As the Catholic Church and its parishioners reel from the deluge of sexual abuse and cover-up allegations that have finally – after decades – overwhelmed their institutional floodgates, I cannot help but notice those in this column and elsewhere calling for prayer.
Pray for the church. Pray for the priests. Don’t turn away from your parish during this crisis.
They are quick to highlight the duty of the faithful to communicate with God. But what they neglect to mention is the duty of the faithful to serve God’s will. The Bible teaches that we must be vigilant in tending to our flock, because evil lurks among us. It doesn’t get much more evil than abusing authority to commit sexual, physical and psychological abuse against children. And as the storm surge of breaking news continues to remind us, the wolf has been wearing shepherd’s clothing for some time now.
So instead of just asking for prayers, defenders of Catholicism, consider what you can do to cleanse your temple. Instead of the reflexive, defensive comments about good things the church does, or how you believe only a few priests and bishops overall are known to be caught up in these ongoing atrocities, show us that you believe these actions are indefensible.
Show us how your parish is standing up for victims. Show us how your tithe is supporting transparency instead of obfuscation.
Show us that you stand for the teachings of your faith, and not just the institution of your church.