Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Monday, July 16, 2007

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.

God, have mercy on those who have suffered at the hands of your priests.
Lord, have mercy on the ones who brought about that suffering.

8 Comments:

Blogger tara said...

Tiber Jumper:
"we will all share in the temporal consequences of this sin."

This sin, hurts the 96 out of 100 good, decent, loving, God-fearing priests--the priests who could never even consider such crimes against the most innocent of their flock. Yet the protestant media, makes the headlines seem as though 96 priests out of 100 are the offenders--oh sigh.

Living in Utah, at work, at least one to two times a week I get to hear a slur about how Catholic priests like molesting children--doctors, nurses, patients. They make off-color jokes constantly--they are Mormons. When they think Catholic, this is their first response. But I think they like the association--keeps them rooted in their own lies--so they do not have to face truth.

Jesus said to be glad when you are persecuted for My Name--count it joy--I have to admit though--this is tough.

July 16, 2007 2:52 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Tara:
Yes it's very tough. But, Some of those in the media who are the most vocal and vitriolic regarding the scandals are Catholics! Bill Maher has an obscene rant he posted on Huffington's blog and making the statement several times that he was Catholic. So I don't want to say it's all about protestant media, to be fair.
Thanks for the comment

July 16, 2007 3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a priest it is a cross that we must bear for years to come, I am afraid. The hierarchy of the Church has hurt all of us (including priests) and in many ways continues to do so. Since the scandal broke, I have been judged on my outward appearance everytime I go out in public in my clerical blacks. It has been an uncomforatble feeling for those who have been in my company to witness.

While I do not condone the actions of the guilty priests and feel sympathetic towards the victims, this settlement really disturbs me. When huge corporations are made to pay out large settlements, many do not see the money. Here these people will see their awards and unfortunately because of this other cases are sure to follow.

I pray that the true victims are able to put these horrific events behind them. I pray for the priests who have been abusers that the Holy Spirit will allow them to know the damage they have done and be truly repentant. I pray for the faithful and good priests that remain, that the cross, while hard to carry at times, will not let them lose heart.

July 16, 2007 4:26 PM  
Blogger Pilgrimsarbour said...

Regarding this issue, I have often wondered what happened to these priests to throw them into such ruin. I can't help but think that perhaps many (of these 4% mentioned) were aware of inappropriate urges and desires before entering the priesthood and hoped, believed and prayed that God would deliver them as they most fully dedicated themselves to Him in their vocation. If that's true, it's a noble, though misguided, approach to God's service. I find it hard to believe that these priests somehow "turned" into predators once they began their service. I have no way of knowing, of course. But I do not want to believe that pedophiles are drawn to the Church because they see it as some kind of "haven" in which they can follow their lowest natures with immunity. Hopefully, the Church is getting a much better handle on the problem now. As it is with all that we can see in this life, however, and as it is with all other faiths, I fear that it is "the tip of the iceberg." I hope and pray to God that I am wrong.

July 16, 2007 4:49 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Dear Father:
I am sorry that the good priests like yourself catch the backlash. I think that is part of the temporal consequences shared by the whole body, isn't it?

Let us all continue to pray for all the faithful priests out there who faithfully serve the body of Christ, who never make the headlines. Their names will be written in the great book in heaven.

I ask St. John Vianney's intercessions for my parish priests and the others I have been privileged to know on a regular basis, and will do so more in light of these recent headlines.

July 16, 2007 4:52 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

PA said:
"As it is with all that we can see in this life, however, and as it is with all other faiths"

That is true, abusers can be found in all faiths and each denomination has statisitics which are not much different than the numbers in Catholic churches (though the media would lead us all to see it differently.)The biggest issue for me was the "cover up" and relocation of criminals vs the actual crimes, themselves.

The best in any denomination can fall into sin and I have known many people in ministry in churches before my conversion that were sadly involved in moral failure.
We trust God daily for his grace to live a life pleasing to Him. I too have not been above making major moral errors in my life even after I accepted Christ to be my savior.
Thanks for the post,

July 16, 2007 5:07 PM  
Blogger TheGodFearinFiddler said...

I'm curious to know where the 4% figure came from?

July 16, 2007 11:06 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

The John Jay University study done just a few years ago came up with 4%.
http://www.americancatholic.org/news/clergysexabuse/johnjaycns.asp

July 16, 2007 11:52 PM  

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