I love the author’s final remarks:
*I’ve crossed paths with many ordained clergy and, for the most part, I’ve found most of them to be trustworthy people — not perfect by any means, but on the whole, good people.
Let’s just say this: If I were near death in a hospital bed, I’d much rather have my pastor there than my representative in Congress.
Oh, I’d like a nurse there, too.*
As a victim of emotional and physical abuse by a Catholic sister, I fully appreciate the huge toll the scandal has taken on our beloved Church.
I do understand the impact that the scandals have had. It was atrocious and horrific to allow the guilty of our clergy to continue their absolutely evil acts against our children, particularly our young men.
However, I would be interested in knowing who was polled. If one asks those who are faithful churchgoers I believe you would get a far different response than from “the man on the street”.
Face it, if the Church was held in high esteem by most people the churches would be bursting at the seams! In our very secular country there is rampant skepticism of religion to start with and the scandal gave folks a reason to say, “I told you so!” and use it to justify their already present lack of faith. Many of them don’t know any clergy and have no way of judging for themselves and seeing that the vast majority of clergy are good, devout men who hate what happened as much as we do. (If not more!)
The majority of devout and faithful Catholics who attend weekly (and I realize there is a significant number of these who also lost faith) are much more likely to differentiate between the Church instituted by Christ and the evil people who committed those terrible acts. They know their parish priests and generally trust them on an individual basis. While taking a poll of these people would still show an understandable drop in trust, I feel it would not be near the number found in the Gallop Poll.
As time goes on and people see the Church responding strongly to the crisis, many will slowly regain their faith and their trust. It will take a long time to heal the awful wounds these crimes have inflicted, but it will happen.
In the meantime, we need to remember to place our trust in GOD, not the fallible, and imperfect people He works through.
“God, we pray for victims of sexual abuse. We pray for healing. We pray for deep comfort. We pray that you will restore what has been stolen and broken. While you do not alter history, you reveal your love in the present and the future. What seems hopelessly shattered, in you can be redeemed. For the many millions who have been defiled in sexual abuse, show yourself to be loving and able – as you are willing – to give back life, and life abundant. Yes, there is great pain in this world. There is injustice. There is evil. We turn to you and cry out for help and healing. We cannot help but wonder why such horrible abuse happens. But we turn from “why?” and ask instead, “how?” How now will your perfect goodness and love find expression in the shadow of wickedness? God, you are good and loving and also all powerful. Yet you have risked giving humans the right to choose how we will live. Some choose evil. For those who are victims of other’s vile deeds, we ask you for grace and healing. For those who have suffered, come to them tenderly and with overwhelming and powerful love. We join Jesus’ and borrow his words, “Be freed from your suffering…” God, Heal the victims of sexual abuse, in Jesus name.”
Read more: beliefnet.com/columnists/prayerplainandsimple/2011/07/a-prayer-for-victims-of-sexual-abuse.html#ixzz2xZ1l8oYM