This week the terrible, horrible details of the Pennsylvania grand jury investigation of Catholic priests were released, and they were even more awful than imagined. In my own home parish of St. Ignatius, several of my childhood priests have been named for actions that are about as far from holy as you can get.
After widespread abuses like these, and the equally reprehensible cover ups and collusion that have accompanied them, it is hard (and maybe even ill-advised) to trust the Catholic church. A lot has been taken from our community, by our own leaders.
But here’s what they have not taken. They have not taken the feeling of peace that I first found as a little toddler, visiting the quiet church on weekdays with my mom. They have not taken my regard for strong and loyal communities. They have not taken the meaning I find in devotion and prayer and ritual. All of these elements transcend any individual or institution, and it is in these corners of transcendence that my battered faith still finds shelter.
Dear friends, it’s dreadful to realize – over and over again – how many individuals and institutions will betray our trust, sometimes in unspeakable ways. It might be impossible to ever regain that trust.
But oh, if we can, even as our trust is crushed….
let’s try to keep our faith.