Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B. posted a message yesterday, which said in part:
This has been the summer from hell for the Catholic Church and our sins are blatantly exposed for the world to see. The recent tsunami of headlines about abuse of minors by a Cardinal and priests in the United States; the tragic stories of abuse in Chile and other countries, together with re-runs of old stories from various places have brought the Church to her knees once again and filled us with anger, shame, sadness, frustration and discouragement. Many of us are perplexed and feel a deep hurt because our esteem and respect for Archbishop McCarrick were clearly misplaced. Anyone who discovers far too late that a family member or friend has a history of moral misconduct, we stand dumbfounded that that person lived a secret life and left us all in the dark. Is this not what many bishops and priests feel about the disgraced Cardinal? What are we to make of the fact that the Holy See, through its various mechanisms, may well have dismissed multiple warning signs that should have stopped Archbishop McCarrick and others earlier in their careers? We therefore have a right to call into question everything the Church has done to safeguard children and adults from manipulation and violation.
We all are in this boat together. What does this mean for each of us? It means first, that we are to trust the Lord to show us the way, to bring us to our goals safely, and to feed our souls on the journey. We will encounter problems and crises - there will be days when we cast out our nets all day long, and at the end of the day, there might be nothing to show for it. At those times, we must listen to the Lord, as Peter did, and cast the nets again into the deep - for it is our faith that is being tested - not as to whether we profess it or not - but as to whether we are ready to do something about it or not.
What I find so absolutely stunning about all these communications is the continued sense of denial; “we stand dumbfounded that that person lived a secret life and left us all in the dark.” If no one knew then how could the Vatican have “dismissed the multiple warning signs?” I do not accept the Fr. Thomas Reese, SJ, “blame the Vatican” excuse.
I think we've all reached the point where we no longer want words, we want action. No more press releases, statements, and failed PR stunts. Why should the laity be called to fast and make reparations for the sins of the clergy? Why aren't they making their own acts of public penance and reparation? Why aren't we reading statements of resignation? Why does McCarrick still hold a title in the Church?
Why are they still talking at us instead of rending their garments and showing true contrition? Words. Just words.
Action in the form of contrition, penance, and resignations are all missing from Cardinal DiNardo's “three-point plan.”
Fr. Rosica says we are in the same boat, but this Barque of Peter isn't being steered. Her crew, us laity, have been left to float aimlessly across a tumultuous sea of scandal while the captains keep telling us they're going to sail the ship to calmer waters but never actually do.