If we are learning anything from this whole McCarrick scandal – and surrounding scandals in the Church – I hope we are learning that silence is Satan’s tool, not ours. Growing up as a Catholic who is attracted to other men, I spent over a decade in complete silence, and I have fallen back into silence various times since then, even after bringing the matter into the light. I have heard many, many people tell me that I should be quiet about my personal battles and experiences – that I should just keep this “between me and my confessor”, that men like me should live chaste lives but not mention what we are being chaste from. Could there be any more powerful and clear message against such advice than the fallout the Church is experiencing right now?
Darkness breeds darkness. Darkness takes a bad sin and makes it worse. Darkness takes a temptation you struggle with, and transforms it into a temptation that defines you and your future. Darkness makes people think that temptations – temptations! – could be sinful. Darkness distorts relationships, steals joy, and perverts the good.
I’m not saying that we need the public light shined on all sin and temptation. Not at all – in fact, the public eye is far too invasive, in our day and age. But we need to personally shed light on our lives, and communally share the general experiences that people deal with. Anything we whisper in hushed and shocked tones is a thing that the devil has control of.
We need more and more light, and we cannot survive without it.