This news broke just as our city, Charlotte, was about to have its annual "Gay Pride" celebration. I couldn't help but be moved by the irony here. On one hand, many are dismayed, shocked and sickened by the clergy committing the very same acts as are being "celebrated" in the gay march. Why hold the clergy to a higher standard if we ourselves are willing to accept the sin in our fellow brethren? Could it be, rather, that the clergy who have done these horrible things have by their silence (in the confessional and from the pulpit) regarding homosexuality and other sexual sins led us to participate in the very things they thought to be their own personal preferences? Thus, the leprosy of sexual sin has seeped into the lives of all of us from the greatest to the least.
I do recall that on one occasion, I confessed a sin to a priest and was told point-blank that it wasn't something to worry about. That I was trying to be a good person, and that I should rather work on the sins against charity than the sins against holy sexuality!
But, thankfully, I knew better. I knew sin was sin. "What's right is right even if no one is doing it. What's wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it."
One Catholic website complied this list of Dos and Don'ts for Catholics to talk to those dismayed and irritated by the Church's current sin.
And, in the Diocese of Charlotte, something wonderful is happening to upend the infection of sin in the seminaries: a new seminary based in virtue and forming men in holiness and respect for holy sexuality and purity and celibacy. This is the text of Father Kauth's homily to his seminarians.
And, one more thought: Fr. Reid told us on Sunday to make reparation by giving up something (Chocolate for me, of course) to make reparation and to apologize to God for these horrible sins. "Don't think this doesn't go unnoticed by God," Father said. And what a comfort that is to the victims: That God is on their side and wishes their healing and redemption.
Let us pray...
EDIT: I should also have included the link to the USCCB's response. Of note are two very important points:
- That lay leadership and oversight of our bishops will be established
- Pray for our priests and bishops and for the Pope