeds (then they will change…) – with positive thoughts a scent of positivity will spread from our hearts, ray of lights to reach also those who are living in ignorance. Lets not judge those people as we all are not free of sins. What did Christ say when people wanted to stone Magdelena: “Who is without sins may throw the first stone…” In this world we have to become real human beings, in serving and helping others and when we love God we love everyone, as everyone is a child of God – so do not be ashamed as a Catholic as you too are a living example for helping many people suffering from the same disease as you did – stay in light and love
From heart to heart
Hi Didi, thank you so much for this encouraging response. I love how you say that we need to be the light. That is so important, given the degree of darkness in the world right now. Hugs and love xox
Hugs and love my dear friend 🙂
“I feel like, you tell someone that you’re Catholic, and it’s like you’re admitting to worshiping at an altar of pedophilia or child molesters.”
But you’re not. You’re worshiping Jesus. Of course, you know that, and it doesn’t change the reactions from the people outside the Church.
I wish I had something more useful to say. I haven’t talked to my Catholic family about how they feel regarding this… I want to say my prayers are with all of you and the Church, but to be honest I’ve been so busy the last month I haven’t been praying much. I will be praying, though.
That is so true to remember — worshipping Jesus. Thanks for this encouragement..Hugs and love xox
While I am not Catholic and don’t subscribe to the Catholic Church’s teachings, I am very much a believer of Christ and as such see us all as brothers and sisters even though theological differences separate us. Therefore, my heart breaks for all of you who love Jesus and then hear stuff like this. I love your relationship with Him is strong enough to say let’s fight! I pray many others have grown in that same way that their relationship is personal and not predicated on the priest or person in leadership. All men a fallible. All men sin. Therefore whether Catholic or otherwise, all men will fall short. But when we look to Jesus, we will see healing. Many people would not even know the name of Jesus if not for the long history of the Catholic Church so I pray many will stand and fight and there will be better accountability for policies and procedures to address this behavior, which isn’t limited to Catholic Church, and a chance for all Christians to unite to say its time for overall change regardless of denomination for accountability of integrity within people who claim the name of Christ!! Great and vulnerable post. I am praying for all involved: victim, survivor, and abuser; congregations, and the good leaders who will be stuck having to defend themselves in years to come as people allow this to build walls between them and the church; them and God.
You’re so right, we all fall short. but praise God that He is bigger. thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. Hugs and love xox
I just watched Fr. Mike Schimdtz video about this. I was emotional with him during the video. I don’t understand how anyone can harm a child in any way. It makes me sick every time I hear about something happening to a child. Last Sunday at church, Father read a letter from our Archbishop and part of what was said was, that they took advantage of being a safe place. Church should be a place you can go for help. And that really has been in the back of my mind this week. They always has those flyers at church for if you are depressed, or you need to talk to someone about being a single mom or abortion- I think it’s called Project Rachel?? Or if you need financial help. The church is supposed to help and they did take advantage of their positions. Another thing that Fr. Mike talked about was how someone muttered “child molester” as he walked by someone as he was out celebrating being ordained. And that hit me too. My Father on Sunday said he was at the store dressed in his collar and a mom and a son were behind him and he heard her say, “that’s what one looks like.” The gasps in. Church were so loud.
Oh his video is so powerful, isn’t it!? Gosh that makes me so sad to think what those good priests are going through right now. thank you for your encourage.t Hugs and love xox
It is!! Without a doubt, there are good priests! Hug and love to you too girl! 🙏
Well said. I’m praying for the victims, their families…and the perpetrators.
thank you so much Mel. I will join you in those prayers. Hugs and love xox
The one fact that Jesus knew when He went to the Cross is that we are 2000 years later able to hinder the little children from coming to Him. What did he say about these depraved beings – that they would have millstones tied about them?
But He knew that if we took up our Cross daily, and lived as He taught us, we walk in the Light. But without real repentance, the papal system is putting stumbling blocks in the path of those following Jesus. Christians cannot follow a priest, a bishop or a Pope but like the Bereans, examine the scriptures to see if these leaders are following the Word. We have to follow Jesus who forgave the men who judged and crucified Him. And pray for repentance and a return to 1st Century teachings of discipleship, and one-another accountability.
