In reference to the scandal (should we be doing something?)


I have watched this unfold over the past 37 years and still too many catholics are just willing to let bygones be bygones. I to felt that way, but no longer. Those guilty of a crime have to pay a temporal cost here on earth. This is 100% with catholic teaching. Even if these men have been forgiven of their sins, they havent been forgiven of their crimes.

What is wrong with demanding justice in a court of law? No where is anyone demanding a lynch mob. They are demanding the justice be served according to the rule of law. The church covered up these crimes so I dont think the statue of limitations should apply. Just as I dont believe if government covers up a crime the statue of limitations should apply. so instead of insulting my commitment to my faith, how about having a discussion on the FACTS, not your feeling?


This is a thoughtful response.

I think that it needs to be understood by the clergy that we are at ground zero.

What does that mean? To me it means that everyone has to repent of all sins in regard to this matter, whether it be small or big, and to reclaim trust of the laity based on their conversion of heart and commitment to the Gospel of Jesus.

So this means that every member of the clergy, and especially the bishops, need to understand that there is no trust there. They cannot fall back on their record. Clean slate. They have to build trust and their reputation from the ground up by demonstrating their commitment to the Gospel. There is no point talking about “the environment” and “social justice” when kids are being sexually abused within the Catholic Church. People thought Jesus was insane because of the amount of good works he performed teaching and healing people. I am concerned that more and more bishops see themselves like Chairman of the Board that oversees committees and organisations. Certainly my own Diocese seems to be acting more and more like a corporation: centralising administration, buying and selling land etc. Jesus had no home. He was out there directly amongst the people. Aren’t Bishops meant to be imitators of Christ? I kinda know what I’m talking about because I run a business where we help people with disabilities and we lead by example. And people open up their lives to you when you address their specific needs. And the people that work for you follow your example. We work as hard or harder for specific individuals than others in our small organisation. And that is what subsidiarity is about.

I like your idea of an inquisition but we need to have some idea of what we want to see the Church look like. We need to reflect how Jesus wanted his Church to be active in the world. There is some blockage there that I can’t fully articulate. I look at Jesus and he kept his disciples close for 3 years and then released them into the world. We seem to be forever beholden to the clergy, kept immature, not given full authority to go out and do good works. I know that this statement can be argued against and maybe it is just me. After all, we are given the final blessing at Mass and we are given our mission to the world, but I don’t know if priests really mean it or if we really believe it. We laypeople don’t seem to be treated as equals by the priesthood. We as a community need to believe that we are commissioned through the Holy Spirit to be mature and effective witnesses to Christ in the world, and that includes being effective advocates for the protection of children within the Church.


I just wonder about all these catholic who want the faithful to just pray and fast, are they protecting the faith of the fallen men of that faith? I think the answer to clear.


The laity have been too quiet about this, expecting the bishops to sort it out. They can’t. It is simply impossible for them to (by themselves) clean and make pure the church. The stain is too large and we are all affected by it. It is time for us all to collectively roll up our sleeves and grab our bucket and mop and collectively clean house. Any member of the church who is not pulling their weight or is politicking against such a clean needs to be called out on it. We need to carry our messages to our leaders, not the other way around. And it needs to be public so the truth can be aired. The Church administrators, like most organisations with a chain of command, don’t really want to know what people think because they don’t want to make their lives more difficult by impositions. So stop relying on the chain of command. Roll up your sleeves and take action in ways that are within your personal responsibility. Removing the silence from the laity is a great first step, IMO.


I get the roll up your sleeves part but my local parish is loaded with liberals that support immorality. The Faithful need to navigate to places they are in communion with other Faithful. IMO


I don’t think this at all. Wouldn’t support it and haven’t heard it personally, although I don’t doubt it. Bygones, etc is NOT the way to handle this but that is a hugely separate issue from whether or not prayer/fasting/receiving the sacraments is efficacious. Apples and oranges, even.

Obviously. No one is above the law…not even the lawMAKERS, both secular and religious (much as it may seem so at times).


Back up here. You made a fairly snarky and very dismissive comment (IMO) about praying, fasting and going to Mass…cornerstones of our faith. You even said it can’t be efficacious if not combined with human action; which I reject. I find it reasonable to question the commitment to the faith of someone who dismisses the cornerstones of that faith.

It truly sounded to me like you were advocating a “Storm the Bastille and take no prisoners” approach…like, tomorrow morning. I can certainly accept if that wasn’t your intention. Communication via social media is notoriously vague, but your response seemed a little over the top. Again, impressions.



quote=“Joey12, post:103, topic:506112”]
I think that it needs to be understood by the clergy that we are at ground zero.
That is truly so. Truly. The Catholic laity are losing faith in their leadership for excellent reason and cannot take any more duplicity. In fact, I would say it needs to be understood by offending clergy that lay Catholics AND faithful clergy are at ground zero. I’d hate to be in a job characterized for the last X years by high profile, scandalous proof of pedophilia, abuse of power and, worse(?), just as bad (?), the intentional and deliberate cover-up of those facts, allowing this rotten stench to seep ever deeper into the life of the Church. Being in the teaching profession is bad enough.

