A Year of Ashes

We’ve had a Year of Faith. We’ve had a Year of Mercy.

With all the vile corruption in the Church that was revealed in 2018, and with all that is surely yet to be revealed, may this lowly Catholic woman suggest to the Holy Father, and all our bishops, that it is time for a Year of Contrition and Penance. It’s time for a Year of Sackcloth and Ashes.

Just Stop Talking.

Don’t yet speak to us about hope or healing. The wound is still gangrenous with infection. The sheep are still bleeding and we no longer trust you because you have opened the gate to the wolves and let them roam free among us.

Please don’t speak to us about new policies and procedures. Don’t utter another word to us about lessons learned. There is no proof that you’ve learned anything at all, except how to keep evading responsibility and ignoring the elephants in the sacristy.

Do not burden us with any more talk of your sadness. To be blunt, your sadness is meaningless when so many of you knew and saw and heard and did nothing. And finally, spare us all the lament about how change happens slowly in the Church. That pathetic excuse is simply unacceptable.

One thing is urgent right now, and that is to see real evidence that the Church hierarchy gets it. I, for one, still do not believe you do.

Simple, Plain Truth. Nothing Less Than That.

It’s not complicated to tell the truth. It may be uncomfortable, or costly, or humiliating, but it’s simple. It’s not hard to understand that a priest who sexually violates a child is a depraved man who has committed both a grave sin and a serious crime and must never function as a priest again. Period. In fact, he should be behind bars.

It’s not hard to understand that a bishop who desires sexual gratification with seminary students, and who forces himself on seminarians, is a morally sick and disturbed man who is guilty of grave sin and a serious crime and is not to be trusted ever again. Period. He should be laicized.

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