The Vatican Summit: A View from the Pews

I have a heavy heart today.

You may or may not be aware, but there has been an unprecedented gathering at the Vatican, of cardinals and bishops from around the world. Also in attendance were survivors of abuse, and 10 women religious. All coming together to address the heartbreaking abuse that is tearing the Catholic Church apart at the seams.

The Vatican Summit on Child Protection, which concluded over the weekend, has left Catholics – and the world at large – particularly shaken to the core at the brokenness of our religious organization that is supposed to be the legacy and bride of Jesus Christ.

Pope Francis – Photo: Mercury News

The Summit has been met with mixed reviews. Their theme of “transparency” feels all but hollow when, over the weekend, German Cardinal Reinhard Marx admitted that decades worth of files were destroyed to prevent the documentation of sexual abuse.

Ugh, my heart is just gutted typing that out.

How can the church stand on a new platform of “transparency” when literally this is coming to light at the Summit itself?

One highlight, however, came in the form of Nigerian nun, Sr. Veronica Openibo, who gave a powerful, powerful speech to her brothers in Christ. She was frank and direct about how this abuse has destroyed the credibility of the Church, and that we need to move forward with humility and zero tolerance.

Sr. Veronica Openibo, Photo: NCR

But enough about the nitty gritty. Because at the end of the day, what’s going on behind the opulent, closed doors of the Vatican has so far, had little to no effect on the hurting, confused person in the pews on Sunday, who is left holding the broken pieces of a beautiful, meaningful faith they once knew.

Because the truth of the matter is that post-scandal Catholicism, is red lining.

That’s not some overly-dramatic “blog speak” meant for click bait. No. We’re talking, after the McCarrick abuse scandal, the Boston Globe story, and as a result: the Spotlight docudrama. The Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report. The findings in the archdioceses of Galveston-Houston, and Illinois. And now, even just two days ago, a Cardinal from Australia was convicted of molestation. The details of the horrific abuse — and the even more repugnant cover-up of it — are detonating a Church that is barely hanging on.

It’s no secret that I am Catholic. And to say that the atrocities coming to light have shaken me, is the understatement of the year.

And if I’m honest, I feel so much shame – so much embarrassment – simply admitting that I identify as so.

And clearly, not just me.

At Mass, I look around and church attendance is frightful. Saying that the church is 1/6 full would be incredibly generous. And mind you, when I first moved to the city, it was standing room only.

The church is deeply wounded, and unable to trust the men who are supposed to be In Persona Christi.

What are we to do?

People are leaving in droves, heading to nondenominational churches – which honestly, I don’t blame them.

This summer, I visited RedRocks Church in Denver, and it was honestly such an incredibly moving service. It’s no surprise that people are choosing to abandon the Catholic faith, where recently, Mass feels more like a funeral service, for a rock-concert-caliber worship experience. I get it.

It’s crisis of faith. That’s how it’s been described to me by many Catholic friends.

And I can definitely relate.

The only way I am getting through this is to remember that my faith is not in the men who run the Church. It’s not even in the organization itself. It’s in the foundation of Christ’s ministry on earth. It’s Jesus who I am putting my faith in. It’s my love for the sacraments, and my devotion to Jesus’ body and blood in the Eucharist that brings me back to the pews each and every Sunday.

There’s so much brokenness in the world. If you need any proof, just look at my own story, for crying out loud. No one is immune to it. Not even the priests and clergy who have the responsibility of leading the Catholic Church. We are a fallen people, and clearly, we are witnessing the severity and depth of that truth, in the abominations coming to light.

So what are we to do?

I think the most discouraging and frustrating part, is that as lay people, there’s not much we can do. The Church is run by priests, and the vast majority of them do not want to speak on the matter. The people in the pews are so often left in the dark, with their parish priests simply not addressing this from the pulpit.

But, setting that unfortunate reality aside….

First and foremost, let’s support the victims. They should be the foremost concern here. The unimaginable burden that they’ve had to carry is just soul crushing. Let’s support them and bring them justice.

Secondly, we need to eradicate the problem from the root. No more cover ups, or sanitizing the truth. We really do need transparency. And consequences. Now.

Next, – and this is going to be tough, but here me out – we need courageous Catholics. We need people of faith to stand by the Church during this Armageddon. Yes, attendance is down. Yes, we’re the butt ends of jokes. Yes, it would be a hell of a lot easier emotionally and spiritually to just walk away. But we need to stand in the rubble and say, My Church is broken, but we can rebuild.

Lastly, and this is especially for all of my non-Catholic brothers and sisters: We need your prayers. I know that, especially right now, it is more convenient and popular to jump on the band wagon of criticism. And heck – I’ve found myself criticizing the Church, and Pope Francis’ lack luster address at the culmination of the Summit. It’s easy to be skeptical about its actual impact. And it’s more satisfying to pick apart the faith in – well-deserved – anger or disgust.

But, I humbly ask for you to pray for the Catholic Church. For her leadership. For those who are confused and hurting and angry. For the future, and for the courage of those in leadership to do the right thing.

Because at the end of the day, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. And no matter what faith you call home, we have the same ultimate goal: Heaven. And so let’s encourage one another in our path and pursuit of holiness.

What are your thoughts on the Vatican Summit? Had you heard about it? Are you surprised? Disappointed? Encouraged? Please share.


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267 thoughts on “The Vatican Summit: A View from the Pews

  1. As an ordained pastor and teacher in the United Church of Christ AND as the wife of cradle Catholic who continues to sing in a Catholic choir, my heart also breaks. Prayers of healing and hope, prayers for God’s wisdom, Christ’s love, and the Spirit’s guidance continue day by day for the victims, for the people who love them, for all who struggle with what is being revealed, for lay leaders, for priests, deacons, and other religious, for our broken world. Lord, in your mercy …

    1. Thank you Teressa for sharing your heart and for offering your prayers during this challenging time for our faith. Amen. Lord, have mercy. Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you so much David, i appreciate your encouragement and for taking the time to read. big hugs xo

  2. Seems we have a journey in common with regard to ecclesiastical issues. My heart breaks for you and other faithful Catholics. But Christ is true and He never fails. My prayers are with you, and I’d covet yours for me. Thanks for writing!

    1. Thank you Jordan, I appreciate your prayers and compassion. I will definitely pray for you as well! Hugs and love xox

  3. You are a most courageous Catholic lady and for that I salute you! I am trying to rebuild a Presbyterian church up north, even though I have converted to Methodism. I leave its name out because I don’t want to take away from your message. On the average Sunday we have only 12 congregants, even though we have about 30 who love the church. It is a daunting task, but that is what the Lord has directed me to do. Faith in Jesus is the cornerstone of the rebirth of the Catholic church and my church and all the others. I am convinced that one day soon, the pews will be filed in all the churches as they were on 9/11. We must be ready, and not succumb to apathy, lethargy and any of the other vices and sins to which we mortals frequently fall prey. “On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.” Carry on.

    1. Thank you Sandman. You’re so right about that – we have to stand on the solid rock. Will definitely be praying for you as you rebuild. Hugs and love xox

    2. I’ve been there my friend. Had the extremely small numbers, even at real bad times 2 or 3 people! But you are right to follow God’s calling, and I know that as well. Blessings to you and yours.

  4. Thanks for your courageous post. I also pray for your church. I’m glad you are Catholic and have the courage to say this.To admit the faults of your church is shameful no doubt. But to confess and receive reconciliation as a church will do the church more good. To never admit any wrong would put the church on a worse trajectory. Hopefully the Church in the west will see the recovery as people trust the church and priests again. My evangelical / Baptist church is not clean either so we all need to confess and come clean. That’s what the gospel is all about.

    1. Thank you friend, for your prayers and compassion. I think you’re right. I am hopeful in the future of a church, that has eradicated this evil once and for all. Hugs and love xox

  5. This is an incredibly timely piece I’ve been thinking about writing about as well. There’s a lot to unpack.

    The Church leadership’s response is horrific. But you know what? Worse is better because the Church has been infected with the disease of Church, Inc. The multinational corporation that is harvesting money, not cultivating souls. I’m not surprised that it took a Nigerian Nun to speak truth, God’s grace is surely shining on her. The African diocese are some of the most conservative, and they understand our faith better than we do, simply because they are literally in a fight for their lives to keep it. Hebrews: “You have not resisted sin to the point of shedding blood”. And when all this horror is over, and healed, the Church will be rejuvenated. Christ rewards those who heal themselves. The Church MUST heal itself, must reconcile, must do penance, and be restored. There is a quote/joke I heard a while back. St. Peter turns to Christ in heaven, and says, “It looks pretty bad down there, why do you wait so long?” And Christ responds: “So they’ll know it was me.” I feel that is true.

    The Church is also run by men. Not super-men. Not copies of Christ. The Church is run by men. lower-case-em. The Pope only speaks infallibly when he speaks ex cathedra and the bishops are priests with high responsibility, but still priests. The Church has all the problems that organizations of men have. And Church, Inc magnifies it a thousand fold, adding greed and envy and all those decidedly human vices. So criticizing the Pope is normal, it is OK, and in fact it is good for the Church, in my opinion.

    I converted to Catholicism in Easter of 2018. I started RCIA the previous September. All of this came out the following summer. You know what I think? There has never been a better time to lift up our cross and be Catholic. We are called to speak openly, publicly, intelligently, about our faith. About how we are called to follow Christ, and to trust in God that the gates of Hell will not prevail upon his Church. We are called to witness, loudly and publicly, how God works in our lives and gives us Hope, Faith, and Love. We are called to preach the Gospel, and sometimes to use words to do so.

    In times like these I remind myself of the time the Apostles were with Christ on a ship during a storm, and they wake him up. Christ rebukes them for not trusting him, and he promptly calms the seas. The sea is stormy, but Christ is asleep because he knows it is not time yet. The storm will pass, either with the aid of Christ or not.

    I pray a decade of the rosary every day for an increase in the faithful and a quick end to the trouble in the Vatican. Thank you for your message, for speaking frankly and openly about this issue. God bless you.

