His mug shots are all over the news. His face is barely recognizable. My former pastor, boss and friend has been charged with sexual crimes against minors and I am saddened beyond words.
I have chosen to remain silent on the subject during the months that he has been under investigation. For that, I have been attacked by someone with knowledge of the case on several occasions, based on his assumptions about my position. But if I am guilty of anything, it is reserving judgment until the evidence is in and none of it has been shared with me. That’s fine. There’s no reason that it should be.
When I was the parish secretary and DRE, I came to know and love my fellow parishioners, especially the young families I worked with in our faith education program. I know that many of them shared my admiration and respect for this priest. I am sure this is a very trying time for them, as it is for me, and I am thinking about them and praying for them. Scandals like this can threaten our faith, but we have to see beyond the headlines and keep our focus on Christ.
We like to think that the Church is filled with saints, but the Church is filled with us. Some are saintly; others are horrible. Most of us fall somewhere in between, hopefully striving to be more saintly. Among the clergy, going all the way to the Pope himself, it is just the same. Some are holy; others not so much. Most are, like the rest of us, striving to be good. All of us are in need of each others’ prayers.
I don’t want to say any more on this blog. I have tried to be more generic in my posts and have stayed away from discussing my parish or diocese in particular. However, a number of my readers are from my parish and I want to acknowledge our shared disappointment, anger and sadness.
Like my fellow parishioners and others, I am struggling to come to terms with this awful event. Providentially, I have come across an excellent book, which I will share with you tomorrow.
In the meantime, let us pray for healing for all involved.