He definitely was extremely clear about that. thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. I will join you in that prayer. accountability is so important. Hugs and love xox
How are you doing today? We must not let the Enemy rob us of joy – but encourage others that the Truth is found in Jesus. Love ya!
Thank you friend. Amen to that — joy! Hugs and love xox
[…] Ana writes that she is ashamed to be a Catholic. I then pointed out that this also happens in our Protesrant churches where the covering up is even worse. Can the pot call the kettle black? I reposted my own article here on my blog, on August 31, 2018. Look it up, but please read her post and reader comments at https://beautybeyondbones.com/2018/08/30/the-catholic-sex-abuse-scandal/ […]
thank you for sharing. Hugs and love xox
You have spoken out before when the pains of the sins of others in high office in the Catholic church brought shame on all who claim the faith as theirs and mentioned that it was, in fact, an emotionally and spiritually draining experience. No doubt it would be for anyone who looks upon these men as spiritual leaders. I know as a clergyman that we are held to a higher standard, and rightly so! The Bible even tells us that and makes it clear that before answering the calling that we must be sure that we are able as well as willing!
My question to you is this; are you more concerned with maintaining a loyalty to your identity as a Catholic or your identity as a Christian? Obviously as a young lady who has been raised in the faith the two seem to be synonymous. However, you said yourself, “My faith is in Jesus.
Jesus is worth fighting for. His Body and Blood are worth fighting for.” If your faith is in Jesus Christ, which is what He asked for, (not faith in man), are you able to find that in worshiping Him outside the structure of the Roman Catholic church? Keep in mind that the early saints did not have a denomination and they were not even called Christians until the church in Antioch.
Don’t let this be seen as my way of trying to lure you away from something dear to you but I don’t want to see someone of such great faith and love for Jesus Christ turn from this because of the evil and sinful acts of those who never seemed to want to serve Him in the first place.
Love and Blessings,
Hi Jim, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this incredibly difficult issue. you have raised some very thought provoking, deep questions. will definitely pray about it. thank you. Hugs and love xox
Again, I would never want to imply that your life-long devotion to the church you love and have felt comfort in should be abandoned on account of the misdeeds of some of its leaders. It can certainly be challenging at this point in any Catholic’s journey whether faith was previously strong, weak or on the fence to wonder what comes next. Jesus always taught that our focus should be on Him and the Cross and the men who serve as clergy are the under-shepherds of His flock. God bless you in your journey.
Love and Blessings,
Thanks Jim. I appreciate your clarification 🙂 yeah it’s important to remember the foundation of our faith for sure. Hugs and love xox
I have nothing to add here except to say that was beautifully written. Such grace, eloquence and intelligence. Bravo. 😊❤️👍🏾
thank you so much Tyrone. That really means a lot Hugs and love xox
I left the Catholic Church at 13 due to the child trafficking stories of Irish nuns, the abuse of unmarried mothers,the paedophilia that was being covered up even then, the stance on homosexuality….I could go on and on.
I know my church has had its own scandals but they are called out and are dealt with without the whitewashing that seems to have happened in the Catholic Church.
How to fix it, I don’t think it can be. It’s going to be a very painful time for catholics world wide. The hierarchy of the church is so corrupted where do you even start?
Irish nuns have just been arrested, Australia care homes are being investigated, you’ve told us what’s happening in America. I think there’s more to come.
I think by speaking out, it’s a start but will the catholics around the world stand up together and demand no more! Let’s hope so.
God bless x
Gosh that is so so sad. thank you for sharing your experience. i’m sorry that you left on such negative terms. that’s absolutely terrible. yes – we have to stand up! Hugs and love xox
Very well written. I keep thinking of trying to write something, but don’t seem to be able to collect my thoughts. Really, don’t be afraid to suffer horror, shame, compassion, ridicule, etc. I think the disgust is an invitation to enter into Jesus’s suffering in Gethsemane. These were among the sins He saw that made Him sweat blood. When we feel the pain of compassion, isn’t that Him offering us a chance to share in Gethsemane, in some miniscule way? And if embraced and offered in love for both victims and perpetrators, what may it not accomplish?
thank you Ryan, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this. That’s important to remember. Hugs and love xox
As a Protestant Christian I have continually prayed for people to leave a religion we consider pagan and reminiscent of Baal worship. I don’t say this to be mean spirited, I say this to simply provide truth. Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to God. No other way is given by Jesus. No pope, no bishop, no saint or Mary can give you an audience to God.