    AMDG

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your heart on this. Yes – God’s grace was absolutely beaming through St. Openigo. I am so encouraged by your story of conversion. Amen – that is what we are called to do. Thank you for your prayers! Hugs and love xox

  6. Thank you for writing that. I don’t agree with a lot of what the Catholic church believes and because of how influential the Catholic church is, these things bother me a lot. But when I hear people like you talk like you do, I know that God is taking care of his bride and that we as deciples of Christ will grow closer to him even though we make terrible mistakes. Thanks again reading stuff like that always gives me hope for a brighter future!

    1. Thanks Dave, for sharing your thoughts and gift your compassion. I do believe that, like you said, God can use this horrific season to bring about goodness and help us grow closer to Him. Hugs and love xox

  7. Caralyn, I once told someone who was mad at the church about some morality issues that his argument wasn’t with the church; it was with God. By the same token, let me correct you – no one in the pews “…is left holding the broken pieces of a beautiful, meaningful faith they once knew.” If, that is, their faith is in Jesus.

    If faith of the pew people is in Jesus, nothing is broken. Sadness over an institution that was supposed to be Jesus’ ally here on earth failing…and willfully at that…I understand. But here we see the importance of acting well at all times. We are God’s “billboards” here. If we carry the wrong message, we wrong God and drive people from Him.

    But those already in faith need to remember where their faith truly lies as you said; with Jesus.

    My friend/sister/daughter – you are in my prayers as are all of the faithful. I pray that the laity find a way to wrest control from those who currently hold the reigns and emplace people who will be the representatives of Jesus as they should be. I pray that the Spirit ease your pain.

    1. You’re so right about that, Jeff. Our faith is in Jesus. Thank you so much for this powerful perspective. I truly appreciate your prayers and compassion, Jeff. This is a tough season but God will find a way to heal and bring some sort of goodness to this situation. Big hugs to you xox

  8. A minister friend once said to me that all the differences in religion are man-made. We do worship differently, and at different times we need a different experience to renew part of our soul (Red Rocks or Hillsong vs the near-empty pew & quiet) but you’re right. We are all brothers & sisters in Christ, & need to uplift each other as such.
    I hope you have a soul-refilling weekend, my friend. x

    1. Thank you so much Paula for your wisdom and compassion. Yes – uplift for sure. Hugs and love xox

  9. Once again, you step up to the plate and address a hot topic with honesty and concern. You have called it sin while giving a plea for prayer. You are a lady of great conviction, and your audience admires that. The Southern Baptist Convention is also addressing the issue of sexual predators in the church. It is high time to stop sweeping sin under the rug and praying for repentance as well as being people who stand in the gap.

    1. Thank you Matthew, I really appreciate your support and prayers. I will join you in that important prayer. Amen. Hugs and love xox

  10. There is no need to address it, from a priest point of view. They get everything they ever wanted. Free room and board and all the children they want to molest. There is no down side. It is like people are paying them to molest their child. I’m real life it is not normal for people to go without sex infinitely. The church imposed that law. It is not in the bible. The bible says he fruitful and multiply. So how does that equate to no sex for priest and nuns who what to impose a practice they are not even following. All the same interesting post. For be with you

    1. Hi there, I appreciate you sharing your views on this. I believe that the celebacy, embraced by the priests and religious is a beautiful act of worship to God. It is part of their sacrifice, which mirrors that which Jesus gave us on the cross. That is my belief. Priests are fallen men, just like the rest of us. Only Jesus is perfect. But that does not excuse the atrocities many have done or covered up. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read. Hugs and love xox

  11. I love you, as always, sweet friend. Always remember that our trust is in the Lord Jesus our Savior and that all men/women are not to be trusted. Then we remember that no one in the church is more important than anyone else and we are all flawed in some way. Our job is to trust and follow Christ Jesus our Lord. Then it is easier to forgive others and those who are in positions of power are held to a higher standard by God. They will answer for their sins, we are to punish the bad behavior but forgive the sinner for we have been sinners. Apart from that, our faith is lived out as a personal relationship with God and not tied to any one body of believers. Jesus did not stipulate different denominations, that was Satan’s doing. Jesus established followers of the way of Jesus Christ, then called Christians after Pentecost. Just read your Bible, pray and keep following and trusting Jesus. Love you, precious, beautiful friend. Hugs!XO😄❤

    1. Hi Tonya, thank you for this beautiful support and for your prayers. I think you’re absolutely right – the evil one is surely using this to drive a wedge in God’s family. Now, more than ever we need to come together in prayers. You shared Such powerful food for thought. Thank you thank you. Love you friend xox

      1. You are so precious to me and God and His kingdom. Please sink in deeper to your relationship with God and remember that confusion and frustration are not of God, truth and clarity are His playground. Stay in that. Love you! X O😄❤

  12. I am Catholic too, Caralyn, and have a tough time working through this but know the devil is eating it all up. The Church is in serious trouble and the Pope, who I like, fumbled the ball at a crucial moment.

    I have watched attendance drop as well and there is no end in sight. However, it was at least good to see a packed house at St. Mary of the Assumption in Park City last Saturday night. Very vibrant!

    This terrible situation has hit home as my headmaster in high school is now defrocked and on one of the lists of Jesuits that recently came out. And to make matters worse, he married my wife and I.

    The Catholic Church has hit rough spots before (eg, the Reformation) but this will be quite the test of faith. However, your generation is in the minority of filling up the pews. Not good!

    Nice thoughts as always. You have some wisdom beyond your years!

    Ted

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your heart on this emotional issue. I agree – the evil one is using this to drive a wedge between Gods family of believers. Yes!! It’s a vibrant parish in PC! Thanks Ted for your encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  13. I am a Catholic by birth and love the Catholic doctrine.It is unfortunate about what is going on in the Catholic Churches. But it will not shake my faith rather I will be skeptical in dealing with the priest ,until there are permanant solutions in place.
    It should be collaborative efforts,if you see something say Something.Do not Relegate others to the background.
    Do not assume that it is not YOUR problem, if it has nothing to do with you.
    If you are pope Francis how far can you go?.He needs help.He cannot be in the pants of all the priests.If you see it say it.
    I don’t think that the ideas of Revene Fathers not getting married is a good idea.
    If it is good idea what about their hormone that are ragging in them as young men?.Do they need something to calm these hormone down?These are human beings that thought that they could maintain their celibacy but have unfortunately failed.
    What solutions do we have about these?.Prayers will not solve it but practical solutions.
    The Catholic Churches should be Honest
    with themselves and do the right thing because “TRANSPARENCY without Solid or concrete SOLUTIONS is Hallucination. Find solutions announce the solutions and execute the solutions.Bring back the Congregation.

    1. Thanks so much friend, for your encouragement and support. You’re right – practical solutions are definitely needed. I’ll pray for those! Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  14. The big picture is we are in God’s hands and He is still in control of His creation. Prayer is powerful and God’s love trumps the troubles. Trust in Him. I agree that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ and when one of us suffers we all feel the pain. But Jesus gives us joy and when we focus on Him our peace is restored. Prayer is the answer. God wants to be with us always – we are called to bring everything, everyone, all our concerns to Him. Pray for the priests and the church and don’t worry. God has our backs!

  15. What a wonderful, courageous and heartfelt post – it breaks my heart to think what some have done to the Church and to the faith. I was raised Catholic, very Catholic and the memories I have of the Church is one where Christ walked amongst the parishioners and the priests and nuns were the Earthly messengers of Christ’s teachings.
    This dark spectre that hangs over the Church now is not from some minor transgressions – a result of some wayward thinking – no, it’s from the darkest depths of the ugliest parts of the people who facilitate the work of evil. The cloud that obscures the Church is from the most horrible of sins that can be committed to the most innocent among us – the children.
    How can it be left to continue? How can the Holy Father allow even for one second more, these sins to go unpunished is beyond me? The faithful have to root out every criminal priest from every parish even if it means that church goes unserved. Let the faithful and pure at heart lead the others until the Church finds its way. I pray for you and for all of the others that have been hurt by this and I pray that the injured can be healed and their faith restored.
    You and others like you will save the Church during this time of darkness. Your spirit and faith are strong. Peace my friend.
    Chris

    1. Hi Chris, thank you so much for your prayers and words of encouragement. it really means so much. i appreciate you sharing your story. Yes – may the injured be healed and find hope! amen! hugs xo

  16. I had not heard of the Vatican summit, but for occasional reference in the Australian MSM.
    (The Australian cardinal has been front page news repeatedly, though).

    I will pray for the Catholic Church

  17. I understand how people are shocked. Spending my childhood in a Catholic school and participating in so many activities at the Church and even Bingo with my Grandma. I love the Mass, and I have been to other Sunday services but it’s not the same for me. My memories of the Sisters who taught me are so warm and I am thankful for their goodness and believe along with my parents it made my life great. It’s in God’s hands, prayers for the survivors and the survival of the Church and the faithful servants who are trying to work through the mess.

    1. Hi Alice, thank you so much for sharing your heart on this emotional issue. Amen to that – it’s in Gods hands. I will join you in this important prayer for the survivors. hugs xo

  18. Well written post, Caralyn, I feel your pain through your words. Reading this made me think about a report about a victim at the Vatican Abuse Summit — (the late) Cardinal Francis George is model of leadership needed today: “One of my finest memories of Francis Cardinal George is when he spoke about the difficulties of fellow priests who have abused, and I considered those words …… coming from a man in his position, even though they must be really hard for him to say, they were the right and proper thing to say. I thought that was leadership at the time, and I think it’s leadership now.”

    I’m searching to find out what it is he said, but, this is the leadership our bishops need and I think are lacking.

    The why of this is well articulated by Bishop Olmstead who is eloquent in his thinking and sharing about this matter. Reference https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/bishop-olmsted-finds-roots-of-abuse-scandal-in-poor-priestly-formation-91777

    Peace,
    Frank

    1. Thank you so much Frank for passing along that article. i look forward to reading it. thanks for your encouraging words. hugs xo

  19. What a disaster this has become! Devastating! The only thing I can think of though is that God is attempting to cleanse the Church.
    Everyone, including the Pope that is guilty of a coverup, should resign. This is the only way to begin to heal, to rebuild and restore trust. It has to start here. Everyone that has done wrong – get out!
    Sister Veronica is right on target!
    Thanks for taking on this very difficult topic.

