What Comes After Righteous Indignation Over Abuse?

I’m Catholic, and I’m mad as hell!

I’m mad multiple occurrences of clergy sexual abuse have plagued us; I’m mad these men have violated so many children; I’m mad it has taken so long for these horrific crimes to come to light; and I’m mad leaders in MY church chose to cover up these atrocities, rather than do what we are called to do: protect the vulnerable.

We reported on the latest revelations of these unspeakable acts by men at Jesuit Preparatory School, men that we should have been able to trust with our children.

Many Catholics are leaving the church because of the abuses, and who could blame them?

Bishop Robert Barron, a popular public speaker and evangelist, in one of his Word on Fire YouTube segments, says, “Leaving is not what we should be doing; we should be fighting. Fight for the victims; fight for our ideals; fight by writing to your bishop, the pope; fight by getting involved and keeping church leaders’ feet to the fire.”

I love the church. I believe in the church. I believe in our ideals and values of our faith. But the Catholic church is not the leadership; the church is not the men that have failed us. The church is us, the people in the pews, the community with Jesus in service to others.

In a letter, Dallas Bishop Edward J. Burns said, “I commend the Jesuits and other religious orders who, together with bishops in the United States, are working for truth and transparency in order to keep children and youth safe.”

He goes on to say that on Jan. 31, 2019 the Catholic Diocese of Dallas along with other dioceses around Texas will release the list of all priests “credibly accused” of sexual abuse.

Where do we go from here?

My church subscribes to the Safe Environment training that is mandated by the diocese. This training is grossly inadequate and outdated. It feels more like protection for the church than for the children.

I’ve joined a small working group in our parish to address this and other issues around the abuse crisis.

No matter your faith, join me in a fight for the vulnerable.

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