In the midst of the ongoing scandalous revelations of seventy years of the sexual abuse by priests of thousands of children and the cover up and complicity of the bishops, I am angry, disoriented and brokenhearted, as I am sure all of you are too. Over the past few days I have tried to keep myself together enough so as to be of some use to all of you as you struggle to make your way through this revelation of darkness and sin by the very people whom we we’re supposed to be able to trust and who we’re supposed to look to to be our leaders and walk with us in our lives with God. Instead they have wounded and broken the lives of all of these children and their families; on their hands is the blood of many of these children whose abuse was more than they were able to bear.
These ongoing revelations not only here in the United States but in Chile and Australia and other countries rock the very foundations of our institutional church. And, as I struggle in the darkness with all this sin, I focus on my belief that we are the church, we are the Body of Christ and at its deepest level my faith is not in the leadership but in God’s amazing love for each one of those children and for each one of us -- a love which is unshakable. I pray for healing for those abuse victims who are still alive and for justice for all of them; that any living perpetrator and any bishop who was in any way complicit be brought to justice.
My prayer and my hope is that this will truly rock the foundations of the institution to force change so that this sickness and sin may be wiped clean from our church. But the disorientation, anger and brokenheartedness for those children remains and I am left with having to place myself in God’s hands, and in yours, praying that together as a community of faith we are able walk through this darkness and sin, as we cry out for justice from the institutional church for all those children who were abused and whose lives were stolen from them.
May all of the victims rest in God’s loving embrace, both living and dead and may God grant us the grace that the sins of the priests and bishops will not destroy our faith in God and in God’s abiding presence within each one of us. May God’s grace guide us as we walk through this horrible darkness and by that grace may we all find hope and healing. Amen.