    1. Thanks friend, yeah it is truly devastating. I agree – she was right on target! hugs xo

  20. One step forward and three steps back. On Saturday, we are having the South Carolina Catholic Men’s Conference in Columbia and I’m sure that will be an unofficial topic of discussion. I too feel mad and betrayed by the the leadership of our Church. Mr. McCarrick (that sounds weird) was a family friend when he was Bishop of Metuchen and spent many evening at our home for dinner whan I was a teenager in NJ. I’ve gone to Catholic grade school, some Catholic HS, 4 years of Catholic College and 2 at Catholic grad school program. I have been around priests my entire life and have never had an “issue”. I have many priest friends and have often been part of discussions about the “Lavender Priests” and the hierarchy that protected them. It will be painful, but a purge is needed and luckily, many of the new priests are very traditional and holy. All we can do is pray for the future of The Church.

    1. Hey Ray, thank you so much for sharing your heart on this emtional issue. I agree — so so so many of the new seminarians have an incredible energy to renew the church, and that gives me so much hope, exitement and joy. let’s pray for them and the church, indeed! hugs to you xox

    1. thank you so much Gail, for your prayers. Amen to that, i will join you in that most important prayer. hugs xo

  21. As it is no secret you are Catholic, I’ve made no secret that I am an ordained permanent deacon, therefore a member of the Catholic clergy. Outsiders don’t realize how angry people like you and I are.

    Pope Benedict XVI, many years before he became pope, predicted that a time would come in which the Church would be a shell of its former self in terms of membership and ability to serve the world. We may be nearing that time. But he felt that, from that small remnant, the Church would arise.

    I made a conscious decision, and I urge believers to make the same one. I am going to stay and fight, because I believe in what the Church is supposed to be, and can be again. Painful days are still ahead, but beyond, if we do our part, the sun will shine again. What was it that Samwise Gamgee told Frodo: “There is still good in the world, and it’s worth fighting for.” Hugs and love– Deacon Mike

    1. Hi Deacon Mike, thank you so much for your thoughts on this emotional issue. I completely agree. stay and fight for the bride! And you’re so right – the sun will shine again soon. Thanks for the encouragment. hugs xo

  22. “The only way I am getting through this is to remember that my faith is not in the men who run the Church. It’s not even in the organization itself. It’s in the foundation of Christ’s ministry on earth. It’s Jesus who I am putting my faith in”. You said it so clearly yet it is so easy to miss. “men run the Church…” This is the problem today. Men are “running the church”. Actually, not the church but religion. You see, Christ built the church, a relationship between a Holy God who longed to be reunited with fallen man. Man, on the other hand, created religion, his own way of making rules and ways to find God. This is where we got messed up. I’m not saying that the structure of a church organization, traditions, schools, Christian writing outside of the Bible, or anything not found in sacred text is wrong, but when we start to make up a religion to find God on our terms, we create a god, (notice the lower case “g”), to be what we want. This is what has happened over the years not only in the Roman Catholic Church but with many others as well.
    I most closely identify as being Baptist and attend a Baptist church, went to a Baptist Bible College and if asked, would tell someone that I am Baptist. However, in the eyes of God, I am a man who, like any other, was a fallen sinning person in need of a saviour who believes in the need of the precious blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse me and therefore, I am a Christian. Nothing more, nothing less.
    The scandal(s) of any particular group should not bring shame to you as one who identifies closely with a faith that you cling to and hold dear. It is the one that has been your salvation through the most difficult and trying times of your life, your illness, your struggle with your anorexic, your challenge to remain pure to the husband you have yet to meet, and a host of other things. You are a daughter to the King of kings, making you a princess. For that you should be thankful, not ashamed.
    So, Princess Caralyn, pray for the church family you love. Pray for the men and women on both sides of the scandal that rocked the faith. Pray for those who questioned their own faith as a result, and keep motivating those of us who love you and wait for your next post with the anticipation of a four-year-old on Christmas morning!
    Love and Blessings,
    Jim

  23. I will pray for the Catholic Church.

    I was abused by 3 priests between age 6 and 12 as well as 5 other relatives and a therapist. Many years later after an overdose my parents called for a priest to do last rites in the ICU. I was in a coma. Apparently I came out of the coma and yelled at the priest and returned to the coma for another 2 and a half days. I didn’t remember anything, my girlfriend told me. I didn’t remember the abuse until I was 40 through flashbacks. My heart was broken and on the mend since then through spiritual practices and therapy. I have little faith that the Catholic Church will make a real effort to stop the abuse, but I am more that willing to be wrong about it. The silver lining to the abuse was that it opened me to the world of Spirit and has allowed me to help people heal. In 1990 I asked God what I was suppose to do with me life. I received an answer while awake and this lead me to help a woman from deciding to live instead of kill herself. I feel very blessed and lucky that my prayer was answered. My life was transformed significantly. So the power of prayer and meditation can work miracles when aligned with Spirit, right livelihood, and exquisite timing.

    1. Oh my gosh, Kai, I am so sorry to hear that you went through that. Oh my gosh, my heart just breaks for you. I wish I could be giving you the biggest hug right now in person. Oh friend, I am just so sorry. Thank you for having the courage to share your story. And thank you for using your story to help others. Wow, what a blessing you are to those people. Gosh, thank you for your prayer and for just being you. I am honored to call you a friend. sending you the biggest hugs in the world. xox

      1. Thanks. I believe I have 3 lives. 1. The life of my contiguous memories has had its ups and downs like anyone. 2. The fragmented memories are bits and pieces out of order memories that’s are hellacious. 3. The alternative universe I went to to protect myself and keep the light of my core intact. #3 makes everything wonderful and transcendence all the stuff of #2.

      2. I see. What an interesting and enlightening thought. All I know is that I am moved by your courage.

    1. Thank you so much for passing that info along. i will definitely check it out. love definitely is. hugs xo

  24. “Ever since God created the world, God’s everlasting power and deity—however invisible—have been there for the mind to see in the things God has made. —Romans 1:20
    I think what Paul means here is that whatever we need to know about God can be found in nature. Nature itself is the primary Bible. The world is the locus of the sacred and provides all the metaphors that the soul needs for its growth.” – Richard Rohr

    1. Thank you so much for sharing those powerful quotes. Nature really is a beautiful mirror to Christ.

  25. Amen, amen. Our Church (because I am Catholic too) needs prayers. Prayers for supporting the victims, prayers for repentance of priests who abused or covered up, prayers for how to not let this happen again, prayers for how to move forward…just lots of prayers.

    1. Hi Brendan, thank you so much for your prayers. they are so needed and I will join you in them! hugsxo

  26. Well this former Playboy model, NATACHA JAITT ( https://twitter.com/natachajaitt ), was about to expose DIRECT TIES between THE ROMAN CATHOLIC POPE (+ Vatican priests) and the ELITES’ MANY PEDOPHILE RINGS (read: SATANIC RITUAL ABUSE / CHILD SEX RAPE and ABUSE and MURDER cults) that circulate the globe and the circles of the lite … UNTIL she was FOUND DEAD this morning:

    https://pointofnoreturnthetruth.altervista.org/2019/02/playboy-model-who-had-evidence-of-elite-pedophile-ring-found-dead/

  27. It’s so refreshing to hear you say it straight. I went to my women’s church group this morning and all the women were feeling sorry for George Pell, unconvinced that he molested the boys, despite the jury’s conviction. And it just made me so sad—thinking about what courage it took for the victim to testify—being surrounded by Christians who are unwilling to face the reality of sex crimes in the church. Thanks for having a realistic perspective. It’s refreshing. Crimes and coverups need to be owned, not further denied.

    1. Hi Jenny, thank you so much for sharing your thoguhts on this heartbreaking issue. It really is so sad. Yeah, I cannot imagine the immense courage it takes to come forward like that. I appreciate you stopping by and joining the conversation.

  28. As a believer in Jesus and God’s word , not a Catholic, I am saddened but not surprised. I don’t want to get into details here but I hope you’ll seek the truth about the problems with the doctrines of Catholicism and find it . I don’t mean to sound rude . I hope you don’t take it that way . Your faith seems so genuine , I hope you’ll consider a non-catholic denomination and study the Bible in depth without the confusing and incorrect doctrines you’ve grown up with . I have so many former Catholic friends who had no idea what the Bible actually teaches about sanctification, justification and salvation ! This is a good time to find out . I think God is revealing the false teachers and false doctrines and wolves in the Catholic Church .

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your heart on this emotional issue. I don’t take it negatively at all. I definitely think that there is a cleansing going on for sure. hugs xo

    2. I agree with all you said pkadams. God is so merciful that He doesn’t want anyone to perish but come to repentance. He always provides a way of escape from deception. God said if anyone lacks wisdom we can ask him in my prayer. God is revealing the wolves in sheep clothing who claim to represent Christ but do not. Sexually immoral behavior is not of God and has no place in Christ’s body.

  29. Thank you very much Caralyn for this wonderful piece. You are such a brave, brave soul. A brave Catholic to admit the pains of these wounds. I am a priest and so deeply pained too. But to read your piece is so uplifting. Thank you and God bless you with more beauty beyond bones!

    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Wow, I cannot imagine the pain you are facing in your position as a priest. I will definitely be keeping you in my prayers. One of the things that breaks my heart the most is all of the *good* priests out there who have literally given their lives to the Church. It is such a beautiful gift, and I just hate that a bunch of “bad apples” have colored the opinion on the beauty of the priesthood, if that makes sense. I know I am not putting this elloquently, so please forgive me. But all this to say, thank you for the incredible gift you’ve given in serving the church, and I am so sorry that you’ve had to shoulder the opinions of others based on the horrible behaviors of some. God bless you, father. xox

  30. Any church that can produce a Christ follower of your passion for the things of God and the courage to stand up for them as you do, is certainly worthy of all our prayers. This Foursquare church pastor is standing in the gap for my Catholic brothers and sisters and their shepherds.

    1. Hi Dan, thank you so much for such kind words. I am humbled at your generous remarks. And I appreciate your prayers. Amen! That is so needed right now! hugs xo

    2. I join you in your anger, hurt and despair. I have a son who will making final vows to a religious order this summer and will likely be ordained a priest two years later. My heart aches for the good and true young men like him who love Christ, that they will have the strength to withstand the buzz saw they will be walking into.
      Thank you for your words on this tragic situation.

