Los Angeles Priest Abuse Settlement
When Catholics read about the priest abuse scandal settlements like this one in LA, it is easy to become discouraged. We have a found a treasure in this Church and it's so hard to understand why some priests (about 4% of the total) are not themselves transformed by the very miracle that occurs in their hands at every Mass. However, scandal has been with the Church from the very beginning and it doesn't invalidate the truth. God has chosen us, very broken, very earthen vessels, to carry forth the truth. The chosen nation of Israel (the *shadow* of the Church to come) failed God time and time again yet He remained faithful.
As Prodigal Daughter reminds me , you can't judge a religion by those who don't practice it. The priest scandal broke in 2002 when PD was considering Catholicism and the abuse crisis made me even more resistant to the Church than I had been. I might have returned sooner to the Church but it was a hard concept to grasp; that the truth is not invalidated by the sinful lives of those called to practice it, but don't.
That being said, I am not trying to invalidate the pain and suffering of the shattered lives that the abusive priests and the bishops who covered it up have caused. No settlement, financial or otherwise can replace lost innocence, broken trust and devastated lives and families. The temporal consequences of this crisis has been and will continue to be great and our penance may last for generations to come. Yes, Christ has forgiven those who have confessed and admitted their guilt and received sacramental absolution, but we will all share in the temporal consequences of this sin. When one part of the body suffers, we all suffer.
Lord, have mercy on the ones who brought about that suffering.