What I would ask you to do is take an objective look into how the Roman Catholic Church was formed. Then compare its similarities to the worship of Baal. Start with emperor Constantine. He was a Baal worshipper before supposedly became a Christian. The key to knowing Constantine is knowing that he was a politician first and foremost. He is solely responsible for diluting Christianity with the pagan worship of Baal.
For the sake of your soul I beg you to do this for yourself. Come to know the one and only True Jesus Christ!
I appreciate you sharing your opinion, Don. I would respectfully have to say that I do not believe Catholicism to be pagan in any way, shape or form. But thank you for voicing your concern, and for taking the time to read. I am one hundred percent in agreement that Jesus is The Way! 🙂 Hugs and love xox
Nice content. I hope it happens like this. The church needs cleansing
thank you friend. Hugs and love xox
Caralyn I knew that you would be writing about this topic soon. The whole thing is truly heartbreaking, and you explained so well what you and countless others are going through right now. There are no words really.
And I was trying to think of what should be done now.
I agree with you that the Pope should resign. This has gone on for too long.
Each priest and bishop and cardinal found guilty should resign or be fired. Let there be a cleansing in this way. It’s better to have shortage of priests than to have sick men leading the service.
And also it should finally be discussed to allow them to marry, like Anglican priests. I don’t ever remember hearing of a scandal like this in the Anglican church.
Now I know this goes against the tradition of the church. And if they don’t want to marry then let them stay single, but I think it is time for new thinking along these types of lines. Let’s get down to the roots.
These are just some thoughts I had.
Thank you for not giving up. Keep fighting, keep moving forward my friend. Peace.
Interesting points you made. In the past parishioners once looked to the local priest for advice and counsel often regarding the issues found in marriage. I feel like allowing priests to marry and be true family men would make them better equipped to give such advice. I’m not making celibacy an excuse to commit sexual abuse, however I feel priests should be given a choice to marry. This whole must be married to the church crap serves no one. I wonder if there will be any young men entering the seminary if the church doesn’t evolve on this issue. Evolve or die out, sounds blunt but I think it’s true. And why allow female priests to be of service.
Well I hope it doesn’t die out, but yes hopefully evolve. And you’re right not being married is not an excuse for abuse, but I think it would help the church tremendously to weed out or stop the immorality before it even begins. Peace.
Evolve. Yes. Thank you so much friend, for sharing your thoughts. Hugs and love xox
hi friend, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. You’re so right – utterly heartbreaking. and there really are no words. Cleansing for sure. And the young men who are coming up in the priesthood and seminary today are such strong men. They have answered the call when it is unpopular to do so. let them be the new energy and moral compass that we so desperately need. those are interesting solutions. Hugs and love xox
Yes, a new generation strong in the faith! Thats exactly what we need. Peace and blessings.
This was a great post! I was a little hesitant to read based on the title, but I agree with what you said. Unfortunately, a lot of people think these things currently happened, when they happened a long time ago, which is no excuse. I sincerely hope nothing like that is going on now.
thank you so much Nikki! I agree – I really hope so too. Hugs and love xox
A tough article to write. You did very well. My response-I don’t understand why people are surprised by these allegations???? These allegations are not new. Look at history!! The Catholic Church has systematically covered up sexual abuse for the longest of time. Fact! It is an institution that should not be protected from or above the law. What these men did was not only immoral but illegal. Laws protect children against predators and these individuals broke the law. Why should they be given a pass? Those involved in the covering up of such acts should be persecuted also. Put religion, prayers and forgiveness aside, this is a legal issue IMO and to not do so is a disservice to the victims.
thank you friend. yeah, it is definitely hard to think and write about. I know – sadly you’re right … not new. that’s the problem with a church run by fallen humans! You’re right – illegal. they should be in jain. Hugs and love xox
I forgot to say I hope you enjoyed your weekend trip to SLC. I’ve only been here a month and you gave me some ideas of places to visit. 👍🏼
Thanks! It was amazing! Hugs and love xox
The question of whether Pope Francis “looked the other way” is an enormous IF. You mention “good priests,” and how unfair it is for all priests to be corralled into the stain of this ungoing abuse. Yet, allegations of rampant molestation and rape have surrounded the Church for years and years. Surely the good priests all knew of the rumors and cover-up culture, even though they were not directly involved. Suppose Francis is ultimately in this category of “good priests” focused on spiritual teachings, in a Church long tainted by this sickness. Should every priest resign, for not working everyday to expose and punish these disgusting transgressions?
