I hope this is the right category. New to the forum and this is my first post. I am a 56 year old, cradle Catholic man and I am struggling (once again) with the newest abuse allegations and the Churches reaction, or lack thereof to these allegations. How do you deal with these allegations when they come to light? I do pray for all involved in these horrific betrayals of trust. Other than pray, how do you stay Catholic? Sometimes it seems to me that the Church gives ample reason NOT to stay. Guidance would be greatly appreciated. Peace.
If the Church were a merely human institution, all the scandals would’ve long ago brought it down. In spite of our best efforts, the Church endures. If anything, the bad press further confirms this for us. No matter how awful human sinfulness might be, it’ll never overcome the Church.
The church is more than the clergy, buildings, laypeople, organizations, things you can sense with the 5 senses.
Don’t leave Jesus because of the actions of Judas.
Let’s remember, Peter, the first Vicar of Christ, denied Jesus 3 times, and was still preeminent among the Apostles.
I think about all the good and holy priests I’ve been blessed to know. The good and holy priests who do not abuse kids or power, those who are truly servants of God.
The allegations coming forth in the several dioceses where I’ve spent most of my time are almost entirely decades old. In one diocese, 90 percent of the alleged abuses date from before 1990.
All of these dioceses have had safe environment practices in place for at least 10 years, and the handful of allegations in the last few years all seem to have been promptly reported to police and handled in the public eye with newspaper coverage and quick justice/ laicization.
Therefore I am satisfied that these 3 or 4 dioceses are addressing the abuse problem so we avoid this going forward. As I have mentioned before, while I have sympathy for the victims who were abused 30, 40, 50, 60 years ago, society viewed child sexual abuse and even adult sexual abuse in a different light then, and things have changed not only within the Church but within the greater society and within the US legal systems as well, so the situations from back then are unlikely to reoccur.
I note that we have had about 4-5 different threads already discussing this issue so you may want to use the search function (the magnifying glass in the upper right corner of the forum) to search and find these threads, as we’ve sort of been over this and over this lately. Order the results by “latest topic” to get the recent threads to pop up first.
I focus on those who live lives of sanctity and the Church is full of such people.
Is it by a reliable, unbiased source?
There are documentaries about chemtrails, Bigfoot, and UFOs. Doesn’t make 'em real.
It has played over and over again on EWTN. “A wolf in sheep’s clothing” may be the title. It’s about some fella who wrote the book on grassroots movements that pit the poor against the rich (community organizing).
It’s important to note that the vast majority of priests out there are “good and holy” priests who have not had allegations made about them.
I have in the past checked the bishop-accountability.org website to see if any priests I knew throughout my life, especially from the dozen or so parishes where I have been registered or most actively attending, were ever accused of anything. When the individual dioceses put out lists of names, I check those too. Out of probably 35 or 40 priests I have known at least by name or by attending their parish regularly, a grand total of 3 have been accused, and one of those cases was deemed to be unfounded. The vast majority of the priests I have known were never accused of anything.
JUST TRUST God has not changed and the Church has not changed. Know that this is satan’s work and he’s brought down a few of the Lord’s servants. The majority of clergy are good holy devout men who love the Lord and wouldn’t even think of doing anything like this. Keep praying Unceasingly for the Church and for those who are still serving Faithfully in Her.
This is a good reminder. Your entire post is spot on.
@mcdmike I understand how you feel. I am more disturbed by the McCarrick situation than I have been by the scandals of the past decade. I alternate between anger, frustration, and despair. Right now I’m clinging by my fingertips and not willing to hear excuse after excuse. My spiritual director suggests talking with God about it so that I’m not dealing with it on my own. I haven’t yet figured out if that’s the answer.
I’ve learned a long time ago that allegations are easy to make. Some are true. Some are not true. Some are, frankly, absurd.
Have seen allegations made by people that absolutely cannot be true (relating to both religious and secular folks). If acted upon at the drop of a hat, then you have real problems
You wind up in a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation. My thought has always been to see what comes of an investigation.
The abusers did not follow Church teaching. I look at the saints to see what following Church teaching can accomplish.
I also think: the Church is the Body of Christ. We see what the enemies of Christ did to His Body on each crucifix. Now we see the enemies of Christ doing it to His Body in the form of the Church.
Again, for this is not the first time.
I give it to God. I pray for those harmed, I pray for the former Cardinal, I pray for Our Church and all who serve in Her and I just give it to God.
I stay Catholic by not concerning myself with the sins of clergy any more than I concern myself with the people sitting next to me at mass. We are all sinners, and I cannot point a finger and judge that anyone’s sin is worse than another’s .
But most importantly, I am Catholic because I believe in the Real Presence of God in the Eucharist. That is how I can remain Catholic, that is why I remain Catholic, and no one else is going to take that away from me. If you attend mass to receive Our Lord in the Eucharist, you will continue to do so. If you are there for “people” then there is a problem.