Monday, March 15, 2010

It never seems to reach rock bottom

As yet another episode in the ongoing clerical abuse scandals in Ireland hits the headlines, I would ask that all readers of this blog pray for the Church in Ireland - especially as we celebrate St. Patrick's Day on Wednesday.
I started this blog determined not to use it as a forum to present news (especially such bad news as clerical paedophilia), but this thing is so big and so many of the faithful - both clergy and laity - are so demoralised, shocked and in many repsects at their wits end, that I feel it important to make this post. We must continue to pray for those whose young lives were so terribly derailed by the abuse they suffered, and we must pray for the Church in Ireland. May the Lord bring all the skeletons in the collective closet of the Church in this land once and for all into the light of day. And maybe then we can begin to rebuild something that will truly be to the glory of God and something which truly radiates the love and power of Jesus Christ in our Land.
A priest I know once remarked that the faith in Ireland is not dead - but it is on life-support. The past few days make me tempted to think he's not far off the mark. May the long-awaited letter from Pope Benedict be a moment when Peter will rouse the Irish church from her sickbed (Cf. Acts 9:40-41). I pray that the Lord intervenes soon - for many souls are tempted to distance themselves from the Church and the Sacraments - so great is the scandal they feel and so poor has the catechesis been here for at least 2 generations. For as great as the sins the clergy may be, there is not a single thing wrong with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the sacraments are as vital now (maybe moreso) than ever before. What a victory for the evil one that the sins of these priests should not only blight the lives of so many innocent children, but that they should also distance others from Christ.
As you may detect I write from a very sore place. I've gone through so many emotions in the past few days - anger, frustration, hopelessness, and hurt too - the same hurt many good Catholics up and down this country are feeling right now. We priests aren't exempt from that. We are as shocked and as disappointed as anyone else would be. We feel as helpless in this as any of the faithful. And after going through the whole range of emotions - what is there left to us but prayer and trust in God - for only he can bring light too and from all this darkness. In the end, only the Lord Jesus can bring the healing that is required on so many levels to so many different people who are affected by this terrible depravity and its aftermath.
May he does so quickly. Oh God come to our Aid - Oh Lord make haste to help us!
Mary Queen of the Apostles - pray for our bishops.
Mary Queen of Ireland - pray to God for us.

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