I really think there’s room for both, IMO.

Completely. I work with under-resourced and under-privileged and disabled youth…trust is non-negotiable.

If by Inquisition you mean a fair and just exercise of due process, absolutely. If you mean accusing and obtaining confessions through force of the innocent along with the guilty (as is the common perception of “Inquisition”), then no. Justice is not served by a lynch mob mentality. Overall abuse cases run somewhere around something like 3-8% of priests…something like that? I’m not willing to disrespect, rush to judgement, find guilty until innocent or throw out with the bathwater 97-92% of clergy.

No, I think that’s a great idea and based not only on Biblical teaching but also Christ’s example.


Again, are you suggesting that prayer and fasting is not effective? You are not omnicient and can’t know how much praying and fasting and receipt of the sacraments has prevented. Why would Jesus not only do it but COMMAND it if it were not effective. It is this that makes me question your committment to the faith…when you want to scorn and put aside the things Christ Himself did and advocated. Nobody said that action isn’t ALSO appropriate. But again…that is very much what it sounds like you are saying.

Definitely. And any member who thinks they are judge and jury needs to be called out on that as well.


Some, yes. Others, maybe. Still others, no.

That stinks…I would think liberals would be all for victim rights and calling out those hiding behind their robes and titles. How frustrating.


As to the OP’s question: this morning, I prayed a Divine Mercy Chaplet. I will continue to do so.

Kudos to 1Lord. The prevailing wisdom of the past held that pedophiles could be rehabilitated. Yes, today we know that’s not true, but there was a time when doctors thought thalidomide was good before all the birth defects it caused. One must also consider that all society kept quiet about anything having to do with sex back in the day, not just Catholics, and also that priests were no more likely to abuse than ministers, imams, rabbis, nurses, teachers, accountants, laborers, etc. However, I would say that priests are less likely to abuse today due to the safeguards and zero tolerance you mention.

I try not to follow the news, so I don’t know when these cases of abuse occurred, but I did hear that one victim is an octogenarian. If a new mass grave was found in Europe today, would that make the Holocaust any worse? How about if a wrecked slave ship were found on the Atlantic floor tomorrow? Of course, it’s evil! Of course, it should shake us to our core! But the problem is that by abusing children, some enemies of the church have given ammunition to (or should I say left ticking time bombs for) other enemies of the church to use today.

Getting back to the OP’s question, there will probably be more of these revelations coming out, so we should keep praying in preparation for the next one.


I don’t mean “in the parish” as such, I mean in your life holistically. Wherever and whenever you can.


Thanks for your thoughtful response.

Yes there is room for both but I tire quickly of people who keep pointing to issues but don’t do anything to address them in any meaningful way. It’s like a guilt trip that makes you feel impotent. If you say “Here is the problem, here is what I’m doing about it and if you follow my example we can make even more of a difference” then you at least have my respect and at most have my commitment to join in your effort. So I agree with you when you say “both” because both are needed together to actively address needs of people.

What I meant by inquisition was not a formal process but acknowledgement that we can no longer sweep stuff under the carpet and the laypeople are getting involved in the clean-up. An inquisition can mean that if your local Bishop does not do something you like, then you can publicly disagree with him and not be afraid to lose your “reputation” in the Church. My Diocese responded to the sexual abuse crisis (which was not minor) by having a series of “gatherings” with symbolic liturgical candle ceremonies etc. Half the people were still asleep to the issue at the time. My Diocese also has a website with a Disqus comments section. Originally they would allow most posts on it. Then they started to screen out ones that asked questions of the Bishop. Then they started removing the ability to comment on stories that they thought would attract comments they were unhappy with. Pretty soon they will abandon it altogether. Why do people in charge of social media fear the voice of the lay-faithful? It is just speech. If they think I am wrong they can point it out. That is what I mean by inquisition, a fully open and free airing of issues and debates. Giving people a voice! Be not afraid! There is so much fear in the “halls of power”.


Well, certainly. In a free society anyone has the ability to argue a point. And there is always the danger that you have not addressed your own faults before you start picking at others.

But there is a difference between thinking you are “judge and jury” and wanting to make effective change in the church. Jesus himself prescribed a method for resolving disputes between church members (Mathew 18:15-17)- approach them directly one on one, then bring witnesses, then inform the whole church and finally obtain a secular remedy.

