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A Note About the Latest Church Scandal

Dear Church,

It has been a few weeks since the latest scandal involving the church and inappropriate behavior will have hit the headlines. In case anyone missed it, I am referring to the removal from all public ministry of Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, the archbishop emeritus of Washington, DC and one of the most significant public figures in the Church in this country over the last two decades. What prompted the action was a credible allegation of abuse committed over fifty years ago against a teenage altar server back when Cardinal McCarrick was a young priest.

When the details of his case began to emerge, there were a spectrum of thoughts that went flashing through my head. They ranged from a frustrated, “Great, just what we need in the Church today… yet another scandal” to the more personal, “I can’t imagine what his victims went through.” I found myself asking in confusion and anger, “HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?!?” It is a sad tale of the power and politics within then Bishop McCarrick’s inner circle.

Where does that leave me? Some might think it would be easy in my shoes to become cynical and disillusioned, or even fall prey to doubts about the Church, my faith, or my priesthood. But in fact, it has had quite the opposite effect. To quote Bishop Fulton Sheen: “The only argument the world will listen to now is the argument of personal holiness. It has heard all the rest and rejected them.” It has galvanized my resolve to live my priesthood and pursue holiness with as much strength as I possibly can. It has reinforced my belief in the importance of priests modeling holiness, virtue, living out their vows, remaining close to the Blessed Virgin Mary and praying the Holy Rosary, authentic fraternity, and joy for those men in the honest process of pursuing ordination. And it has emphasized, once again, that though the Church is made up of nothing but fallible and sinful human beings, both in her membership and her leaders, she is also the divine, all-holy Bride of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit sanctifying her and dwelling in her.

So sometime today, please pray for all the good & holy seminarians, priests, and bishops who serve our Church every day with dedication, selflessness, and love. God bless ~

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Pray for Us!