As is likely clear, I am dismayed by the calls for Francis to resign, as I do believe him to be a deeply good person, who was placed at the top of an organization of which he was formerly a small part, or good apple, if you will. If his character and trustworthiness is now spoiled, isn’t that true for every priest in the Church? It may be so. Which is truly a shame, as the good works and calls for mercy and piety for which Francis, and any good priest, were formerly known will likely be dismissed and questioned and ignored.
I’ve heard some gleeful calls for his resignation that blatantly cited his “socialist politics” as another good reason to see him go. Which is a grave concern to me. Because he is also a figurehead for helping the poor and caring for our shared earth, and diligently works to point out and heal the suffering wrought by inequality and the strong and rich over the weak and poor. You spoke of the resplendent parties and debauchery of powerful Church figures. I doubt Francis was invited to the party, as someone invested in calling the rich and powerful to task. I’ve never before seen a Pope cultivate humility to his extent, and eschew the fancy, opulent trappings that can come with the position.
I just wanted to be a voice in his favor, though it may be too late for his legacy. But that might also mean it’s too late for the Church to make real amends. If the tutelary leader is gone, it may satisfy people as a symbol of change, while also alas making it easier for the shameless power mongers who long participated in and cultivated the abuses to slink away unpunished.
Thank you for joining the conversation and sharing your thoughts on this Nichole. You’re right – it is a big IF and I hope that truth can be found. And you’re right, I think a lot of people are sadly using this with a political agenda, whether they’re choosing to defend the pope or seek to have him removed. He is definitely more “liberal leaning” and that has seen to be divisive among catholics and non catholics alike. I pray that that does not cloud the judgement of what should be done in this horrible situation. Hugs and love xox
I was heartened to read your response! All too often, political motivations lurk as motivation only to be denied as such when questioned. I don’t know whether those matters can be separated from the equation for some who question whether Pope Francis ought resign or not , but I certainly hope that his policies related to class disparities (which has earned him multiple rivals in the Church) do not prove to be a factor in how these scandals are reckoned with and his role therein. I am currently of the mind that his urging of journalists to uncover the truth behind the most damning claims of his compliance is a response that suggests the inaccuracies of such claims. I guess I hope he is honest as I’ve given him credit for,as that would position him as a reliable guardian of the efforts to root out the ill-doings and cover-ups behind these entrenched, horrid acts . Entrenched, I suspect, because of a culture of cronyism, privilege, and sick entitlement.
All I know is that I will be praying hard for him as this moves forward.
That is one thing we can always be sure of. No matter how many strides “the church” is taking in the right direction, there will always be setbacks. Such is life. Catholicism as I have stated in another of my responses, is not the only sect of the Christian church that has darkness hiding within it. Just remember, without darkness, we would not know what light is. There is not light without darkness and there is no darkness without light. They have and forever will be 2 sides of the same coin. We as Christians just need to make sure we do not let that darkness swallow us. We also need to make our light shine brighter than ever before. Stay Strong. Keep Fighting. “We can do ALL things THROUGH CHRIST”. Stay Blessed Caralyn. My dear dear friend. Let nothing corrupt that beautiful soul. 🙂
you’re right, setbacks are inevitable becase we are children of the Fall and only Jesus is perfect. Amen – that[s how we know light. great point. thank you friend. Hugs and love xox
I am not a Catholic, but I am a believer in Jesus, and as such am saddened when my brothers and sisters are hurting. I loved that you pointed out your faith is not in a church, but in Jesus. And that is what I am praying for my Catholic friends. I am also praying that God will give wisdom to those in charge of decisions that need to be made concerning the crimes committed by the shepherds of God’s people. I pray for healing for those dear victims, and for justice toward their abusers. I just want you to know this is not just a Catholic thing, but a Christian thing. Many of us are praying with you.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. yeah, it is very very sad. I will join you in that prayer. thanks friend. Hugs and love xox
I love your words and your spirit here, Caralyn. I’m going to share this on my Facebook. Yes, Christ is the center, the head, and the church is so precious as his Body. Your words give me renewed hope for the Roman Catholic Church. Thanks, sister in Christ.
