Friday, August 17, 2018

Misleading the World with a Broken Moral Compass

Religion is back in the news--and not in a good way. 

Vatican Calls Abuses by Pennsylvania Priests ‘Criminal and Morally Reprehensible’ - The New York Times

Catholic Priests Abused 1,000 Children in Pennsylvania, Report Says - The New York Times

The abuse of children trusted to the care of religious leaders has been occurring for decades and it has been systematically covered up by the leadership.

One friend wrote on Facebook about the situation stating that his 90-year old mother called to ask if he had been molested as a boy. He reports that she was relieved when he was able to tell her, "No."

The abuses are not something that happened in some distant and barely recognizable far-off "there." It happened, and is likely happening, here in our towns and cities where the church is supposed to be the beacon of morality and the dispenser of hope. 

Instead, thousands are experiencing degradation and living with the brokenness and despair that results from abuse at the hands of trusted religious leaders.

This is not the first time this pattern of abuse has surfaced in the Catholic Church. 

Sadly, it likely will not be the last. 

The Catholic Church is at the center of the current abuse allegations; however, abuse of children by religious leaders has not been confined to its sanctuaries. There have been stories of abuse in other religions and denominations as well. The Catholic Church seems to have adopted a culture amongst it leaders of covering up abuses in a widespread and systematic manner rather than ferreting them out and providing help to the abused and subsequently removing the abuser from contact with children.

It must change!

I should have changed decades ago when the abuses began to be revealed.

My friend makes some insightful comments for overcoming the systemic problems of the church. He writes: "There are solutions that could help. Allow married priests, admit women priests, and conduct an independent investigation of all priests - starting with the Cardinals and working down to the parish level. Any priest that molested someone would be immediately defrocked. Any priest that knew of the abuse would also suffer the same fate. It is long time past to clean up the church."

I am reminded about the difference between religion and Christ-following. Religion is man's search for God and holiness. Christ-following recognizes that God came and stood in the mud and muck next us and then cleaned us up and brought us up to His level.

Religion is fundamentally flawed because it is created by people.

My friend closed his observations about the abuses in Pennsylvania by writing: "We do not want Mothers calling their children asking them if they had been abused by someone from the Church."

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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