Prayer of a Suffering Church: Catholics on the Abuse Crisis
I remember when the scandal hit the news this one time. My friend texted me. She’s like, I can’t go to church anymore. I didn’t know how to answer because I didn’t want to go to church, but I — at the same time These are the moments we need God. When the abuse crisis was being revealed I was totally shocked that any of these things were happening at all. And to get to know some of the survivors and their stories has been just absolutely shocking to my image of the church and my image of what it meant to be a member of the church. What breaks my heart the most is the level of is the level of pain the level of suffering. Um. Not just the victims, because I know they have suffered but people like myself, people who are sitting in the pews who have heard the news. It has caused such pain, such anguish. Such anger. As a Catholic person of faith. what has been hardest about this is the Church not telling the truth. Those victims, those kids, they were lambs, just like Jesus. That trauma was the first one of multiple traumas, and the Church not supporting them was the second. Both the fact of the abuse and the fact of good people doing nothing in the face of abuse, and that — to cover up itself — being the true scandal. I don’t feel that enough people who Are in charge now in our Church, who have authority and power in our Church, have accepted responsibility for their actions or inactions. What angers me the most is how evil that the abuse is, especially at the hands of priests. When someone comes to you from a place of trust and confidence, and then to take that and use that for your selfish and for your evil purposes, it’s so terrible, and my heart breaks. Just thinking about it. What breaks my heart the most about this is this scandal is what people associate With the church, not that she’s the Bride of Christ or that she contains the fullness of truth, but that the hierarchy of the Church used their positions to protect and cover up the awful sins of many of their own I believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, I believe in the grace that He extends to all of us. And I look at all the things that our Church and our Faith is doing in the world; we do so much good. But in my heart, I still have that question. Why? In the darkest moments, I think that’s where He’s truly present, even if we don’t feel Him. I hope that the survivors know how much we care, that we’re praying for them. They’re not alone. I firmly believe that He grieves with us, that Jesus Christ is with every survivor in their pain. I’ve seen that, so loving with Christ’s dying on the cross, the pain that He suffered, He did not deserve it at all, just as my family member to not deserve the pain that he suffered. When I look at this cross, I see Christ’s sorrow, I see Christ’s dejection. But I also see His love and his gentleness, his faithfulness. I see that he gave everything; that he was innocent just like you were. He won. And if you let him, He will help you overcome as well. Lord, I hope that you renew your church by renewing these victims. Mary is your mother. In your darkest times, when you feel alone, ask her to be with you, ask her to mother you. She’s there. Mary, these are your babies. These are your children. Help them to know that you’re always there. I pray that you give life to those who need life and you let die those things that need to die in the Church and in the world. Let them know they can triumph with you and that we’re all praying for them and their healing.