thank you so much Ted. There is always hope. Jesus is that source 🙂 Hugs and love xox
You have not problem expressing your feelings. That is a great trait that you possess. Understanding that this is only temporary, do not let the Church affect your station in Life. That which is can only be judged, may not be an act of a Human.
thank you so much friend for this wonderful encouragement. very true. Hugs and love xox
[…] love this post entitled “The Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal” from a Roman Catholic sister in Christ, actually giving me hope for the Roman Catholic […]
thank you for the link up. Hugs and love xox
[…] https://beautybeyondbones.com/2018/08/30/the-catholic-sex-abuse-scandal/ […]
thank you for the link up. Hugs and love xox
To come Undone. Had you ever seen the movie “Spotlight?” Just as the Boston Globe and most local newspapers were coming undone, too. Did you ever wonder what it had been like living in Russia in the 1990s? Or what I heard about in Prague in 1993. Following the collapse of communism, the word was “lustrace.” As the invisible ink became visible, Lustrace, either religious or political, is the ridding by communities of ceremonial impurity. More complicated ceremonies involve confession of crime. In the days after the Berlin Wall fell, in the movement toward privatization, when those in power during Soviet Administrations stayed in power.
Proponents of lustrace laws said that lustrace would prevent members of the old regime from exploiting their old advantage in the system and regaining influence. Lustrace was – as a community was to be purified either from collective guilt or from the accumulated ill-doing of a period of time – this attempt at considering sanctions or penalties designed to purge former party members, collaborators, or really evil informants, at reducing systemic risk in public service. So, the property is still here. Unless somehow your church property is forced into bankruptcy which is nothing but the State deciding under the law how to distribute what is left, because your own archbishop is unable to make those decisions, maybe after all the damage that he has done. Now who will buy up properties, after Communism when the State had owned everything?
And what will happen to the Spirit of the Land which you thought had just been so automatic? Power is an interesting thing. Political power in any institution. And in church institutions, when men deny their own sexual power, in the name of sacrifice, Spiritual power can grow…. at a price. So in a world where so many are ready to thrown out the baby with the bath water….. in a generation which grew up with The Patriot Act and think that it is a good thing, did you ever know those inside wars, the civil ones, which never really come to an end.
this is so informative, thank you. I haven’t seen the movie, but after all of this recent scandal, I am adding it to my netflix queue! thank you for sharing this powerful food for thought. much to mull over. Hugs and love xox
What do you contemplate at Santiago de Compostela, these days? Do you ever compare this story of abuse over so many years, to surviving, after the Great Flood? Noah with his family of eight were all that we left in the end. One defender of the Church as quoted to have said, when it came to the coverup, it is better to have lost eight than to lose all the world. And she made me think about the film “A Few Good Men,” where in the climax, Jack Nicholson tells you about soldiers who make sacrifice. And how most of us cannot take the Truth.
what an interesting thought. very very interesting. during the pilgrimage, I was contemplating Jesus, and the mysteries of His life, and praying for my family, friends, and blog readers. 🙂
It seems that 1 Corinthians 5 might apply here. Though I am not Catholic, I agree with your perspective. It seems this problem simply has not been taken seriously enough by church leadership. It’s time to act decisively!
I think you’re right about that Beverly. thank you for sharing that. Hugs and love xox
Good writing. Righteous thinking. I’m not Catholic, but I think you’re right in demanding change from the inside. There are too many millions of people caught up in this for a mass exodus to accomplish what needs to be done right here, right now. Call this criminal activity out for what it is. God’s blessed you with an unusual pulpit. Blessings on your use of it!
Thank you so much Nora. I appreciate your encouraging words. Yes – right here, right now. Hugs and love xox
Dear Caralyn It took a lot of courage on your part to write your post. I know how devout you are, and what the Church means to you. Please do not fear, this will be straightened out, at least as much as it can be. We are all sinners, and you will find sinners in the churches as well. Jesus is watching over all of us, and we can not go wrong having faith in Him. May the good Lord bless and keep you.
