At this point I've heard glee, outrage, grief, shock, surprise, indifference, and disbelief over the Church's sex abuse scandal. The expected reactions have come from the expected sources. There's really been no surprises for me until I read this from The Wall Street Journal. You know how sometimes you just have to brace yourself before you read something? I was all set up to be lectured to in that fair-minded, psuedo-intellectual way about the Catholic Church from the ignorant. This article didn't do that. It's even-handed and honest treatment caught me completely off guard.
Now, it does not shock me that there are weak, sinful, and even a few awful men in the Church. The people who people it are human after all. There is not one single person on the planet who is not weak and not sinful, myself included, and there is not a single large institution on the planet that does not have awful people in it somewhere. If anyone can show me one, I'd like to join, but I doubt they'd have me.
Here's what I know in my bones has happened. In 2000, the Church had a Jubilee Year. Everyone was praying through that entire year for a renewal of the Church. It is no coincidence that the scandal broke in 2001. This scandal is the answer to all that prayer! A festering wound has to burst and drain to heal. This had to come to light. It had to stop. If you're Catholic and faithful, hang on and don't worry. This is in God's hands. He brought this darkness to light.
To quote a great man, "Be not afraid." The faithful may be brought to our knees by the shame and the ridicule this scandal splatters over the innocent and guilty alike, but that's okay. We needed to be praying anyway.
If you are a faithful Catholic and need some relief from the pot shots, read this. If you are not, read it anyway. It's a good piece.
Link to the article:
Noonan, Peggy, "The Catholic Church's Catastrophe," Opinion Journal, The Wall Street Journal, Friday, April 2, 2010.