There are many reasons why I left the Catholic Church, okay I should rephrase that as there are many excuses as to why I left the Catholic Church, and one of these was the Clergy Abuse Scandal. Now that I am slowly working my way back to the Church I have begun to look into this crisis a little closer. Let me start by saying when all these cases of abuses began to come out it really bothered me. When I grew up we were always taught that our Priest was the same as God. We didn’t look at him as a regular person, a man, he was something else entirely. Yes, this scared us somewhat but we also were taught that we could always trust the Priest, he, like God, would always protect us.
When the scandal hit this “myth” was shattered. Why would God allow one of his people, one of His disciples do this? If you could no longer trust your parish priest then who could you trust? Therefore, I used this as one more excuse to not go to church and not worship.
In my writings I tend to get involved in politics and hos the progressive left is trying to secularize this country. As part of this I have to defend the Catholic Church, most recently regarding the HHS mandate. Even though the objections to this have nothing to do with the church other than the fact it is against them the mandate is aimed, the left has made it a Catholic issue. Any discussion which follows anything I write on this always is accompanied by comments about pedophile priests and how the Catholic Church is full of them, etc. etc. etc.
I came across this article the other day, 10 Myths about Priestly Pedophilia, which debunks the 10 most popular myths out there, all used by the left against the church. The sad thing for me is I knew these were myths before I read the article without having to do the research. You see, Priests are human with all the same faults as any one of us. I am not defending them, they were wrong, they broke the laws and they need to be punished accordingly. This goes for any of their superiors who may have covered up the problem. But they are human too.
I have learned a lot in the past year as I have examined my faith and beliefs and the teachings of the Catholic Church. And one thing which I truly believe, besides the fact that God exists and that He loves us, is that these priest who have done wrong are probably being punished more than we can even imagine. They are being punished spiritually.
A Priest feels he is called to service by God. When he breaks God’s laws, for whatever reason, whether it is intentionally or unintentionally, he knows he has fallen from grace with the Lord. For one who has spent their life in service to God, this has got to be the absolute worst thing which could happen.
But this being said, we can’t let the few bad apples, as the above article points out the percentage for priests who are pedophiles is no more than that of the general population, turn us away from our faith. This holds true for Catholics or any other religious denomination. Our faith needs to be strong, it is what gets us through our lives.