Thanks pat. You’re right. Faith in Him. Hugs and love xox
Reading this last night gave me a sense of kindred friendship for you. I have felt and thought so much of what you wrote recently, only for the church I grew up in (Mormon) instead of the Catholic Church. I’ve actually thought about you and your church several times over the past few months. I’ve had the thought to go talk to a priest to see if he can share his ideas about who God is. But it’s difficult to do when you never know if someone is protecting pedofile’s – or one themselves.
My greatest comfort is in the comments and writings of others who love God more than they love an institution. So the comments on this post are heart-warming. I wish that my fellow Mormons would stand up and demand accountability – but doing so costs them their membership in this church. Does the Catholic Church do that?
Thanks Nicole. I’m so glad this resonated with you. Yeah it has been a tough month for sure. I think the Church is definitely having a stand up and speak out moment right now. Hugs and love xox
The Bible didn’t demand celibacy for clerics. Without the shroud, they would be tried as sex offenders which, they are. They would have a trial, which they should and normally sex offenders do. There would be fines and restitutions paid to victims and the state to pay for the little signs that would have to be put out in front of churches and the flyers that must be distributed that your church leader, is a sex offender. If there’s a school he’s not allowed to be there.
They are men, they are under the law here and they should be treated like, men. Not hidden within the ranks of the church because that’s a double standard. It ruins the laws here and the faith, there.
I agree. It is a deplorable offense that deserves jail time.
The law works, most of the time. Unless, you have money. It seems most victims are victims of opportunity. Poor. Single parents. Blinded by faith. One, or all of them.
When I was nine, my mom was a sexual assault victim so she saved me from that. There was an older pastor everyone loved. She hated him. I thought she was gonna kill him. A decade later one of the girls said something and he was retired. She couldn’t save everyone. When I got older, I saved my kids from that life and a few others. It’s all I could do. That’s how the culture changes. Took my family four generations just to have, normal kids with a normal life.
Oh gosh I am so sorry to hear that. My heart breaks for her. Thank you for sharing.
I told you about her when we were arguing about abortion. Eh. Different worlds.
Gosh so sad
Have you ever saw Aziz Ansari’s, “Walking With Dinosaurs” sketch? It relates to what needs to occur individually. I think the church is passed remediation for sexual acts of anyone if it chooses to ignore these occurrences. Which they are doing, still. It’s unfortunate and it will take as long as it took my family to come back from those deprivations. We can huff and puff but, we’re not going to blow the church down.
I love Aziz.
He really gets to the point. Well. His early stuff.
oh, there’s so much i want to say Caralyn, but i know whatever i do say could be misinterpreted by others. I will, however, say that Holy Mother Church has ALWAYS had sinners. We are ALL sinners and not only that but we, as followers of the One True Faith, are not alone. Protestants can point the finger all they want, but there have been many documented cases of them doing these horrific acts as well, even worse, but they just don’t get publicized.
In any event, aside from praying, if you want the honest answer, i really don’t look towards the higher clergy for inspiration, yes even The Holy See. It could be because of my Traditionalist Catholic ways, but i find reflective prayer and the study of the Church doctors, saints, and prophets of old for teaching and inspiration.
In my opinion, both people of religious orders and the laity need to take the time to actually learn their faith and maybe by the grace of God this will stop.
I’m glad that you’re keeping your faith, my friend. As what has been said plenty of times by a lot of people on Catholic radio I hear, “God never leaves us. Out of every evil comes a greater good.” I truly believe that.
Love and Peace to you!
Thank you David for sharing our thoughts on this. I believe that too – placing my hope in the greater good. Big hugs to you xox
I hope you are correct in saying that darkness will not win. Darkness can never be allowed to win.
Amen. Thanks Elda. Hugs and love xox
When the civil tort suits were underway here in Los Angeles, I was humbled by the complexities of the situation that the Church Fathers were trying to manage. Victims’ rights to privacy were important, and employment law prevents disclosure of records except under court order. The wrongdoing was pervasive and the cases difficult to prosecute and prove: the criminal justice system would have been overwhelmed, and bowed out even when charges were reported.
