We all go through a period when we question the doctrines and the assumptions that we were raised with. And it's not uncommon during this period of questioning to abandon our faith.
But even when I questioned my faith and even, in my earlier years, when I turned away from the Catholic Church, I never felt as dismayed or disappointed or disgruntled or frankly disgusted with the Churches as I do today.
And this is happening decades after I re-embraced Catholicism and became a quite active, practicing Catholic once again.
Yes, the priest sex abuse scandal has me more than angry. Im actually incensed!
And the massive scale of the scandal (it's been going on for half a century or more and it's international in scope) makes me feel that the coverup went all the way to the very top -- and I do mean The Vatican.
Hey, the Catholic Church has always been shrouded in secrecy. Convents, monasteries, friaries, seminaries -- they've all been places apart, walled off and mostly closed to the outside world.
This sort of sequestered environment incubates and nourishes the kind of sealed enclave where dastardly deeds can easily be carried out and then denied -- indeed, denied with the sort of complicity and authority that lend the denials a cloak of credibility.
So these culprits have been able to brutally abuse young, innocent victims at will. And if many of the perpetrators were secretly engaged in the same acts amongst themselves, then they had added reason to endlessly deflect, deceive and deny. It's a veritable cabal of evil.
No wonder authorities are impaneling grand juries and opening wider and wider ranging probes everywhere.
As for the present Pope, who can possibly be encouraged by his [so far] petty, peevish and petulant response to all this?
Most recently the Pope put those who presently accuse the Church in the same league as the devil himself. You got that right: it's the accusers (those who demand truth and justice) who are the evil ones, according to Pope Francis. What the hell kind of ass backwards thinking is that?
And weeks and weeks went by before we got even this response. Can you imagine!
Now, the Pope has called for a "summit" to address the matter and plans to call cardinals (probably just the mostly friendly prelates) together in February. But it's already way, way, way too late. And February is five long months away anyway. Nonsense!
Here's the bottom line: The game is basically over. The Church has lost any semblance of moral authority it might have had. It has brokered away its credibility. Zilch. Zero. Nada.
Too many deceits. Too many lies. It's all too horrendous and there's been too much of it for far too long.
The faithful must take matters into their own hands.
They must join together to reclaim their Church, no matter what!
Right now, Catholics must demand a massive, thorough, no-holds-barred independent investigation with a clear timetable and definable outcomes. And this must go hand-in-hand with a complete and thorough housecleaning. For there to be any chance of restoring any credibility at all (and this is still a long shot) many clergy, many Church leaders -- right to the top -- will have to be shown the door. And this includes anyone with even a taint of connection to the scandal. Anyone!
We're not enjoying this.
And we don't enjoy having to say this.
But it must be said. And it must be done. Yes, the reclamation of the Church by its own members must begin now!