      1. Thank you to your son who is offering that gift to the church. I will definitely keep him in my prayers. Thank you for sharing this powerful perspective, JP. Hugs and love xox

  31. I think here is the point. We Christians.. Whether Catholic or out there Pentecostals, we are trying to follow Jesus. It is not okay if religious leaders have too much clout. Jesus debunked them too and called them hypocrites. It’s not about religion. It’s about finding God and finding Jesus and putting our everything in him. He is God and he made us and he is good and he loves us. Amazing! So amazing.

    1. You’re so right, we’re trying to follow Christ. THank you so much for this reflection. Yes! amen to that. hugs xo

  32. As a victim, I recognize people hurt me, not Christ. I recognize they spoke and acted on their own authority, not the authority of God. Your words are such a healing balm. Victims need to hear more believers speaking up and mourning with us. Thank you for being a light, and yes, I pray that in this chaos the Church will be healed.

    1. Hi Karisa, gosh I am so sorry to hear that you went through that. Gosh, my heart breaks to think that you have had to deal with that emotional, physical, spiritual and mental toll. I wish i could give you the biggest hug in the world. Praying for you, my dear friend. love you oxx

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers and encouraging words during this trying times. It really means so much. hugs xo

  33. I feel bad for the nondenominational churches that are viewed as “less than”, not as good as the Catholic faith. They are praising God, following His teachings, embracing a lost flock, but they are viewed with a jaundiced eye. Why is that?

    1. Hi Lisa, thank you so much for your thoughts on this issue. I personally don’t believe that they are “less than.” Not at all. I believe that we are all on the marathon towards Heaven! 🙂 And that we should be encouraging and supporting one another 🙂 that’s my thought process. What’s yours? So glad you stopped by. big hugs xo

  34. James McDonald, C.J. Mahaney, Mark Driscoll – evangelicals who were brought down by either scandal or covering up scandal.

    The United Methodist Church voted this week to align with Scripture on sexual ethics, yet they’ve got an immensely poor history of actually implementing their decisions (i.e. bringing their clergy into alignment).

    It’s everywhere. It’s the end-times apostasy, and it breaks the heart.

    Thanks for having the courage to call this out. It can’t be easy, but you’ve been remarkably tenacious about it.

    1. Hi Brandon, thank you so much for sharing this info. You’re right – sadly, it is everywhere. The world needs prayers right now, big time. thanks for your support. hugs xo

  35. I love when you say “It’s Jesus who I am putting my faith in,” for that is exactly what we all should do. And yes, as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray for all my brothers and sisters in the Catholic church, that the Lord would comfort them and show them the path they must follow; and for you, that your faith in Christ Himself would be strengthened in these troubling times. It is not only the Catholic church that is troubled in this way: I recently read that Southern Batist youth pastors are also facing similar sins. Read 1 Corinthians 5:1-8. Even the early churches were troubled by unspeakable sins… the key, however, is not to hide them, but to denunciate them and to put away from the church those who commit them.

    1. Thank you so much Marcelo. Amen to that – it’s Jesus. Thank you for your prayers and encouraging words. It means the world. hugs x

    1. Thank you Rajiv for sharing your thoughts on this emotional issue. I am unfamiliar with the situation in India. Care to explain? thanks! hiugs x

      1. Ah.. it started with the British in 1857 driving a wedge… a deep one. Some say that the seeds of Islamic terrorism were sown then. It went up to 1947 when India was partitioned and became independent. 1 million people killed and 15 million displaced .. My own family lost everything and came to India. And the current government has taken this one step further. We have a priest, a criminal priest, administering one state. Religion is not bad. We make it so

      2. Well.. that is the proverbial tip of the iceberg! This is why I am agnostic/pagan. Pagan in that I believe in the nature Gods of old

  36. I feel deeply for you Caralyn my prayers are with you.
    I was Catholic before I converted to Protestantism when I was 14. I think that was the right decision to make.
    I am sorry but I have to ask not just you but every Roman Catholic if you think the Roman Catholic priesthood itself really does follow the biblical pattern?

    I have a background in theology although that is not my point. My point is that unless I was married and unless my wife was involved in my ministry conducting pastoral counselling; I would not even consider being a Pastor or Minster let alone a Priest.
    I have a degree in social welfare counselling which I no longer practice simply because I am not comfortable counselling women and children without a supervisor or a second person assisting.

    As to the church, the risk and temptation for both single men and women and the risk of being falsely accused are simply too great.

    A survey of church history reveals that early on Roman Catholic Priests were allowed to marry. I acknowledge as a former missionary that being single in that environment allows one to dedicate themselves more fully to ministry.

    However, the office of Priest is not so sacrosanct in the sense that singleness is an obligation or even biblical nor should it be. I have no idea how or why the church would or thinks it should cover up the kind of atrocities we are witnessing more and more today.

    Priests are men like I am a man and none of us is impervious to any temptation that is common or even uncommon to humanity we and they have no more special ability to resists temptation under the right or wrong circumstances… Christ was tempted but he prevailed because He was not born of sin as were are and he is monogenes (only begotten) the one and only Son of God. Jesus was both fully human and fully God born without sin.

    The rest of us… shouldn’t think of ourselves too highly.

    Maybe its time the Roman Catholic Church revisited the whole celibacy issue. I am not saying that is the cause or the answer but I wonder if it may help.

    Finally, maybe the church needs to more closely scrutinise its novices. I don’t know how that might work because it’s not just the Catholic church that has this problem, it’s in every denomination.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I do believe in apostolic succession. I also believe that priests are men, just like all of us and are fallen, just like all of us. Christ is the only perfect being. As far as celibacy goes, I think it is a beautiful sacrifice and gift that reflects Christ’s gift on the Cross. And you’re right – every denomination has their issues. With power comes the vast responsibility, that sadly, as fallen people, we are prone to abuse. Thanks so much for joining the conversation. Hugs and love xox

  37. You are correct.
    They kept hidden warning of Fatima but clearly we are seeing its content now.
    Be in no doubt, our blessed Mother is with each ad every one of us and She is with the Pope too.
    Prayers are absolutely vital.
    She gave us the rosary and it truly is powerful.
    God bless you.

  38. To be truthful, I am not discouraged, rather I am encouraged because I believe the timing of Jesus returning is almost on us. The summit does not affect just the Catholic Church, it affects every Christian in the world. We have a bigger field to cover, people need to hear and know about Jesus so we are not guilty of what happens to them. Have you heard about the ‘fake news’ movement? Soon the gospel will be termed as ‘fake’… We had better hurry… The time is short.

    1. ThAnk you for this powerful perspective. It does have a far reaching impact for sure. Hugs and love xox

  39. Like you said your faith is in Jesus himself not in the church. I know that God would reveal himself to the church. Our Faith in him would never fail because he would stand in the gap for us and for his church. Be encouraged dear! Stay rooted! The best would come.

  40. As a Christian who is not denominational or even religious, I have been more open to admitting that in everything, human will still be human. The Church is full of imperfect people and unfortunately we think that series of theological trainings will form certain character in those who we feel called. It is okay to have imperfect people in Church, none of us are but it is important that people understand that Priests are humans too and anybody (including the Pope) wearing this flesh is fallible.
    :
    The character of Christ being formed in every believer is tied to our personal experiences with Christ! That character can’t be formed by following different rules or by even trying to be moral! The Church should be the light and until we move beyond traditions and develop a more personal relationship with God, we can be fighting to protect a culture, a tradition, an institution but not to defend the word of God. I was raised an Anglican and even served to a diocesan capacity as the President of YOUNG ANGLICAN CRUSADERS a place I still hold so dear to my heart but I’ve moved beyond giving my allegiance to a denomination to giving my allegiance to a denomination. Catholic, Anglican or Pentecostal… Whatever it is, in Christ only one thing exist… Which is THE CHURCH (The Body of Christ.)
    :
    BeautyBeyondBones I respect you so much and your views… Reading this alone tells me you are a believer who though Catholic think beyond the borders of stereotypes. Blessings!
    #GracefulGeorge

  41. Caralyn I have to say for a Catholic you would make a wonderful protestant I rarely have meet a Catholic Christian who is as knowledgeable as you about your faith and takes it seriously. You have a wonderful beautiful spirit if you ever get to Adelaide Australia for a visit I would love to meet you for a coffee and an in-depth chat. If you don’t drink coffee any kind of refreshment will do. I have a vegan friend here who knows some great spots for food and gluten free deserts etc. much much love hugs and kisses back at ya. I could almost convert back to Catholicism because of you and maybe join the Priesthood myself… almost :P. Would please my mum no end lol.

    1. Oh wow Australia! What a beautiful place to call home. Lucky you. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. Hugs and love xox

  42. As a Lutheran pastor it is easy (and maybe even expected) for me to criticize the Roman Catholic Church. But the right thing to do is very rarely easy. I will pray for the RCC and the “one holy catholic and apostolic church” instead. We MUST all come together around the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus is calling us to Himself and sending us to a hurting world to share Him.

    1. Thank you Ed for your prayers and compassion. Amen – we need to join as family of believers! Hugs and love xox

  43. You faith may not be in the men of the church, but this is the roadmap of abrahamic faith. For a thousand years it spread like cancer at the point of a sword. This is the result of faith without evidence. It equals a fundamental flaw in our trusting neurology played upon by the men of words throughout human history.

    1. Thank you Jim for sharing your thoughts on this emotional issue. I don’t know anything about Abrahamic faith, but i know my faith is in Jesus Christ. Hugs and love xox

  44. I have some comments but most have already been said. The worst thing we can do is associate with a denomination before associating with Christ. No matter what denomination you claim there are go8ng to be dark corners. Abide with Christ.

    1. Thank you Steve for sharing your thoughts. As Christians we are all on the same team for Christ. Hugs and love xox

  45. I am not Catholic, but my heart completely goes out to you! Thank you for sharing your heart on a topic that many just want to turn a blind eye to. God loves his bride so much! I often get an even greater glimpse of his love through such darkness. And if we’d be truly honest, every single church and denomination has its deep faults. The light is on the Catholic Church right now, but tomorrow it might be my Church… What a blessing to be able to support and care for each other in our difficult seasons. Praying for the Catholic Church today and for the victims of abuse today. May they understand that God was in no way connected to their pain and find their healing in his arms.

