There has been much turmoil in the Catholic Church in recent years concerning members of their priesthood who were accused and/or convicted of sexual abuse or of covering up the sexual abuse of other priesthood members. The latest turmoil comes from France this week where a Cardinal was convicted of covering up sexual abuse of a convicted priest. The Cardinal is the highest ranking official from the Catholic leadership to be convicted of cover up.
The number of priesthood leaders resigning or being forced to resign and the numerous areas from which complaints are coming show that the Catholic Church has a real problem on its hands. Any priest who is involved in sexual abuse -- or the cover up of the sexual abuse at the hands of other priests – cannot serve their people as they are supposed to be serving them because they are out of tune with God. When they cannot offer spiritual help, they put the members of their unit in a terrible position. The people want to believe that their priesthood leader is acting in the place of God for their good, but then they are forced to go to prosecutors and legislators for protection against him. They lose faith in their priesthood leaders, and they start questioning the church itself. Thus, their whole belief system is challenged.
It is a sad situation all around, and my heart goes out to my Catholic friends and neighbors, those who have endured the abuse as well as those who are caught up in the turmoil of it. Even though members of your priesthood have failed you, I know that Jesus Christ will never do so. I know that you can turn to Him for comfort and counsel, and I encourage you to take your concerns to Him.