I think the word that I have heard most this past week after the release of the Grand Jury Report on Clergy Sexual Abuse was “betrayal”. There is a real sense of betrayal over the priests who abused, many of whom we knew and respected; from leaders in the church (including bishops) who covered up the abuse; and, especially, a sense of betrayal over not being told why a priest was no longer in a parish or in active ministry. The word “betrayal” accurately sums up our feelings (including mine). There is an intimacy between a priest and his people and between the Church and the community of believers. When betrayal happens, it is like the betrayal of a spouse: gut-wrenching, confusing and sickening. Yes, part of the solution in this case will be the ability for survivors to tell their story; for the Church to continue to uphold policies so that this never happens again; and for us to humbly move forward ever aware of our ability to deny, to obfuscate, to sin. But that is only part of the answer. What we need is a greater trust in the Lord, a deeper faith in his ways and a commitment to walk in his footsteps and take up our crosses each day. It is Jesus in the Eucharist who gives us strength, who heals our wounds, who understands our hurts. It is Jesus himself who was betrayed who knows exactly what we are going through in our betrayals. Put your trust in Him!
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