Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
April 11, 2010
From Crisis to ChallengeThe past few weeks have been very trying for the Catholics throughout the world. We, in the United States, thought that our situation with respect to the sex abuse scandal was hopefully unique and that, if we could get it under control, all would be peaceful again. However, we now know that this is not the reality of the situation. The European countries, especially Ireland and Germany are presently struggling with very similar scenarios. As if this would not be bad enough, it now appears as though the present Pope was the archbishop of Germany during said period and later a Vatican official responsible for various problems such as the above.
Of course, we need to remind ourselves that all that comes out through the media is not necessarily accurate. Also, there is not yet any proof of anything. This being said, we know that there is a considerable amount of harm that has been done regardless. This is the Crisis.
The Challenge we are now facing is one of faith. Many people are angry with the church. They are ready to hurl insults even where it is not justified. They are upset and justifiably so, if all that is printed is actually true. Anger, as we are well aware, is an emotion that is human and natural. In itself, anger is not wrong. What we do with it is another matter. This is true in any case. We have all experienced anger in our lives but we have also learned to channel it properly.
If we are upset or concerned or angry we should not simply try to ignore our feelings hoping they will disappear on their own. Of course, we can ignore them and hope for the best but this probably a dangerous course of action. Very often buried anger rises as an uninvited guest in a very inappropriate time. This leaves us bewildered and oftentimes very embarrassed.
What then can we do to face our demons? In this particular case we can take some time to back away from the situation and to take a look at it from a new perspective. What is needed in this situation is to reflect on some simple but important questions.
1. Who is the Head of the Catholic Church?
2. What is the purpose of the Catholic Church?
3. How does the hierarchy of the church fit into the overall picture?
If we can answer the above questions with some certitude we might be able to ponder the present situation of the church a bit more calmly. We will do so in the following weeks. This is not to say that the church has no blame but we will be able to see things more clearly hopefully in colors other than Red.
Lorette P. Nault