Thursday, June 24

Forgive them Father...

In the latest in the slow-rolling crisis of clerical abuse within the RC Church, the palace of His Grace, Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, as well as the home of his predecessor, His Eminence, Godfried Cardinal Danneels, have been sealed and searched for documents and other materials related to claims of sexual abuse. Both Archbishop Leonard, who replaced Cardinal Danneels as primate of the Church in Belgium last January, and Cardinal Danneels are reported to be fully cooperating with law enforcement officials.

Last month, members of the Franciscan Brothers of the White Cross, headquartered in Cordoba, were charged after anonymous letters accusing some of the brotherhood with abuse had surfaced. This announcement came on the heels of His Holiness' sudden reversal in this ongoing imbroglio. On his way to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, the pontiff said, "Today we see in a truly terrifying way that the greatest persecution of the Church does not come from outside enemies, but is born of sin within the Church."

It seems to becoming more apparent as things unravel that it is not, as our own local prelate, Archbishop Chaput (and others) have strongly asserted, a few 'bad apples' nor the 'liberal secular media' or even homosexuals. Rather, there has been a systemic failure of the apostolicity to act in the interest of the presbyterate and the laity. Due to the direct, hierarchical manner of the RC structure, ultimate responsibility lies with the Servant of the Servants of Christ (both current and previous), though the culture which exists at those rarefied levels seems pervasive enough to call all those in 'senior leadership' into question.

Whether this is an indicant of a more general disconnect between the prelates and the people is a matter of discussion, but the failure is clear. Failure to recognize the situation. Failure to acknowledge the errors made. Failure of contrition. Failure of restitution. Failure of forgiveness. Without these things, reconciliation within the RC Church is impossible and the damage done to the apostolic church will remain and most likely fester.

His Holiness has taken the first steps (no doubt against the counsel of his inner circle) and for that he should be commended. These things were not done in a day nor shall they be undone in a day, but if Benedict's actions follow his words (I hope which I strongly have), then the process of reconciliation will begin. To the priests, brothers, sisters and parishioners who worship within the RC community, I would urge and commend you all to keep faith in our Lord and Divine Providence who has not nor shall not fail us.

Kyrie Eleison

Christe Eleison

Kyrie Eleison

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