To Whom Shall We Go?

Here’s an article I thought worth sharing from Greg Erlendson at Our Sunday Visitor.

A brief excerpt:

“Being the butt of Jay Leno jokes is not persecution of a noble sort, but it is a barometer of social disdain, and the Church has become fixed in the popular mind as an organization that has actively cultivated a climate of sexual abuse. This slur easily merges with the vestigial anti-Catholicism of American society…

The result is that the scandals have marginalized the one institution that can raise a voice against a variety of social wrongs, including the broader epidemic of child abuse and child pornography, as well as treatment of the poor and most vulnerable. Its credibility has been weakened. Even worse, its credibility among its own people has been weakened.

This is where we must step up. And this is why it is important to get this story out, as unpleasant as it is, and as weary of it as we are.”

You can catch up with the rest here.

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5 Responses to “To Whom Shall We Go?”

  1. Andrew Piacente says:

    I just can’t help imagining these “comedians” trying this when Bishop Fulton Sheen was shepherd. No way. We have lost the respect that America showed this saintly man. We need more shepherds like Bishop Sheen.

  2. Pat says:

    I agree with the author. Catholics and clergy need to stop claiming persecution by the media. Our church was wrong. Our church was at fault. And we carry that shame. Period. Luckily, fair or not, Americans get to reinvent themselves every day. Just look at the number of shamed politicians and shamed celebrities who have been caught red-handed breaking the law, stealing money, driving drunk, hiring prostitutes, cheating on their wives, etc. Look what Bill Clinton did to an intern. And where is he today? Lauded by the world as an international giant as regards Haiti and Korea, etc. The RCC needs to suck it up and change its image, and stop complaining that there’s too much news on the scandal. If we want to change the topic, then we have to make news that changes the topic.

  3. Barbara Peters says:

    This is an interesting article and a welcome admission that the Church as an institution needs to explore its lack of credibility as a leader on moral issues. There are many wonderful and dedicated Priests and Religious who labor in the “trenches” who have not lost their credibility.
    Reading this post together with the previous post, perhaps it is time for the Church leaders to walk the boardwalk with the people – to pack away their “cappa magnas” and live their lives on the boardwalk with the people and not seperate from them on a porch where they are on the outside looking in without a lived understanding of the turmoil, anxiety, fear, hopes doubt struggles, selflessness courage and yes joy and love that are found on that boardwalk. Respectfully, perhaps the hierarchy has remained too long on the porch and must enter into the boardwalk. Our Lord did go away to pray alone on many occassions. But He also lived among the people on the boardwalk – He did not have an idealized vision of what their lives were like – He was emotionally and intimitately involved with and in their lives. He ate with them and laughed with them and cried with them. That is why they loved Him so much and why He had so much credibilty. That is why the Gospel is so powerful – because He speaks directly to the people on the boardwalk with a true understanding of what it means to be on the boardwalk because He walks and walked there with us. I cant imagine that He would have ever excommunicated anyone of them or ever denied them the Eucharist. Come join us on the boardwalk. Perhaps the porch worked during the Middle Ages when the power of the Church needed to be on display. Perhaps now it is the humility and humbleness of the Church that needs to be communicated to the people.

  4. John M. Conroy says:

    To Pat and Barbara, Amen! Amen! Amen!

  5. Fr. Derek Anderson says:

    I simply want to comment on the article’s statement about the Church’s ability to raise it’s voice on a variety of social ills, “including the broader epidemic of child abuse and child pornography….” While the barbaric scandals within the Church are precisely that, it would be beneficial for all if the mass media were to also cover the barbarism of pedophilia beyond the boarders of the Catholic Church – if this is to become a real effort to eradicate pedophilia. So my complaint is that there is not enough news on the barbaric scandal of pedophilia! The mass media isn’t reporting enough.

    Over the past several months I have read many interviews and articles from Zenit.org, and have learned some interesting things regarding pedophilia in general. Running a search on the site for “pedophilia” gives you a return of 101 articles (literally). Most people today wouldn’t guess the worldwide business of pedophilia brings in an estimated $17 billion each year, with around 200,000 victims annually, “increasingly even babies and toddlers” according to Fr. Fortunato Di Noto (who founded the Meter Association 20 years ago – a children protection organization). Sick! A U.N. Report presented to the General Assembly on July 21, 2009 pointed out that in 2004 there were 480,000 pedo-pornographic sites discovered on the web – a massive jump from the 261,653 sites discovered in 2001. Then you have sex-tourism (according to ECPAT, an estimated 80 million people annually embark on sex-tours, involving 10 million children globally), and the human trafficking of children.

    So when the mass media continually places the Catholic Church in the cross-hairs to the exclusion of this “broader epidemic of child abuse and child pornography,” one is left wondering what the real goal of the press is? This is taking nothing away from the horror and truth of the scandals within the Church, but with the extensiveness of the barbarism on the global scale to look at as well, why stop with the Church? This is even a bigger question for the press in the United States, where only 6 allegations of abuse of minors were reported last year.