Friday, June 11, 2010

What's Taking The Catholic Church So Long?

So I just read this article about the Pope begging forgiveness for the child abuse problems with the priests in the Catholic Church.

As I read his statements and those of the organizations that advocate for the victims I couldn’t stop thinking one thing…

What’s taking so long?

Like seriously… what’s taking so long here? Why has the Pope not come with a clear resolution and plan of action? Maybe there is so much more under the surface that it would be too damaging for the church to reveal it. Maybe the Pope has some personal involvement here…

Who knows?

But what I find interesting here is that the Pope is asking for forgiveness when he really wants reconciliation.

Here’s what I mean.

Let’s say someone does you wrong and they ask for your forgiveness. Sure, you can forgive them; but, would you ever put your trust in them again?

Maybe you will, maybe you won’t. But it takes time to build trust, and that building of trust is reconciliation. It only occurs when you follow up your request for forgiveness with sustained and consistent action to demonstrate that the victim of your treatment can have faith in you again.

And that’s what these victims need. They need to see results. They need to see that the church has taken concrete actions to expose those who committed these crimes. They need to see that there are measures in place to prevent this from happening again and to deal with the offenders who do this in the future.

Every rational person knows that no single person or entity is perfect. The Catholic Church cannot reasonably promise that their priests will not do anything bad in the future.

And no one is asking for such a promise.

But good gracious… let’s get some transparency here! As people of faith, the folks in the Catholic Church should do what Jesus said.

"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

"Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny. Matthew 5: 23-26

They seem to have done neither. If they go and reconcile with the victims by demonstrating their remorse through meaningful action then this will eventually go away.

Otherwise, the victims will continue to drag them to the courts of law and public opinion…

These courts are not friendly to anyone.

1 comment:

  1. Yup! It takes seeing many intentionally dishonest actions over time to diminish/break bonds of trust. It would take seeing just as many or more intentionally honest forthright actions over time to rebuild those bonds.

    It really is that simple.


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A Convo With God by Clarence Mitchell III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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