The Church has its own justice system, the Vulgate law. The standard for priests is to present a convincing denial of charges brought by the laity. As Cardinal Mahoney characterized it, the church was “unprepared to deal with men that could lie with their whole being.” Worse, the pedophiles banded together, actively recruiting other predators into their cabal, and supported each other. They were drawn by the presumption of trust within the brotherhood – trust that they manipulated masterfully.
I perceive that the Church fathers understand that this subtlety no longer plays in public. The only acceptable response is “We were wrong. Help us to do better.” But valuable lessons can be learned from this history, lessons that apply to our current political situation. Perhaps most importantly: it is not just the priests that deserved a voice. Cardinal Mahoney honored this belatedly, personally meeting with every plaintiff in the trial, but it should have happened contemporaneously with the wrong-doing.
In history, the battle between the church and perversion goes back to the earliest years. Secular universities were shut down in the first millennium in part to control homosexual predation by instructors. For centuries Christian teachings maligned homosexuals, inducing shame and forcing them into the shadows where only the most aggressive dared to traffic – many of the rest lived frustrated lives in heterosexual marriages. In a sense, a bizarre symmetry is revealed in the practices you describe of homosexual priests: they used the institution that marginalized them as a haven for perversion.
The ultimate lesson for me is this: it is not our place to judge. It is only our place to love. The Church fathers crossed the line from loving to judgment when they pronounced hard-edged rules and procedures for human justice. Just as it did for the Temple Priests during Jesus’s ministry, it came back to haunt them.
Hi Brian, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. “ we were wrong. Help us to do better.” That would definitely be a good response. Hugs and love xox
Shame on abusers not you
I so want to hug you now. I feel bad not only for you but for all my Catholic friends who are good people and love Jesus. I’m glad you did not try to defend the indefensible. In fact, this is more like the response we should have heard from the church leadership. We had Boston a few years ago. Pennsylvania now. This was just one city and one state. I’m afraid this is just the tip of the iceberg. What will happen when we see the church records of all the other states and dioceses all over the nation?
I was a big fan of Pope Francis. But he needed to be proactive on this issue, and he failed. As disappointed as I am in him now, I can only imagine what it’s like for you. In my own tradition, we make a distinction between the Visible Church and the Invisible Church. It appears you will need to focus on the Invisible Church for a while by networking with others of the faithful who know the church needs to be reformed. A fish rots from the head down, but reform happens from the ground up. Your willingness to fight for your church to live up its calling is another reason I admire you. My prayers are with you.
On a final note, I don’t remember the verse exactly but a passage in Timothy says when church leaders commit crimes against the church and/or society, rebuke them publicly. A lot less children would have been spared from this abomination if the Bishops, Cardinals, and Popes had done just that.
Aw thank you David. That really means a lot. I’m afraid you’re right about the tip of the iceberg. Hugs and love xox
Hang in there honey…all religions have their own skeletons…so hold your head high, for you have quite a message.
Thank you Ann. I appreciate that. Hugs and love xox
First of all, thank you for speaking up and out so strongly about this.
Secondly, I don’t know if anyone else has touched on this yet (there are too many other comments for me to go through), but “grooming” is actually a technical term for what molesters/traffickers/abusers do in order to gain the trust of a potential victim and his or her support network (usually family, especially parents). Grooming typically precedes the abuse itself, often by several weeks or even months if the perpetrator is a trusted member of the community or family. Examples of grooming behavior include showing favoritism to the target with gifts and attention, seeking special time with the child, lots of hugs/touching/physically friendly behavior, offers to help parents watch or care for the child, etc.
I’ve not read the specific report that has come to light in these latest cases of heinous abuse, but I REALLY appreciate your harsh bluntness for not in any way obscuring or sugar-coating these crime. As a society, we need to have the stomach to look the disastrous offenses we have enabled (intentionally or otherwise) in the face. That being said, grooming is an actual, separate offense from abuse, and an offense very important to note as such, because it allows us to better understand abusers’ methodology, psychology, and patterns of behavior, in order to better detect potential threats and protect our children from them. It’s not a euphemism, even though it does sound like one.
I just wanted to clarify this point for anyone who may have (understandably) misunderstood why the term “grooming” is or was used, since it’s an important part of the whole problem to be aware of, and not necessarily what it sounds like.