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers and compassion. You’re right – supporting our brothers and sisters inChrist is exactly what we need right now. Hugs and love xox

  46. Caralyn, thank you for sharing your heart. I have prayed, and will continue to do so, for the Catholic Church.

    As a United Methodist, we have had our own struggles. This past week, there was a Special Session of The General Conference in St. Louis. According to umc.org, “The purpose was to act on a report from the Commission on a Way Forward, authorized to examine paragraphs in The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and to explore options to strengthen church unity.” It was interesting to see the conversations and comments on social media, to say the least.

    We all believe in God, the Father. He knows everything about us. However, we need to hold church leaders, no matter what denomination, accountable for their actions. That’s my opinion.

    I will continue to pray for the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, church leaders, and you.

    1. Thank you so much Laura Beth for your prayers and compassion. I did read about that conference. I agree. We need to hold them accountable for sure. Even though no one is perfect, criminal actions are criminal actions and merit the appropriate consequences. I really appreciate your support. Big hugs and I will also be praying for the general conference as well!! Hugs and love xox

  47. Yes, we live in a fallen world and only our faith in Jesus can sustain us and help us get through life.

    This verse from the Holy Scriptures came to my mind as I finished reading your blog.

    ‘if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.’ (2 Chronicles 7:14)
    https://my.bible.com/bible/59/2CH.7.14

    Thanks for sharing your honest and brave heart.
    God bless you!

    1. Thank you so much Sandy for sharing that powerful verse. Amen to that – God can and will get us through this storm! Hugs and love xox

  48. Issues like these sister is why I believe it was never God’s will for us to have eaten FIRST of the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, without consulting God first.

    We did not possess the MATURITY at the time to interpret the knowledge of good and evil.

    God’s will initially was for us to simply receive everything with childlike faith and to not be burdened with the details.

    However, IF we choose to continue to eat and live by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil these days vs. our faith in God, then may mankind’s failures be a simple reminder why we need forgiveness.

    I overheard once that hurt people hurt others and that we cannot give what we don’t have.

    And I, myself who have come from a long line of church elders, understand now at 45, that it is easier to TEACH the stories of God’s love than to SHOW God’s love.

    We all, all denominations, even the non-denominations, including Catholic priests and even the high priests of old remain the product of a life that pushes more obedience than love.

    “Obedience without love becomes religion.”

    Now religion is where it may start for us all, but it cannot end there. We have to draw nearer to God in intimacy and love.

    Hosea 6:6 NLT
    “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.”

    Jesus then said,

    Matthew 12:7 CEV
    “Don’t you know what the Scriptures mean when they say, “Instead of offering sacrifices to me, I want you to be merciful to others?” If you knew what this means, you would not condemn these innocent disciples of mine.”

    This IS the MYSTERY of the TRINITY.

    It is the “I AM” drawing closer in intimacy to us personally.

    From the love of a FATHER to the love of a FRIEND in Jesus and finally, the most INTIMATE of all three, the love of a HUSBAND as we become ONE with His Spirit.

    It’s God “above us”, God ‘with us” and finally God “in us”.

    God “above us” or “with us” will NOT save your soul. Otherwise, Jesus died in vain.

    May these serious charges of the global Christian Church and it’s indictment of it’s “elders” across all Christian denominations be a wake up call to us all that we have to make sure that we have received the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    The Apostle Paul once said,

    Acts 19:2 NLT
    “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?. .”

    You would think that receiving the Holy Spirit would be automatic upon confession, but with all things, works must complement our faith because faith without works is dead.

    Now once the believer is in Union with God via His Spirit #acts 2:38, then now we can maturely eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and not be swayed or shaken.

    2 Corinthians 2 NLT
    “15Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. 16For, “Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.”

    Believe to receive.
    #acts2:38

    Your brother in our war against sin,
    Ray Evangelista

    1. Thanks Ray for sharing your heart on this. Amen – I pray that it is a wake up call as well. We need the holy Spirit to move in our churches! Hugs and love xox

  49. My heart aches for those who are victims of sexual abuse. My heart also reaches out to my Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ. This must be an incredibly trying time for you. My prayers are for you to cling to your faith in the Savior and to be comforted by His Holy Spirit. There is, and always will be, hope in Him who is the author of our salvation.

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers and kind words of compassion. Amen. Hugs and love xox

  50. It’s painful when people violate our trust and heartbreaking when our leaders let us down. I think this is true even more when fellow believers cause other believers pain. Yet, we are a Church of imperfect, fallen people. Praying for healing and forgiveness and God’s grace and mercy. Thanks for sharing your struggles with this difficult hurt brought on by misguided men. They will be accountable to a higher power than us. May this draw each of us closer to our Savior and not push away those looking for the hope that can only be found in Christ. Blessings.

    1. It really is. And you’re absolutely right. We are fallen and only Jesus is perfect. Thank you
      For your prayers. I will join you in that!! Hugs and love xox

  51. Faith leads to hope, and it overcomes fear (and the wrongdoing). Religion works beautifully when it amplifies faith. At its worse, it’s a set of convictions and rules that the people in charge don’t want to change. At its worst, it exists at the expense of faith. – Tony

    1. Thanks so much Tony. You’re right about that – hope overcomes fear. Amen. Hugs and love xox

  52. Hey BBB
    My heart also grieves with you over these atrocities. I am not a Catholic nor have I ever been but that does not mean as a Brother in Christ that I don’t also feel the shame of what this Christian ministry has done to our lonely women or innocent and defenseless children. We know these stains are not limited to the Catholic community of Priests alone.
    The Catholic community is in our prayers too!
    His mercy endures forever, amen.
    TS-Whirlwind
    Steven R. Harrel

    1. Hey Steven, thank you so much for your prayers and compassion. Amen – His mercy will always prevail, even in darkness! hugs xo

    1. Thank you so much MCM for your prayers and compassion. Keeping the hope!! hugs xo

  53. Thank you for being so courageous. When I was a pastor I went through all the official channels to address false anti-Christian doctrines in our denomination. That was shot down, so I turned to the local churches in our state and asked for their help at our annual denomination convention meeting. What I found was that the local church laypeople who represented their congregations were overwhelmingly with me and standing with Scripture. It was the leaders in the denomination who were against this. We voted on this issue and 99% of the local people voted for a resolution I authored to stop the unbiblical policy. However, the leaders disavowed the vote on a procedural technicality which I didn’t even know existed until then. This was all done in front of a large crowd at the meeting. My point is this, it is really the people in the pews, like you, who can have a greater impact than you realize. Real Godly change won’t come from the top down, the organization will see to that. It must come bolstered by much prayer from the bottom, grass roots worshipers in the pews. I don’t know how that can happen in such a top-heavy organization like the Catholic church unless a wave of the Holy Spirit moves the people to change the leadership somehow. Blessings to you and yours always my sister.

    1. Thank you so much DT for sharing your heart and your experience. There is power in the pews, that’s for sure. Very encouraged by this! Come Holy Spirit!! hgus xo

  54. God loves the Catholic people. True believers in every church, do as well. Check out Psalm 37. If there ever was a time such words need to soak into our souls, it is now. Blessings!

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement. I will definitely read 37 tonight. No better time to seek God’s guidance and comfort through His word. Hugs xo

  55. Although, I no longer follow my catholic faith (for a different reason, entirely), I have always admired catholics and, most likely, always will. I certainly am making no excuse for the abuse of children, but the inordinate amount of attention placed on the Church is incredible, considering the problem of child sexual abuse is systemic in society. But, I do believe that priests are charged with that special need of nurturing its members and when it’s violated, it’s a harm that has long lasting effects.

    And, although, I don’t practice the faith of my youth, I will pray that the ultimate end is one that is truly protective of children.

    (And I live in the Denver, Colorado area and hope you enjoyed the trip here!)

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your heart on this heartbreaking issue. I agree – the effects are particularly hurtful, given their position as father, and in persona Christi. Thank you for your prayers and compassion. I have a very special spot in my heart for Denver! hugs xo

  56. I understand your anguish. I’m anguished whenever I see churches and religious communities doing things that clearly violate the Spirit of what faith is about. I hope your words and your commitment help to bring healing and cleansing to many people.

    1. Thank you so much Joe, for your kind words and encouragement during this heartbreaking time. Hugs xo

    1. Thank you so much Barbara for your prayers and compassion. Amen – it’s on Jesus! hugs xo

  57. Yes, Caralyn, I’d heard about the Vatican Summit, indeed, following the daily news stories of the proceedings. Moreover, I know, truly, and lament, deeply, that the crisis of sexual abuse, harassment, and misconduct is no more endemic to the Roman Catholic Church than it is to any other body, whether sacred or secular. The Episcopal Church/Anglican Communion of which I am a part has been and is roiled by the same scandal of generations of horrendous acts of the violation of persons and their souls, and then institutional silence, inaction, coverup, and misinformation. The light of truth, though searing, historically, dawns slowly. Yet, the light of truth does dawn. I share your sorrow and your conviction of faithful steps, both personally and institutionally. Praying all may be so. Love

    1. Hi Paul, thank you so much for sharing your heart and for your prayers during this heartbreaking time. And you’re right, sadly this culture of abuse can be seen in other realms of society too. Come Holy Spirit, heal and comfort the hurting. Hugs xo

      1. Me too! Always! I have a deep need to receive Jesus’ body and blood every Sunday (if not every day!) There were a solid three years where I was able to go to daily mass. I so miss it, and am going to try to add it back into my schedule! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  58. Religion is a “tool” to help us break free from the shackles of our rigid mind. It’s the spirit of its holy books we cherish, and not in every word you’ve memorised.

    Religion is all about branding love which has developed a quality of discrimination and differentiation. They lay out conditions for love. Love is obscured from a clear view behind a veil. In that, all organised religions will one day ended up in some sort of scandal. You see, there is no secrets to love, but the so called “subjects of God” have been adding artificial flavours it in order to sell it to masses in return for favours. Love is plain, and as it is simple.

    That is one reason I wrote “S.O.S” without reservation. Have a read at davidlimsite.wordpress.com

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, David. I definitely respect your viewpoint. We are living in a fallen world and the only perfection is Christ. Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers and compassion, Dawn. You’re right about that. Come Holy Spirit! Hugs and love xox

      1. I know you’re not trying to guilt trip me, but I’m one of those people who left Catholicism for other churches (Evangelical Covenant, which I’ve heard described as the closest possible to nondenominational while still being a denomination; various flavors of Baptist churches; and now a Vineyard church). My reasons were a bit more detailed and specific, though.

