Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 20, 2002
WCR Letters to the Editor
Offending priests, bishops need to be restored to healthThe decision of the hierarchy to have zero tolerance for the sexual abuse of children, and removal from ministry, I applaud.
However, not one article that I read in the WCR seemed to evidence any concern for mercy for the offending priests and bishops.
This situation really calls for a special apostolate that the laity can participate in, by offering up prayers and penance for the spiritual restoration of these men, for they should not be trashed, even given the horrendous effect their behaviour has had on their victims, what John Bradshaw has labelled "soul murder" and taking from them that beautiful gift of "holy innocence."
We have to remember that these offenders are still loved by God. When we recall the passion of Jesus, all his apostles, except one, either ran away, betrayed him or denied him. Jesus offered every one of them mercy. One refused.
They all had to meet and relate with Mary, the mother of Jesus before the resurrection. She would have been a powerful influence in their reconcilation with Jesus. Likewise, Blessed Mary should be invoked on their behalf in the present situation.
When you begin to appreciate the ordination of a priest, you see that it takes a bishop, all the priests and the faithful, calling on the Church Triumphant in the Litany of the Saints to call down the Holy Spirit on this man. God gives his gifts without ever recalling them. We are the ones who refuse or reject them.
Jesus dies for all sinners. When we go to Confession and ask for forgiveness, we have to be prepared to offer this same forgiveness to others so that we can pray as St. Augustine has, that we can "open our hearts so that you (God) may enter in. Repair the ruined mansions, that you may dwell therein."
The Father in heaven does not desire that "one be lost, not one."
Another part of this problem is that we as a people refuse to speak and acknowledge the powerful effect the evil one, Satan has had in these activities. If we would acknowledge the influence of Satan in these secret activities, we could counteract them as Jesus has given us an arsenal of spiritual gifts to reduce their effect. But Satan knows how to undermine the Church by attacking the priesthood and keeping it secret.
We need, as laity, to commence immediately to pray, in mercy, for both the victims and the victimizers. As well we should thank God for the faithful priests and pray that they may be strengthemed at this time. Nothing is impossible with God.
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