Truth must be accepted always
The recent revelation of the sex scandal of our clergy in the United States has dealt a serious blow to our Catholic Church and is source of worry and embarrassment for all Catholics. The international media left to stone unturned to inflict the greatest degree of insult on the Catholic Church.
In a quick vote conducted by CNN’s Larry King Live on 17th.July 2007, revealed that 79% of the more than 4,000 respondents said they have lost confidence in the Catholic Church. This is very distressing and I dread to imagine the state of our Church in the future.
Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles must be praised for his courage to offer a public apology to the victims of the scandal. The $660 Million paid to the victim as compensation is indeed a very large sum, which surpasses the national budget of some countries.
Sexual abuses may be among the commonest crimes these days all over the world but the attempted cover up at the highest level of the hierarchy is a much bigger offence than the crime itself. If such abuses can occur in a society that is as highly literate and liberal as in U.S.,it is frightening to imagine what may be happening in poor,illitrate countries with dictatorial regimes.
It is unthinkable that such crimes were committed by our own priests against innocent children from their own congregation. It is even more dreadful to imagine they have continued to carry out their sacred liturgical functions despite living in such sinful states which they condemn in their sermons every week.
It is natural for us to shun from discussing the whole incident due to embarassment.Instead of sweeping it under the carpet, we should use it as a lesson to prevent similar activities in the future. Truth however bitter must be accepted however bitter it may be.
The scandal calls for a review of the selection and training of our priests. We may be facing an acute shortage of priests but does that give us the reason to select anyone who comes by? Why are our young men shunning the priesthood as a vocation? Why aren’t the teachings of the Church attractive to the youth? Are we becoming irrelevant in the lives of modern man? These are the hard questions on which we must ponder and to which we must find honest answers.
This scandal must also be a lesson for us all who claim to be followers of Christ. We must ask Christ to give us not just the courage, strength and wisdom to fight all the worldly temptations of greed and lust but also the humility to accept our weaknesses and seek forgiveness from those whom we have hurt.
Let us offer special prayers for those innocent victims of the sex abuse. We pray for a speedy recovery from the wounds of their assault. Let us also pray for our priests who were involved in the scandal. May they find consolation and forgiveness in the mercy of Christ.