The problem we have is that you may see inappropriate behaviour and the person you are calling out just digs in their heels and ignores you and that is where it ends. I don’t think it is meant to be that way.


I can understand that. I think the vast majority of us are fed up, frustrated and ready for change. Effective change. Significant change.

That’s reasonable

My guess would be

a. they are neither trained nor comfortable to deal with angry parishoners who each want, understandably, to vent on the Bishops about the actions of other Bishops and want an apology and an immediately hugely effective action plan that both involves them but doesn’t ask for too much (because we all work for a living and live in busy times).
b. answering complaints, questions, statements, counter-questions, counter-complaints and counter statements (sometimes almost endlessly) quickly takes up far more time than any given priest or Bishop could handle. We can’t find enough priests to provide Mass at every parish, cover hospital chaplaincies, run dioceses, provide Confession services, annoint the sick and the dying, marry people, etc, etc, much less start delegating literally hours and hours at the computer every day. There are more hats than heads.


Why is it that everyone is p****d because they haven’t been given immediate directions to go out and start committing serious numbers of hours to committees, investigations, interviews and policy development when we can’t get enough people to volunteer to do ANYTHING the Church asks for? We can’t get people to attend an hour of Adoration a week, teach CCD, serve at the altar, lector at Mass, run bible studies, run the food pantry, provide baby sitting services during Masses or clean the Church on a regular basis, but suddenly we are going to have bunches of lay committees to oversee every priest and bishop in the land to be sure there are not erring? Do we have any idea how labor intensive it will be to change the entire structure of how the Church works? :woman_shrugging:

Please hear me. I am NOT at all against any of these things. We do, however, need to know what we are suggesting and we need to step up. EACH lay person.

Answering lay faithful questions/complaints/statements, setting up lay committees, overseeing the behavior of clergy, having an active and powerful lay presence in the Church, influencing decisions and demanding accountability and transparency —> These are great and biblicaly based interventions that have the potential to air out and renew our Church! But let me ask you a question: how many (please be as specific as possible) hours will you, personally, be able to volunteer to your church to get this put into place? I do an hour to two hours of prep and teaching CCD once a week after my full time job and I lector almost every Sunday. Nothing, right? You’d be surprised…it’s more than it seems. It is a constant conflict with something else, it seems, to do volunteer work. Ninety five percent of people I know tell me I’m crazy to volunteer. “Couldn’t do it” they say. And our apostolates show it…everyone has a reason why they can’t do it or can only do half of it. So, if bishops and priests are used to moving forward without lay involvement, why is that? It’s because lay people are giving fewer and fewer hours every year to their church. They are not reliable (not necessarily their fault…probably a reflection of the busy times) and churches HAD to go forward without lay involvement.

And how much MORE are you (or anyone) willing to put in the collection plate for it? Transparency is expensive. It’s labor intensive. Even if some labor is free, lawyers and policy makers and those who take such huge responsibility for implementation, maintenance and oversight of those policy just don’t generally come free. And I understand that. And the laborer is worth his wage.

So, yes. We SO need lay people involved. We SO need transparency. We SO need checks and balances. But it’s a combination of a culture of secrecy and pushing lay people out that is possible because of decreased laity involvement (again, not a fault…a fact).


I plan to volunteer at my local Catholic school. Basically anyone who volunteers or is employed goes through the background check and training.

I thought the training was very good, it sensitizes everyone in the Church on what to look for around abuse, and that they should never be alone with Children or elderly. It also emphasized they should always report when they suspect abuse.

I have no doubt that solid prevention measures are in place, for the future.


I think the question of volunteering is a chicken and egg discussion.

I have started a number of new initiatives at a Parish level and a Diocesan level and the inertia to new things is unbelievable. The only way new things survive is if someone acts as a shield for the negativity and sets up a framework of continuity among a group of people with the necessary gifts once the initial roadblocks have been traversed. Unless, that is, your activity is of special interest to those in charge.

A lot of parish activity doesn’t have to be regular and with the internet it doesn’t always have to be in person.

There is also the question of authority. As an example, I’m a middle aged man with a family. I’ve loved technology my whole life but the priest wouldn’t initially trust me with the hall PA system. I don’t know what he thought I would do to it. An adult education initiative I started nearly failed because he would only let me use these underpowered speakers and elderly people stopped coming because they couldn’t hear. I finally managed to get access to it, but sometimes I simply don’t understand why you get treated like a child when
at home you have some of the greatest responsibilities a person has to shoulder. I can understand why people don’t bother.

The disciples spent 3 years with Christ and were still making mistakes right up to the end but Christ gave them all authority of his Church. When do we get to graduate?