        My mom’s ancestors arrived from Europe gradually between approximately 1850 and 1920, and they have been Catholic as far back as we’ve been able to trace. I grew up going to Catechism until 7th grade, but they didn’t teach things very well, and the other kids there were just as mean to me as the kids at school, and no one seemed to care, or build me up as a human being, or do anything about the other kids tearing me down. My mom’s church is also very traditional and not very kid-friendly in general, and Mom stopped forcing me to go to anything churchy around that time. I was down to just Christmas, Easter, and maybe once a month at the most. By my senior year of high school, I was going a little more often (which may or may not have been influenced by noticing that a girl from school I liked went to my church – nothing ever came of that, and it wouldn’t have worked anyway because she’s married to a woman now, although we stayed friends for a long time and lost touch mostly through natural causes, but that’s another story), and when I started college, I went to Mass at the Newman Center pretty much every week until mid-October of my junior year.

        Early in my second year, I got involved with a nondenominational campus ministry (Intervarsity), through the influence of friends. For about a year I was part of that group, choosing on my own to follow Jesus for the first time and learning more about what was in the Bible, but still attending Mass at the Newman Center and singing in their church choir. I felt like Catholicism had much more in common with other branches of Christianity compared to what everyone tends to argue about, and that I didn’t have to choose. Generally, I still believe this, and I still have a lot of respect for the Catholic Church. I still go to Mass on Christmas morning, because I’m with my Catholic family on that day.

        The reason I left was because I felt like a lot of the Catholic students didn’t really believe what their church taught. I was reading things like “So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Cor. 11:27), yet overhearing Catholic students say things like “we have to eat and drink the rest of the bread and wine, we can’t throw it away because it’s been consecrated, and sometimes I need that wine to get me tipsy to get through the closing song.” Also, this probably has more to do with being in a liberal college town in California than Catholicism in general, but the people running Mass at the Newman Center were big on doing things like changing the words of songs to refer to God using feminine pronouns (it should be noted that this was over two decades ago, not part of the current firestorm surrounding gender pronouns and such). Now I get the argument that God doesn’t have a gender, but doing that even after being warned not to by the diocese does not reflect the spirit of humility and repentance consistent with worshiping God and loving Jesus. I didn’t want to make this decision lightly. I spent the entire month of October 1996 (about a year after I started going to Intervarsity, and eight months after making the decision to follow Jesus) going to church twice every Sunday, at the Evangelical Covenant church that many of my friends went to and also Mass at the Newman Center, and praying about making the right decision, and I felt like my friends’ church was more of what I needed at that point in life. (Last spring, I wrote a blog post about going back to an old church because the long-time youth pastor who I volunteered with was leaving; that was this Covenant church that I’m talking about.)

        (I started a second blog recently, a continuing story based on my own college years. The character in that will be making a similar faith journey, but I’m only a couple months in so it’ll be a while before I get to that part.)

        I have noticed the same thing you’re describing. Growing up, Christmas Mass was always packed, to the point that Mom is still always paranoid that we won’t get a seat and makes us get there really early (although she’s also a lector so she has to get there early, and we have to pick up Grandma, who is the second oldest person at that parish and often takes a while to get ready these days). But the last few years, even at Christmas Mass, half the seats are empty. And this is probably one of the most traditionally Catholic parts of the USA, with a lot of Mexicans and Filipinos and Italians in the region.

        I think part of the problem is that many people only identify as Catholic because of their ethnicity or cultural heritage. Their ancestors were Catholic in their previous country, so now they’re Catholic here, without them ever having made a conscious choice to follow Jesus (like I did at 19) or even knowing much about what they believe. (And don’t get me started on politicians who claim to be Catholic but support abortion of fully formed and viable babies and attempt to suppress free speech by making pro-life pregnancy centers advertise for abortion clinics…) The Catholic Mass rituals have their origins in deep and meaningful worship experiences, but that meaning doesn’t seem to be taught and passed on very well these days. If the Catholic Church is going to experience a revival, I would think they’ll have to do a better job of that. Of course, there are lots of people in other branches of Christianity who go through the motions and haven’t had their lives transformed, but Catholicism seems especially susceptible to this, from what I’ve seen.

        My prayers are with you and with the Catholic Church. Thank you for sharing and always being honest.

      2. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m sorry that the group of students at the Newman center said those things. That’s so disappointing. And sadly, you will find Catholic Churches that are pushing liberal boundaries with pronouns and other little things that aren’t liturgically sound. And I just avoid those, because like you experienced, it makes me feel so unsettled and upset and actually brings out some anger. You’ve definitely brought up some really powerful food for thought, and I really appreciate you being so open and candid. Thank you so much for your prayers and compassion. I pray for that revival too, because you’re right – it is a deep and meaningful worship experience. Sending you so much love and hugs xox

      3. It’s not just Catholics. The Vineyard church I went to for two years (my current church is a plant of that church, so far it’s just one extended family of 10 and me) is turning into a hipster church pushing all of those boundaries, and I actually had to unfriend the pastor on Facebook because of the childish names he was calling Donald Trump, all the praise he was heaping on Nadia Bolz-Weber, and other conduct not becoming of a pastor. I’m not by any means saying that everything Donald Trump does is right, but we should be praying for him and our country, not calling him names. Nadia Bolz-Weber brings up some interesting issues on ways that Christianity alienates people, but glorifying and bragging about your sin with foul language is not the way to approach Jesus in humility and repentance. This must be what Paul wrote about regarding people following what their itching ears want to hear… 🙁

      4. I completely agree. We need to pray for, support and respect him, regardless of what we think about his politics. Very true. Hugs and love xox

      5. And also— definitely no guilt trip here 🙂 💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛 nothing but love and respect!

  59. Good work. End times are near. And we don’t need to search the time & date of ending. Just pray for all doing good to others with love. Its time to pray for churches in the name of Jesus Christ to Almighty God. Worst things happened & happening inside and outside churches. Evil has covered the goodness of priests for doing sins. And we have no authority given from above to punish or curse the sinful priests. Only prayers can destroy the works of evil. Rosary is a real weapon against all evil. So prayers are needed daily. And only Love for eachother can save this world.

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. Yes – I will join you in that important prayer. Amen! Hugs and love xox

  60. I’m reminded of the scripture in Galatians 5:9 KJV A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Meaning a little yeast can cause a lump of dough to rise. One person can infect all others. In the case of the Catholic church we hear of more than one and it is a disgrace. But I’m sure there are other churches too dealing with the effects of its leaders. Our faith and hope is in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our church leaders our considered our shepherd and this is a calling on their life, but when did they stop obeying the one who has called them? We must pray. Dear Heavenly Father we pray that you create in us a clean heart , O Lord and renew a right spirit within us. Lord keep our mind and thoughts stayed on you. God let us see sin the way you see sin and turn from all wickedness. God strengthen the church body and heal those that have been hurt by those who are in positions of trust. God restore the church, and may love abound and we give this all over to you in Jesus name we pray Amen.

    1. Thank you so much for this powerful perspective. And I so appreciate this beautiful prayer. Praying with you. Hugs and love xox

  61. Thanks for writing this; I wasn’t aware of the Summit. There’s so much I’d like to say… I’ll try to be brief, but I can’t promise that 🙂

    I’m glad you asked for prayer because that’s what we need more than ever! Of course the abuse and the way it’s been handled is appalling; I don’t think any Catholic disagrees with that. It doesn’t make me ashamed to be Catholic, though. I’m honestly more on fire than ever.

    We were told persecutions would occur in the Church, and it would get worse before it gets better. The reason the Church is in the news more than any other organization (abuse occurs everywhere) is because the devil wants to destroy the Church. He knows that if he destroys her, he destroys countless souls. We know, ultimately, the Church will triumph through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the devil’s reign will end.

    What discourages me is Catholics who leave the Church because of these problems. Yes, they are MAJOR problems and there should be zero tolerance for the priests who committed these atrocious sins. However, this doesn’t change the end result. The Church is still good and beautiful. We see this in the sacraments and the Mass, as I know you know well. The Eucharist is the BEST reason for being Catholic and will continue to sustain us on the journey and give us strength.

    You’re right, we need courageous Catholics who aren’t afraid to think, speak and live according to true Catholic doctrine. When the anti-Christ comes (which may be shortly) even more will fall away, and we may be left with a very small Church. But, she will be strong! Jesus will never abandon His Bride.

    Keep fighting the good fight and being a courageous Catholic, Caralyn!

    1. Thank you so much Terese for sharing your heart on this heartbreaking issue. You’re so right – the evil one wants nothing more than to destroy it. I agree wholeheartedly. The Eucharist is the absolute beat reason to be catholic and we need to stand by Jesus! Thanks so much for this wonderful encouragement. God bless you!! Hugs and love xox

  62. My prayers go out to the Vatican Summit, that these leaders will have wisdom to do what is right. The whole thing is tragic and horrific, as you said. But I do want to encourage you, Caralyn (and all Catholics). As it’s been said, we’re only as sick as our secrets, which means that bringing them into the light is the first step toward healing and even reformation. I believe that if the leadership does the hard things here, the future will be bright for the Catholic church. And I am not a Catholic so I’m not just saying this.

    One more thing. In one real sense, people who have been exposed as perpetrators are safer, because they’ve been exposed and are getting help, rather than someone continuing to do the same things in secret. This is why exposure, as ugly and painful as it is in the present, can bring real healing and changes that promote the health of the whole organization. It may take several years to right the ship but, again, if they do the right thing, the Catholic Church will be stronger for it.

    1. Thank you so much Mel for your prayers and encouraging words. I do have hope for the future too. Come Holy Spirit. And you’re right – healing and changes I believe are on the horizon. It’s a painful process but one that will lead to permanent change for good, I pray. Hugs and love xox

  63. I’m a former Catholic… Even as I type these words, in my head I know that it’s always going to be part of who I am. But I can’t go back to Church.
    I know a lot… from up close and personal, which I have written about more than once, but I’ll attach here for you if interested. I didn’t know they burned records… but I am frankly not surprised. I suspect that if all the truth came out, there would be no going back. How do you cover up evil in the name of religion…..ask for penance after? Not being as smart ass as that sounds…. but I know that wasn’t in the vows they took. Who are they serving now? I wonder how they live with that.

