lfbanner3a summer
Last week marked the one year anniversary of the Grand Jury report from Pennsylvania.  This report shocked the country and the world with its horrific description of how decades past saw an absolute fall from grace by priests who are called to lay down their lives for their flock, not offer their flock as sacrificial victims to their vice.  In the past months, other states have started their own investigations.

The response of the U.S. Catholic bishops has been positive, though many will be curious about what the real steps of advancement are.  Part of this process has been slowed down by the Vatican, who were wishing to adopt (and have enacted) new policies and procedures for the entire world that will do a better job at holding bishops accountable.  I do not think there are, as of yet, a set of universal policies as detailed and praiseworthy as what the USCCB chartered back in 2002 known as the "Dallas Charter" for the protection of minors from priests and church employees.  The newer policy is focused on bishops, and let's hope and pray it is used rarely and used effectively whenever needed.

I think it is important to understand these events through a lens that looks at the world, and history, from a perspective of faith.  This doesn't mean ignoring problems or denying reality, but it means embracing the full truth of what we believe as Christians: that God is real, that he is present to and within the Church, and that the Lord desires all people to come to know him and be saved within the Church through baptism and the sacraments. Mainstream media sources do not have this vantage point.  It is good to get many perspectives, and I hope to share next month a helpful resource from one of those perspectives. Bishop Barron's "Letter to a Suffering Church" will be available to parishioners for their own reflection and hopefully to spur discussion with each other and even those who have left the church behind.  I found it useful for broadening my perspective on the depth of the pain, the historical context (even into the Old Testament) and some basic outlines of a way forward.  It isn't everything, but it is something substantial and helpful.  I hope you will read it.

Next week will be our last 8:00am Mass before we move to the new schedule on September 1st. With the new Mass times, I am looking at opportunities for the time in-between Masses, when in the upper room we can participate in various ways to build community and faith (while all the RE children are in the other classrooms).  Perhaps a presentation about my summer pilgrimage to Medjugorje.  Perhaps a Bible study.  Perhaps a future discussion group about Bsp. Barron's "Letter."  I'm excited for the possibilities!

Saint Thérèse, little flower, pray for us!