I’ve learned in much of my adult years. One lesson that’s been imparted to me over the past few years is that being Catholic isn’t what you would call popular, or in line with our current societal norms.
I’m pretty far from perfect, but Lord knows I do the best I humanly possibly can to be a really awesome person. I don’t expect people at the end of the day to love the Catholic faith as much as I do, but I do the best I can to live a life worthy of my calling. I do the best I can to leave an impression so good that maybe, just maybe, a person will be able to say “You know what? Catholics aren’t so bad after all”. Unfortunately the clergy sex abuse scandals can make the “making a case for the Catholic faith” extremely difficult.
I’ve been at a loss for words in pertaining to the bombshell allegations from the Pennsylvania Archdioceses, and the abuse that has been going on in SEVERAL Seminaries, including ones close to home. I’ve sat for hours on end trying to think of how to express my angst in the most Flemmings Beaubrun way possible. I remember the scandal in Boston several years ago and hoped that it would be a one-time thing, that people further up would ensure that what happened in Boston NEVER happened again. Unfortunately, their solution was to give Cardinal Law, the guy who covered everything up, the equivalent of a promotion to a high position in the Vatican just to move him out of Boston.
In 2018, what should’ve been just an isolated incident of bad apples has revealed itself as a systemic problem where large groups of predator priests are being protected by their bishops. I fear that this problem is far more widespread than we all originally thought. This weekend, many priests delivered homilies about recent events; I’m not satisfied with the responses. While forgiveness/mercy is the foundation of our faith, it should NEVER be a substitute for true justice. A priest at my parish talked of focusing our efforts on helping the victims. While helping the victims is important, one critical component of this is getting justice.
So, what does justice look like in this scenario? Well it sure as hell doesn’t mean “moving these predators around”. I wouldn’t lose sleep at night if a bunch of clergy lost their jobs. I really wouldn’t lose sleep at night if it came down to law enforcement marching into several parishes, and dragging priests, bishops, and maybe even cardinals out in handcuffs. I wouldn’t lose sleep at night if the priest numbers dropped drastically. Members of the church constantly mention that we have shortage of priests, and maybe that’s what we need. I’d rather we have a few good men than a bunch of guys who have no sense of Christ in a line of work that requires a strong faith in HE. I’d rather we have a few good men than a bunch of men who use their positions of power to take advantage of the most vulnerable.
Though my faith isn’t shaken, I am still utterly appalled by all of this. I’m not only appalled by these most recent allegations, I’m appalled by the fact that we let this happen again. I’m appalled that never made an example of the right people the last time this happened. This isn’t who we are as Catholics. This isn’t representative of our faith. There is not a single person I know who condones this.
To my Catholics, pray for the good priests that we do have. To everyone else including former Catholics who may be weary after all of this, don’t let the actions of evil men affect your outlook on this faith, or any other. Catholicism is a very rich and beautiful faith that I am glad to be called to. It is what I call home, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. This isn’t us, and I pray that we will all band together and make this right.
I am ALWAYS down to engage in any civil discourse pertaining to the faith. All you need to do is ask.
Flemmings Beaubrun is an avid gamer and lover of music. When not working, Flemmings likes to spend his time whipping up dank beats for the masses. He also spends his weekends thrift shopping for rare video games and obscure electronics. Other times he’s in front of a TV with a giant bowl of cereal enjoying shows from the 90s.