Here are the FACTS. The church leaders have know about this issue for the past 70 years. The FACT is the public has known about this for the past 37 years. Fact, The church leaders have done everything in their power to cover up these crimes for the past 70 years. The FACTS are the Catholic leaders here in the US have paid BILLIONS of dollars in settlements. In those 37 years I have listen to Catholic more worried about the scandal the church would have to endure all the facts were to be released than the crimes that were committed. I have been told for the past 37 years to pray for the leaders of the catholic church. Well I have done enough praying and fasting and what needs to happen is Cardinal McCarrick and Cardinal Wuerl need to have their day in a court of US law. If you and other feel that 37 years is too short of a period to get to the facts, just how long are we to wait for legal justice to take place? Had the church done the right legal thing 37 years ago this would not be an issue today. If the church fails to do the right legal thing now, this will still be an issue 37 years from now.

I can promise you and anyone else here, there is no one that is a stronger Catholic than me. You have no right what so ever to question my faith and can without question tell you I am every bit as strong as a catholic as you. But I bow down to no man what so ever. I dont care who you are, not one single person alive is above me. I wouldnt bow down to the President or the Pope. If I ever were to meet them I would shake their hands as treat them as an equal. The FACT is the church leaders have lost the trust of many catholics and it is their duty to earn it back, not tell me to pray and fact until I do trust them again.


You may very well be right. In the end, that’s up to people who enjoy arguing to decide, I guess :wink: . I think our take away is…be more involved in your Church. Besides being an extra pair of faithful eyes and ears, it may even bring you closer to God. Seriously, win-win.

Agreed! I work in the schools where mandatory training is ubiquitous. I though the Church training was at lease equivalent, if not superior in rigor.

Me too. And that they are being both put in place and observed regularly by people who are bearing the anger and the crackdown for events that happened decades ago and by perpetrators that, stats say, are overwhelmingly not themselves.


BTDT, bought the T-shirt :roll_eyes: It’s frustrating and seems to stem directly from the “just us and those who follow our train of thinking” mentality. For further gloom and doom, it is this way in the public schools as well :frowning:

Definitely…I’ve seen this as well. Sometimes it has to do with liability and trust. If you “break” the system or send out “unauthorized information” that everyone hears and acts on, he is on the hook as responsible. There must be a way, however, to resolve this and accept the help so freely given.

Here are EQUAL facts:

  • FACT: we have very little credible evidence on who knew and who didn’t know. An attitude, much less action, “guilty until proven innocent” is, historically, a huge mistake that does grievous harm.
    -FACT: SOME Catholic leaders in the US have covered up crimes. Not all and, if preliminary estimates are correct, not the overwhelming majority. Which of your neighbors crimes for which you have no concrete proof do YOU want to be interrogated about?
    -FACT: Settlements MAY or MAY NOT mean guilt. Proper investigation into sealed records would need to be made to determine which of any number of provable crimes are present in each case.
    -FACT: There are MANY, MANY Catholics who are deeply worried about the children first and the Church second. Your experiences do not determine the behavior of the entire laity. You would have us believe the entire laity acts within the bounds of your experience. This is NOT fact.
    -FACT: You have no way of knowing, other than Christ’s promise (is that not binding for you?) that prayer, fasting and receipt of Mass drives out many, but not all, demons. The apostles appeared (and indeed were) ineffective in driving out some demons. When they asked Christ about it, He TOLD them more fasting and prayer was needed. We simply do not know how many acts were prevented by prayer, etc. This is our faith, our hope and His promise. That is also fact.
    -FACT: It is also fact that SOME Church leaders have failed horribly; there is no getting away from that fact.
    -FACT: Change needs to be made. Can’t think of anyone who doesn’t agree. The argument is in the execution.


Honestly, self-praise fails to impress. Truly, I am not angry with you or doubting how you see yourself, but your actions do not convince. That’s just how I see it; perhaps I’m wrong. It’s certainly possible.

Neither are you above one single other person. Your anger and perception of the situation will not change my relationship with God or my perception of the crisis. You are, of course, entitled to your opinion and your actions. Nothing can take that way from you or from me, praise God.

You are not an equal to the Pope in Church authority. You are not his equal in theological knowledge and development. You are not his equal in responsibility. The Lord has placed the Pope in authority AND responsibility over you. You ARE his equal in human worth, as you are both created and cherished by the Lord. But you will be answerable for any disrespect you show. Not righteous anger, correctly placed and executed, but deliberate disrespect of his person, not matter how justified you feel it is, is not justified in His eyes. Very hard truth, I would totally agree.

They have EVERY right to tell you to pray and fast. They also have EVERY responsibility to wholly and without grudge participate in the free and transparent disclosure of information and reform of the church.

I perceive that you are angry and reactive about this issue. Totally understandable; I feel angry and defensive about the issue. We don’t agree on the solution(s) and that’s okay too .

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