I realize this is a sensitive subject, but I hope someone here will give it attention to guide me through it. I consider myself to be a good Catholic, I pray several times a day and partake in the sacrament of reconciliation before receiving communion on Sunday. I do so very happily, I’ve felt a good relationship developing between me and God as I pray and read scripture.
I have, however, ran into a serious stumbling block today. My faith has been shaken in the Church, and I’m sure many of you have had these same thoughts and so I ask for your opinion, help, and prayers.
I was looking for churches near my hometown and I came across a news article regarding a parish in my hometown. It was a story about a priest who had sexually abused children for years and according to the article it was covered up and he was replaced by another priest and the incident was not publicly acknowledged. I’ve heard of this happening before, but never at a Church I’ve actually been to. I was disheartened. Isn’t it considered that priests speak through the holy spirit when giving homilies? How could a holy person do such a thing.
I wanted to know more, and the more I found out the worse I felt. I came across a website which lists probably thousands of priests across the country who have been accused, it lists them both alphabetically and by diocese. I will spare posting the link here because I do not want anyone to feel they have violated the first commandant by viewing what might be considered anti-catholic material. The site itself isn’t so focused on the Church as it is these priests and bishops who are accused.
And now I’m confused. I pray and ask for God to strengthen my faith but I feel unsure. These many holy people abusing children? And then the bishops covering it up? How could such holy men who are considered to be descended from the apostles do this?
Please help me. Don’t be mad at me for bringing this up, I just need your help.