Friday, December 15, 2006

Church should "weep before God" over the Scandal...Victim's group head misses point

The only man allowed to preach to Pope Benedict XVI has told the Pontiff he should call a worldwide day of fasting and penitence to ask forgiveness for the Catholic Church's priestly sexual abuse scandals...

Father Cantalamessa said the time had come for the church to "weep before God" over the scandal against "the smallest of its brothers".

He said the church should call "a day of fasting and penitence, at the local and national level, where the problem was worst, to publicly express sorrow before God and solidarity with the victims".

Such a day would, he said, help "reconciliation of souls" so the church could get back on the path of doing its work "with a renewed heart".

I know that some American dioceses -- my own included -- have done this and more, including a Novena of fasting and penance. And I agree that it isn't enough: as for me, no amount of fasting and penance could ever atone for the sins I've committed in my life. Not if I insist on looking at my sins through my own eyes.

At least one group of victims of priestly abuse said it was not enough.

"We would much rather that the Pope discipline complicit bishops," said Barbara Blaine, president of the US-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

"Hundreds of bishops have covered up thousands of sex crimes yet not one has faced a single consequence for this horrific deceit and recklessness," she told news agency Reuters.

How does she know that?

How does Blaine know that no bishop has faced any consequences for his behavior? Has she a way of looking inside hearts and souls that none of us have? No, she does not.

She's looking at this from a purely secular -- and earthly -- perspective.

What is horrific is that evidently some, perhaps many, victims of clergy abuse have lost -- or have been robbed of -- their ability to forgive.

And that is a sin that some of us will have to answer for.

Still, SNAP should not be allowed to rob anybody of their chance to repent.

Jesus forgives. To question that undeniable -- albeit often difficult to believe -- fact is to court eternal damnation.

Source: The World News