Water Water Everywhere and Not a Drop to Drink
That's how I feel about Jesus' Truth properties when it comes to the entire PR fiasco surrounding this abuse "scandal." The Truth is the Way.
First, I must admit, that the timing of it all around Holy Week is suspect- which required fierce clerical rebuttals to counter the spin with more spin disguised as homilies which had folks plain disgusted". The Archbishop of Washington in a recorded or televised "you vill support this Pope" mandate from the bird's perch high above the congregation (it has a fancier name I just don't know it) tried to sound less dictatorial but his "love ya hun" attempts from near the rosettes was hard to read as anything more than "Please God, don't let anyone else sue us!"
We had the odd reference to antisemitism by the Papal preacher (why does he need a Preacher if he is Jesus?) and then the even more off the wall comment by Sodano, the Head Cardinal in the College of Cardinals who proclaims the whole thing "petty gossip" (please, God, someone tell me that was misreported or taken out of context.)
If it's all Petty Gossip then the first thing they need to do is fire all the lawyers because Petty Gossip costs the faithful (so far) about Two Billion Dollars. Perhaps if the "confidential" settlement agreements were made public it wouldn't be "gossip" so much as just legal news.
If It's all 'petty gossip' why are there 120,000 priests in American alone who spend decades preparing for the priesthood and serving in the priesthood who left to marry women and have families?
If it's all 'petty gossip' why was the government in Ireland involved with an official report, an official Papal rebuttal and official Papal apology (if he and all Popes previous are perfect what's he sorry for).
The Papal household would do well to take advice from the only humble truthful statement under the wire about any of this that made any sense this holy season. Easter lasts for fifty days so there is still time for self reflection and getting it right. I have found an honorable man in the Priesthood who was previously an attorney who was candid and deeply humble-and boy was that refreshing. In admitting all the Catecumens into the fold he gave a message that he repeated on Easter. It went essentially like this (forgive me if I got any of this wrong, Father Horak):
As the body of Christ there is a tendancy to over-divinize ourselves beyond what is appropriate. [editorial note: Jesus Himself is the Head of the Body of the Body of Christ. ]
As a result of this overdivinization, we overlook and desensitize ourselves to our own sin- all of us, priests and parishioners alike. Rather than admit sin, we then strive to do anything to preserve the illusions of perfection that sustain the distorted self-image.
This struck me as a good place to start thinking about all of this mess.
We are Saved By Grace, lest any man (priests included) should boast. (check Ephesians)
If I must boast I boast only on the Amazing Love of God whose mercy covers all sins. That doesn't mean that the sins don't exist- it means Divine Forgiveness is all the more massive and overwhelming. This is the real Easter Story. Man messes up. God loves him so incredibly much anyway he sent his only beloved son so that whosoever believes in him shall not die but shall have everlasting life. That is the Amazing Grace- the Amazing Gift that no one could possibly earn -Love Everlasting with the being that is Love itself. You cannot understand it if you cannot appreciate the depravity of your sin and face it, admit it and fall on your knees and thank God for his Mercy.
My advice: Sodano sounds like a guy who would lock up the kid for saying "The Emperor is naked." Call Father Horak instead.