    These people acted in an evil manner. They stole childhoods, and lives. They stole faith and religion… traditions and futures… And in the place and people that should have been a refuge… and the fact that they still have not come to their knees and begged forgiveness, much less complete transparency and change….. I just can’t.

    There is still so much pain in my family and friends lives… still so much hurt in my heart. Anger too, if I’m going to be honest… but I try to not hold it.
    But I’m angry. I’m furious. It’s been years and it doesn’t go away. They hurt people i love. It started with one man, and it grew… Because that is what evil does in the darkness…. Until the church lives and breathes completely in the light, it will continue to fester and infect. And people will leave.

    What I will say is that you give my heart hope for the church.
    Much love.

    Cinn
    https://vanillawithatouchofcinnamon.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/here-we-go-now/

    1. Hey Cinn, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experienceon this heartbreaking issue. I’m so sorry that you and your family and friends have lived with so much hurt and pain. That just breaks my heart. There really is no excuse for the evil that has been allowed to occur in the church. I just pray that an overhaul and renewal take place immediately. And I pray for those who have been so horrifically hurt by those who should have been a spiritual leader to them. Thank you for sharing your story. Hugs and love xox

  64. Thank you. I strongly agree with ur statement. Our faith lies not in the men who leads but in the person of Jesus, in her sacraments and the Eucharist.

    This is another dark age of the church, but comes with a powerful grace when embraced with humility and dependence on Christ her Spouse.

    1. Thank you friend. I agree. I pray for that powerful grace to come soon! Come Holy Spirit! Hugs and love xox

  65. First off, I want to commend you for your courage in sharing the tragic, horrible abuses in your church. It’s not easy to put that out there, knowing the brunt of criticism and negativity you could and probably do get with these scandals. And your courage to share your disgust and sorrow over it all. Every Christian church has had scandals, not just the Catholic Church, but the Catholic Church does need to handle these abuses much better (understatement) than it has. I feel for you and other Catholics as I can imagine how painful it is to see this happening in your church. But as you said, we’re all broken in need of healing, and churches are people, filled with broken human beings. But God is not broken, and our relationship with Christ and the Trinity is most important because that’s what Christianity is–an intimate relationship with Christ God. Once you’ve experienced Him, know Him, love Him, nothing can shake that connection, although the relationship is synergetic, so we have to keep striving to grow closer to Him, put Him at the center of our lives, which is a real challenge many days (at least for me). So, of course, I, a Greek Orthodox Christian will be praying for you and my Catholic brethren. God bless.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your heart on this tough issue. Amen to that!! God is not broken!!! 🙌🏼 really appreciate your prayers and compassion. Hugs and love xox

  66. Caralyn My prayer is that the eyes of many,with a humble heart for Christ, will be opened in the Roman Catholic church. The news about the sexual immorality in the RCC for decades has always been so sad and also very disturbing.

    God is revealing these dark secrets in the Roman Catholic church for a reason (it would be wise to seek God in prayer for wisdom as to what He wants for you to do Caralyn). I agree with pkadams comment. From reading through your posts I can tell you desire to please God. Your faith seems sincere. Your post about being a virgin was especially encouraging and astonishing in a world where people are openly mocked for choosing to honour God in that way.

    I know quite a few Catholics whose faith seems very genuine but like pkadams shared many really have very little to no understanding about sanctification, justification and salvation beyond what they heard their priests say. Catholics of old we’re restricted from having the texts for themselves to actually seek God for themselves through His word and prayer, only priests had the access mainly. Today it is different. Today no man, especially a professed Christian, has any excuse as to why they don’t correctly understand all that Christ accomplished on the cross for our sins.

    The revelation of the abundance of sexual immorality in the Roman Catholic church (and in other denominations) is not so people could walk away from Christianity but so people can genuinely seek God. I left my last church because of its failure to be be biblically sound and they preached a prosperity Gospel, now I’m at a church more doctrinally sound in Bible teaching but still I prayerfully seek God’s word for understanding because like you shared priests aren’t perfect, preachers I’m general aren’t but one who is humble and preaches God’s word correctly and truthfully is good.
    I also hope you find a church that has sound doctrinal teaching, not some church that merely seems more fun or exciting than the RCC. Don’t let Christian rock music and some band music in other churches be the only reason you consider another church. Hopefully wanting to grow more in faith and knowledge in Christ be the reason. I say that with genuine love and care for many who profess to follow Christ in the RCC.

    I have never had an eating disorder but one day I came across your blog. I always knew you we’re Catholic and haven’t commented on any of your other posts about your Catholic faith but God knows why I am now commenting. Hopefully you don’t brush off comments like mine and pkadams as merely Catholic opposition. God bless you Caralyn. (Also, I’m not sure if I spelled your name correctly , if I haven’t please forgive me.) <3 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts during this heartbreaking time. I definitely do not brush off your comment at all, and am grateful that you took the time to share your heart. This is obviously a very difficult time for the RCC, and as you said – what is coming to light is not only incredibly disappointing, disturbing and brings up a lot of anger inside. That being said, I cannot walk away from my faith, and I must pray for the total and complete cleansing of the church. Not is the time to keep my eyes firmly locked on Jesus and pray fervently for the hurting church. I do truly appreciate your words of encouragement and compassion. It means the world. Hugs and love xox

  67. Hang on, we must hang on to Christ. The church needs a cleansing and this is a wake up call to all Catholics.

  68. I’m not Catholic, but I would say that its not just Catholics that are facing such criticisms in this modern “scientific” world of ours. To call ourselves as “Christian” isn’t treated with high regard anymore – regardless of denomination.
    Let’s face it, the body of Christ as a whole as lost the part. We’ve become overweight with traditions, religious ceremonies; stemming not from the foundations of the “Word of God”, but rather on someone’s understanding of it or an adaptation of a paganistic rituals.
    As followers of Christ, we ourselves often fail in the little essentials that should set us apart from any other religious sect out there – primarily our call to “Love”.
    The body of Christ is often so divided by denominational and religious practices that in truth. Any scandalous issue is covered up mostly for fear of shame. So much so, most who call themselves as Christians, don’t really know what they believe in anymore. Some are even agnostic or atheistic in their beliefs; choosing to follow whatever is prevailing at the time; rather than the Bible.

    The Bible is seen as the an ancient outdated document these days only followed if you want to live your life in the dark ages.
    I recently saw an episode of “The Simpson” where someone was giving away free bibles at the roadside and there was a huge queue to pick up a Quran to the stall next to him.
    That clearly tells us that thanks to the church, the teachings of Christ is treated with as much criticism and contempt as he was when he was on this earth.

    In reviewing the church as a whole, considering how much our Lord rebuked them, we as his followers have become the very same as those he rebuked… The Pharisees and Sadducees.

    One of our biggest failings is that we often place far too much importance and high regard in church leadership, often forgetting that they are men also and are prone to fail as well. The bible is full of men who have fallen and lost their calling, only to find it renewed again when they repent from their wicked ways. This gives us hope that no matter what, there is a just, loving, God that is ready to forgive and forget and help us back on to the right path.
    The church was supposed to be a place of healing, sanctuary of the cares of the world, a place of teaching and guidance. So as believers, our focus and faith should not be in leaders, but Christ himself.
    The Apostle Paul said it correctly, “Imitate me, as I imitate Christ.” Hence if your church leader isn’t imitating Christ, then we’re supposed to look directly to Christ.

    Well… that’s my take on it. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this heartbreaking issue. I think you’re so right. We need to remember that our leadership are humans and only Christ was perfect. And amen – God will help us get back to the right path. Amen. So appreciate this powerful perspective. Hugs and love xox

  69. Thank you for you post and your honesty. As a Christian of the Pentecostal persuasion, I have always been grateful of the teaching from the pulpit by a man that is transparent. “Write down the scriptures and your notes, go look them up and form your own conclusion Please correct me if I am wrong. The same leadership has men who hold them accountable. I hurt for the Roman Catholic church and I hurt for every one who was taught to trust the Father blindly. The error is in the Church organization, not in the people. I applaud you because you recognize that it is your relationship with Christ that matters. Keep looking, and keep writing. We need to hear your voice.

    1. Thank you so much Bruce for sharing your thoughts on this tough issue. I appreciate your compassion and support. Hugs and love xox

    2. So many preachers out there taking scriptures out of context and twisting it to suit their own ideology.

      The bible itself tells us to “Test the scriptures”… it is so often that when someone does not properly understand the “word of God”, one can easily be lead astray.
      Jesus himself said that many will come in his name. We’re supposed to know His voice in order to discern the difference and that comes from knowing his word.

  70. Again another powerful and heartfelt piece.

    Many non-catholics understand your feelings because like you they are horrified at what some were able to do in the name of Christ.

    For me personally the demand for two witnesses and forcing them to face the accused is such an unreasonable act. I wasn’t part of the problem but I am horrified to have been associated with the problem.

    Romans 13 makes it clear that all Christians are subject to the law up to the point where it contradicts God’s law, so we look at these things from a post 1980’s viewpoint.

    Historically the coursts and society did little to protect children – In the UK 1889 saw the first legal protection – prevention of cruelty act. This was played around with for 100 years and in 1989 the breakthrough occurred with the Children Act.

    Our collective retrospection in judging others applies our current values.

    Morally the exploitation of children is inexcusable!

    The hiding of such actions by Churches today is again morally questionable but should it challenge our faith? Jesus said many would come in his name, and comfortingly he also stated at Matthew 7: 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (KJV).

    The Apostles also told of those who would polute the congregation or church for their own devices.

    So the Vatican like many other groups have to clean house. Children are a prcious gift, life is precious and like Jesus we condemn hypocrasy but we never reject our faith in God.

    A really thought provoking piece as ever. Thank you.

    1. Thank you so much Mark, I really appreciate your kind words. I think you’re right – clean. House. It will be painful and humbling. But we need to get back to Jesus. Hugs and love xox

  71. Thank you for posting this! As I was reading this, I was thinking that (as a Catholic myself), I will not leave the Church during these dark times. I don’t know what I would’ve thought when I was younger and didn’t put as much value in my faith life and relationship with God. But during college, and the almost year since graduating, I’ve realized that my faith is a major part of my life. And our Church is a massive part of that.

