Should I stay or should I go?
It's Labor Day and summer is over. I'll be moving back into my regular schedule of posts, and putting away the Music Mondays and Fun Fridays. Unfortunately, I think that it is none to soon.
I think this sex abuse scandal is going to be front and center for a little while. As I said earlier, this isn't a bad thing. But it sure is a difficult thing. It sure is an emotional thing. And for that reason, I'll be addressing it for the next few days.
First, I want to be clear that I have never and will not start to believe that the evil actions of any person or persons says anything about the existence of God or the love of Jesus Christ. It's a challenge sometimes to find where God is in those moments of pain and crisis just as it is a challenge in moments of illness and suffering, but it doesn't mean He's not there. It's just a lot harder to see because our view is distracted.
Second, I'm attaching a video by Bishop Robert Barron with a call to action that I agree with. This is not the time to leave the Church. This is a time to stay and fight for it. These behaviors and attitudes are not the Church that I know should exist. It's not the Church that we claim to be. None of this is in any of our tenets of faith. None of it.
There are many higher educational institutions who are being accused of egregious sexual abuse and coverup. We are calling for the perpetrators to be removed and for the schools to create a safe environment and protect those entrusted to their care. We are not calling for the school to be shut down. Michigan State, Penn State - we need these schools. We just need them to be better.
It is the same with the Catholic Church. We need this Church. As an organization, they run the most orphanages in the world, often with the religious orders running them living in deplorable conditions in order to give the most they can to the children in their care. You're not going to find many private citizens to do this kind of work willingly or without corruption. Catholic Charities is in every crisis event - hurricane, earthquake, fire - because they were already there, and they stay long after all the other charities have gone. St. Vincent de Paul serves the poor in every community, providing financial, emotional, and spiritual support to those in most need. Mother Teresa's nuns serve the poorest of the poor with dignity and love, taking in the most unwanted. This is the Church. Go there, help out, build up what is right while we take out what is wrong.
It's so backwards to leave. That's the thing that has always confused and frustrated me with any sexual assault/abuse. The victim is the one who is embarrassed, ashamed, pulled out of their lives, and sometimes even blamed. Who came up with that? How does that even begin to work? The word at the beginning of that sentence should be "The abuser." Always. The ones to leave the Church shouldn't be the ones who are faithful, hopeful, loving, and innocent. It should be the abusers. Let's not get the two confused anymore.