Last week for St. Joseph's day (because he is the patron saint of our marriage- yeah, sure you can do that!) we went to Mass at a local parish (not ours... our daily Mass is at 6:30AM!!) and then to lunch to celebrate. After Mass we were all invited to feast on Zeppoles, a traditional St. Joseph's day pastry. The hostess was a Sister of St. Joseph. After chowing down on a delicious pastry we introduced ourselves to the Sister, who asked where we work. She said "oh, a lot of people who left here because of the abuse scandal moved to your parish."
I asked how things were going in the parish now, and she said "well, people have long memories, and rightly so. It's been hard." I guessed that it must be re-opening the wounds, the news we are hearing now from Ireland and Germany and the Church. She said "I just can't stand it."
I wanted to hug her and have a good cry with her. In that quick statement she sighed what I think so many people feel.
I know many people who, without actually asking me, I know want to know how I can stay in a church Like This. A church that has hurt so many people, a church that still can't seem to face its own sins while condemning the sins of others. And it's a question I've asked myself (and my patient spiritual director) many times. I think it's a question all Catholics must ask ourselves. And ultimately, I don't know what the future holds for this church. But for now, for this day, I don't want this church that I love to have one less person like me. I don't want there to be one less person than there is now who will ask themselves that question, who will listen critically to the news, who will teach faithfully the Good News (because there is, after all, still Good News). I don't know if I'm a very big part of the solution (I hope so though), and I feel quite sure that I'm not part of the problem, but I am not willing to not be part of the equation.