Thursday, April 20, 2006

Revelations (of the unhappy sort)

I've just read that a former pastor of mine has recently been defrocked, after investigation of a recent, and solitary, complaint, of an offense from over 17 years ago, against him. He's a old man now, accepting a "life of prayer and penitence" at the retirement home where he once said Mass.

I am sad, for the Church, for his victim, of who we'll never know, and for himself. I remember he and my mother having debates on various church-related issues when I was younger, and he was there with Archbishop John Cardinal Krol when I was confimed. We all celebrated his elevation to Monsignor in the new church was built under his command. And we all wondered at his hurried retirement after an impropriety involving real estate, but we were all willing to forgive the priest we knew. I cannot imagine him abusing anyone, and yet, he's been defrocked.

I cannot allow myself to despair for the other priests and pastors I've known, secretly wondering about every one of them. I cannot allow myself to shudder in fear every time I see my son, or other children, hug our parish priests.

Not only has Satan caused the offenders to fall and cause great scandal to the Church, but has poisoned many in the Church to fear their own priests, imagining a presupposed guilt.

Miserere nobis

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