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Priesthood – The (not so new) Normal

In the midst of continued reporting of abuse within the Catholic Church, I sometimes grow weary on hearing how “bad” priests are.

  • I know what what done was horrible (We hear this all of the time).
  • I know that we did a terrible job of protecting young people. (Also proclaimed from the rooftops and front pages).
  • I know that we have to do a better job of protecting young people (..and we are getting better at this but you rarely get the details).
  • I know that is was committed by a minority of priests, sisters and members of our Church. (Don’t hear this as much either).
  • I also know that the majority of abuse is not sexual and is perpetrated by parents (79.4% according to 2005 NCANDS  study). You never hear this which is truly ironic if the goal is “to protect the children.”

So I was relieved to read Joanne McPortland’s article on the topic. We are never going to move beyond this crisis until priests, lay sisters, can have an honest conversation about this issue as well as who we are (and who we are not).  And by “we” I mean priests…and sisters and nuns and lay people.

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