Love and support,
Thank you friend. Oh gosh that makes my stomach turn to read about that manipulation of trust. Thank you for sharing that and clarifying. Ugh. Makes me sick. Sending big hugs xox
I am a little torn about responding to this blog. Your writing is so good, your passion is well placed, and your love for your church is clear. Faith in Christ is the most basic element of being a Christian. However, what does faith in Christ mean? There is an undeniable truth attached to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As a predecessor of Jesus, Mark spoke about the ministry of John the Baptist in this way, ” John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” (Mark 1:4) Of Jesus we are told in verses 14 and 15, “Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” The true meaning of a Christian is a person who comes to believe what God says about all mankind, “For all have sinned…” (Romans 3:23) Sin is not some small thing in the heart of God, it is in fact intensely evil and worth punishing. For this reason some people repent or turn from their sins, and this they do by the grace and love of God. No Christian is perfect this side of heaven, so repentance becomes a life long process. But Christians do not go backwards or fail to change at all and continue to live out sinful lives. For this reason the Apostle John tells us in 2:19 of his first letter, “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. … But they went out from us to demonstrate that all of them do not belong to us. … ” Anyone can say they are a Christian, but it is what God says that matters, and God has said repeatedly that the evidence that matters is repentance. On the day of Pentecost after hearing Peter’s condemnation of his generation that had Christ crucified as a type of us all, when they asked what they should do, he said to them, “Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins;” (Acts 2:37, 38). The man who lives a life of continual sin, so matter what the religious institution might be gives evidence that they have not received Christ in actuality. They are false professors and should be vied as such by all true believers. Please do not take anything I have said as against what you have said. I merely desire to set forth the Scriptural mandate to believe in Christ and to understand who is and who is not a true believing Christian. Love your blog.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this difficult issue. There is definitely truth in that: to turn from sin and turn to Christ. Hugs and love xox
Not being a Catholic myself I may be sticking my nose into something that is not my business. But at the same time I am a Christian and want to try to add something. I think that at least in part Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy comes into play. Those at the top are less dedicated to mission than they are the organization. Hence the cover-up in an effort to protect the organization. I also believe that if thy hand offends thee…cast It off. Even if those who are involved are forgiven the trust has been broken and the only way to fix that trust is to cut away the corruption. It’s not judgement as much as it is pragmatism. The non Christian world is like a wounded animal and will not trust anyone who is perceived to be a trust breaker no matter how much forgiveness is given from those on the inside of the church . Without the ability to gain trust and transfer belief the mission fails.
Hi Lloyd, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. You’re right – we need to be able to trust. Hugs and love xox
Great post my sister. Light will continue to dominate darkness anytime, any day, anywhere. Thanks for sharing this post.❤
Thank you Chris. Yes! Light! Hugs and love xox
I am not religious nor will I ever be, but I respect your post from deep within. People like you are special individuals who fight for what they truly believe in and stand against evil. I personally would not judge a person for being of a certain faith simply because a small proportion of that same faith choose to do bad things. Keep doing what you’re doing! Hayley x
Thank you so much Hayley for this beautiful encouragement. You are a wonderful soul! Hugs and love xox
Thank you for this post. It made me cry. While not being sexually abused by the Roman Catholic church, I was sexually abused. I am glad you were blunt, and your apology was beautiful. Something I needed to hear right now for personal reasons. My parents are devout Roman Catholic and they are hurting too. I told them I believe all churches that follow Jesus (as he is revealed in scripture) are the body, the bride of Christ-and when one part of the body hurts, we all hurt. Some may want to dismiss entirely the Roman Catholic church and all its members. That would be like amputating a limb. All Christians need to come together, to grieve, to support the faithful members, and make sure every church is a safe place for everyone, especially children. The church needs unity today so we can be stronger and stand together against evil. Thank you again you made my morning better by showing compassion.
Oh friend I wish i could give you a big hugs right now. Thank you for having the courage to share your story. I am so sorry that you were violated in that way. Gosh you did not deserve that. You’re so right – we need to come together and support one another. Sending big big hugs xox
I’d never advocate running TOWARD any Protestant church, but the Orthodox Christian church is always an option…
I don’t believe these are priest that are predators. As if they transformed into predators after becoming priests. I look at it as predators who became priests. Just like other