    And it hurts me that such things have happened in such an otherwise beautiful Church. And it hurts me even more that people are judging the Church (and maybe even the lay people themselves) based only on the terrible things being brought to light through the scandals.

    But I don’t intend on leaving the Church any time soon. 🙂

    Thank you again for posting this!

    1. Thank you so much for your support and for sharing your heart during this difficult time. I am so with you on everything you’ve expressed. The church is hurting. It’s parishioners are hurting. I applaud and encourage you for standing by her and believing that Christ can and will overcome and heal! Hugs and love xox

  72. Just wanted you to know that I identify with your feelings of shame as well as your sticking with it because you are there for Christ and not for the people who have errantly led. When SNL and others use this scandal as a joke- I cringe because I know how it feels. I am (I shudder to even say it) an evangelical Christian. And our choices as a group have left so much pain and unchristlikeness in their wake. So I get it and you are right. I do and will continue to pray for my Catholic bothers and sisters 💕 thank you for sharing

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I agree – it’s so cringy and hurtful. Thank you for your prayers and compassion, it really means a lot. big hugs to you xo

  73. Caralyn, I respect you. You’re story is one of courage and perseverance in your battle with ED. You are a voice to be reckoned with here on WP and I’m sure in all of your areas of influence. I admire your honesty, your courage to tackle the hard topics and your ability to really connect with your readers. I’ve purchased your book, “Bloom” and I’m thinking very seriously about the toothpaste! I’m not Anorexic but you might say I have an eating disorder…I have a sugar/carb addiction. Anyway, all that aside, you do an amazing job writing this blog and relplying to everyone. That being said, I want you to understand this comment comes from the heart of a former Catholic. I personally never would have understood who Jesus is if I had stayed in the Catholic Church. I can say that now, because He saved me. When I read your posts, I hear the voice of someone who knows she has a Savior. I was actually surprised (and saddened) when I first discovered you were Catholic. I’m actually new to my faith in Christ (5 years now since I was saved at the age of 48). I know I’m saved because I know now that I wasn’t before…if that even makes sense. He changed my heart-and changed my life. I’m still a work in progress…working out my salvation with fear and trembling you might say. At first I thought maybe I would return to the Catholic Church; it’s all I ever knew. I tired a few times…especially with my family. But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be a part of that anymore. I don’t know how anyone who has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior could remain in the Catholic Church. I’m not saying that because of the sex scandal (although that’s a real tragedy-and I see why it would cause many to leave) but I say it because, once I realized the truth of the Gospel, I couldn’t go back. There is no number of masses, no amount of sacraments, no number of rosaries or confessions to a priest that will earn anyone right standing before a holy God. The only thing that will offer eternal security is putting your complete faith in the sacrifice Jesus made on your behalf. When He said, “It is finished” that meant your debt (and mine) was “Paid In Full”. Nothing we do will earn salvation. I urge you to do some real detective work on this…look to the true source of faith…Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Jesus IS the Word…and the Bible is where we go to hear His word. He said He would send the he Holy Spirit who would lead us into all truth! He will reveal the truth to those who seek Him. The pope is doing some things that should really be a cause of concern for Catholics. I’d love to hear your opinion on this:
    https://cruxnow.com/pope-in-uae/2019/02/08/u-s-catholic-officials-welcome-catholic-muslim-document-signed-by-pope/
    I have urged my own family to look into these things as well. Some of my family are very devout Catholics…others are Agnostic some maybe even Atheists/Unbelievers. My own son isn’t sure what he believes any more. I raised him Catholic-even sent him to Catholic School through the 4th grade. It breaks my heart. Just another note: I used to attend one of the Non-Denominational Mega churches like you mentioned in this post and that, unfortunately isn’t the answer either…but that is a story for another time. All “churches”, with or without denomination have their problems. THE CHURCH = Believer’s. Those who believe in the finished work of Christ alone. We are saved by grace, through faith…not of ourselves. It is still important to be a part of a community of believers…not because you will go to hell if you don’t go to church but b/c the Bible says we’re not to neglect our meeting together, to encourage one another in the faith…which is the word of God! It has been my experience (and you may be different) but when Catholics speak of being “in the faith” they are generally speaking of the faith they have in the Roman Catholic Church and not in Christ alone. My prayer is for all Catholics: you, my family, my friends…all Catholics to come to know the truth of the Word of God. Again, I respect you for speaking out on what you believe…I’m simply asking, as a former Catholic, that you think about what I’ve said here. May God give you wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%201%3A16-18&version=ESV;NRSVCE God Bless you Caralyn-I truly think you are an amazing young woman and really enjoy your blog.

  74. I’ve been visiting your page for some time and keep coming back because on religious matters you value what the Bible says and not so much what someone necessarily preaches from a pulpit. I’m not devaluing what is always preached but the Bible says we need to test what people say against what the Bible says. I’m not a Catholic but we can all be indebted to some of the Catholic writers of the past who obviously had a close relationship with God. We can be inspired by Catholic Mother Theresa. The essence of the gospel is as Jesus described it “love to God, love to man.” I’ve seen that demonstrated within the Catholic religion as I have in some Protestant churches. I’m not impressed with the view that you have to be one label or another to make it to heaven. To me salvation is a gift of God to those individuals who want to be in a heavenly environment and do the hard yards to demonstrate that. Yes what has transpired is embarrassing and the secular world puts all religions in a common pot of scorn because of the indiscretion of the few. Why not think positively that this sad set of disclosures could be the means of cleaning up the act of all churches so they collectively imitate the ways of Christ rather than giving into the natural waywardness of the human element in us. Keep close to Jesus and the Bible They are our only compass in an increasingly secular wicked world. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Ian, I am touched by your encouragement. A common pot of scorn – wow isn’t that the truth. Thanks for your compassion 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  75. This is such a difficult subject and time. I was raised Catholic and practiced fairly devoutly until my kids were about 1 and 3. (They were never quiet in church so I wound up attending a Baptist church around the corner; they had nursery and instruction for my little ones, and I could actually LISTEN to a sermon, lol.)

    A then-priest (with whom I had been close while he was stationed at my parish) knew what was going down at the beginning of this debacle, back in Boston, in the mid-90’s (?). He couldn’t say a word, but often told his mother what was going on was “big”.

    He often told me, “More lives are saved in church basements than in church pews.” My faith has never really lacked, but having a God of my understanding has been insanely helpful when the leaders of my churches have shown their humanness.

    The Catholic Church needs to look at the roots/origins of its practices and trust that God is leading them to a way that will benefit all. 🙏🙏🙏

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. That is such great advice: to trust God’s plan for goodness for all. Hugs and love xox

  76. This is so real Cara. Though you are Catholic, you are not biased and it’s priceless. My family is Catholic but for some personal reasons, I’m not a Catholic at heart. Tomorrow, I’ll be attending the ash Wednesday mass with my family. I’m not proud of this, but few hours ago, I said to myself, that I was only going for my parents’ sake. Now, the depth of your faith in the sacraments has encouraged me to see the true meaning of this season we are in. I’ve decided to ask more questions, maybe it will help my mindset.
    God bless you big for all that you do for His kingdom.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your heart on this. It really is such a beautiful and moving season. I hope tomorrow goes well for you. I will definitely be praying for you 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  77. “We need people of faith to stand by the Church during this Armageddon.” BBB I promise to keep Standing right beside you, Caralyn! Hugs & Blessings for sharing what so many of us are at a loss of words to do so.

    1. Oh Dawn, thank you my friend. I am so grateful for your support. Big big hugs xox

  78. I am also a Catholic. My fondest memories are the participation I and my family had when I was growing up. I have 2 adult daughters. Recently my youngest daughter revealed to me; she enjoyed church and everything that goes with it. We had a particular priest that she loved serving for and with. This priest was very paternal. The old fashioned priests we all remember. He was a truly caring individual. Once he left…we got another priest that was more of a theologian, and had minimal parish contact. The next priest did not want to be a parish priest, and his congregation suffered.

    Shortly after this I had a sibling reveal to me he had been sexually abused @ 13-14 yrs. old by a family parish priest. This sibling has endured a life of distress and therapy and is still not “whole.” I pray for peace for my sibling.

    I am disheartened and discouraged, but I too feel that my faith lies with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I believe, I do my devotional, just not sure how I feel about the Catholic Church.

    1. oh my gosh, my heart breaks to read that. thank you for sharing it with me. that is just so sad and makes me sick to think that your sibling was abused, and by someone that was supposed to be in persona christi. i will pray for peace for your sibling too. hugs xo

  79. Prayers are with you. Funny not funny, my niece is a choral teacher in NC that along with her students has had an incredible impact. They have won several contest and were invited to sing at the Vatican. Of course her parents and two sisters had to be there as well. Their singing was powerful and I have no doubt God was pleased. Afterward, they were on a tour and someone recognized them from the performance and pleaded with them to sing again. They climbed up on a wall and began to sing. The crowd that was drawn around them from my brother’s account was stunning. The crowd could not continue to do touristy things, they could only stop and listen. I say all of that to say this, your faith is Jesus and His life. It is He Who made the church and it is He Who can build it again. I pray that somehow you are a rallying cry not just for Catholics, but for Christians from all walks. Be blessed my friend.

    1. Thank you Tim, for sharing that. Wow, what a powerful experience. there really is something so moving about music, and song in particular. Do they have any youtube videos of their singing? I will join you in that prayer. big hugs xo

  80. My dear daughter in Christ,

    I’ve reflected on this post for some time, and the entire situation. The Church will still stand, for even our Savior said in Mathew 16:18 ” 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock[a] I will build my church, and the gates of hell[b] shall not prevail against it.” Right now the Church needs to purge itself of the clergy that allow these things to happen. It is no secret that I am an Anglo-Catholic Bishop, and part of the reason for being Anglo-Catholic is the hope that we will rejoin with the Roman Church. The laity must hold their priests and bishop accountable and it is very acceptable and proper to do so. It is now that we must turn to Mater Maria to intercede to her Son for the not only us as children of God but also for His Most Holy Church.

    1. Hi Padre Tatro, thank you so much for this powerful perspective. Amen – we need Mary’s intercession for sure. I am honored that you would take the time to respond to this post. Lifting our Church up in prayer! God bless xox

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