Today’s post is not a happy one. Late last week the Archdiocese (of St. Louis) released a list of names of the men who have had substantiated claims of sexual abuse of minors against them. I first read through the list on Saturday morning, then again at yesterday at breakfast with my wife and the pastor of our parish and then again yesterday afternoon with my mother and then prayed about this and my post this morning yesterday evening while cutting the grass.
I have many feelings pulsing through my body right now and the faintest one of these is hope (but hope is there). Disgust, shame, anger, sorrow. The more I think and pray about this, the more these feelings are inflamed. I can’t help but thinking about the victims, those who have come out in public and those who still hold their story quietly and bear that burden of abuse by themselves. They have had to endure the ridicule of the abuse inflicted on them by men who made an oath to God to protect the innocent and in addition to that, had to bear the abuse inflicted on them by an unbelieving Church who refused to listen to their cries of help. It is hard for me to say this, but I was one of those who didn’t believe their cries for a very long time – much too long. And as I have to live with that guilt, the pain I feel in this pails into nothingness to the pain the victims have had to bear on a daily basis which for them may never end. To them, I offer my sincerest apology. To them, I will pray for their healing. To them, I ask for their forgiveness.
Sadly, this truth didn’t hit home until the names were released and I finally saw the list of men. I am shocked at how many names are on that list – ONE would have been too many; I am saddened to know that 61 names are on that list; another 3 added for having been caught with child pornography. 64 men that we know of (at this time) – this list could grow in the future. How could this happen? Why did this happen?
If you haven’t seen the list, I am posting the letter written by Archbishop Carlson should you desire to review it. There is a link in this letter that will take you to the published list.
It is long past time to work on cleansing the Church of the abuse inflicted on God’s children by her priests and clergy. I will continue to pray to the Holy Spirit on what i can do to assist in cleansing our Church. I do know that I can pray for all of the victims and I promise to such. I am also reading a book written by Bishop Barren that addresses this/these issues. If you would like to read this too, here is a link that will tell what the book is about and how to order it.
I would like to end my post today in prayer…I offer this prayer today for all the victims of abuse, I also ask for prayers for the abusers that they might reconcile their sins against the innocent. May we all unite in prayer; may we all find peace in God above; may we all rejoice in the Blood of the Lamb whose death on the Cross was done to save us from these wrongs we are facing right now.
I pray, and I ask you to pray with me, to our blessed Mother Mary: Mother of mercy, help us by your prayers. Help victims to heal. Help the Church to be purified. Help bishops and priests to repent, to return to Jesus with a purified faith, and become instruments of His salvation.
God continues to call all of us to Him through His Church. I ask all of you to join me in heartfelt prayer, with the Eucharist in mind, that this work will help bring peace to the victims and their families. I pray that He will help us all remain vigilant in righting past wrongs, fulfilling our Promise to Protect, and restoring trust in His Church, its leadership and His divine plan for salvation.
I pray that, in this moment, we will be rich in the healing power of Jesus, rise out of the darkness of this tomb, grow stronger in the light of His love and mercy, and praise Him unceasingly for His promise of eternal life.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson
Archbishop of St. Louis
FOR THE VICTIMS OF THIS ABUSE: Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed if the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners – now and at the hour of our death. Amen
FOR THE MEN WHO INFLICTED THIS ABUSE: Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed if the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners – now and at the hour of our death. Amen
FOR THOSE OF US WHO DOUBTED/COVERED UP THIS ABUSE: Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed if the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners – now and at the hour of our death. Amen
Do something great for our Lord today – offer pray for the victims of this abuse.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.