Boy I feel better. Don't you?
Everybody got that? Remain calm.
If only we’d had a statement outlining the steps of how to handle when someone behaves in an illegal and/or immoral way.
Here are the four points the USCCB held out as signs of progress:
No. I’m sorry, that’s saying, “Trust us. We got this.” No. That’s how we got to the point of having this seventy years of cover up from the grand jury of Pennsylvania. (There already is one, it’s called the police). It’s one and done now, because there should be no difference between how we handle reporting an abuser in the laity, and in the clergy. As optics go, it looks like “we’ve drafted a policy so we can keep this in house.”
3) Develop a code of conduct for Bishops…I had to stop, I couldn't quite give this recommendation because I think it is silly.
Theoretically, if you're a bishop, you've lived this, you know this...or should. One would hope no one goes into the priesthood or holy orders looking for the loop hole of how they can hoodwink God and obey the letter of the law. Well, that's the code for priests...but not Bishops so...it's above/below my pay grade.
What is lacking in these proposals is a unified voice of courage declaring what will be done.
How about, you propose a public form of penance to be conducted by each and every bishop and perhaps also by the priests, in reparation for the grave injustices done, and as a reminder to all that for one sin, we lost Eden, and for these sort of sins, we’ll damn ourselves if we don’t repent.
You believe in a full investigation. Great. Lay bare the bones of the institution. Be unafraid to look at the wounds, to recognize them for what they are in each and every occurrence, nails in Christ’s body.
That you fled the problem up to now, it's understandable in a way. The apostles fled at His Crucifixion. The full investigation is beyond a single man, it’s the collective result of a bureaucratic organizational structure which sought to protect the reputation of the Church, at the expense of a few souls being damaged. If you really want to show the laity how sorrowful you are for the corruption and abuse and cover up, support a full investigation to root out all who sold everything for Wales.
I don't want to stay mad, but we can't let this go or be swept past by the comforting reassurances of a position paper, committee or future policies. This is the Church, these our our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We don't want to lose any Bishops or priests or seminarians or laity to sin, by omission or commission. So we will keep bringing this up, until they recognize, we need a better response than this...
So I'm praying. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of your love.