I would like to offer my sincere prayers and support for you and all our priests right now. I know that it cannot be easy to live out your vocation during times like these. I want you to know that we see the good priests and not just the bad – we see how you love and serve God, our parishes, and our communities so well. I want you to know that we trust and respect you and that we are here to support you and your fellow priests in these days. We also trust that our parish is a safe place for families and children.
If you hadn’t already planned on addressing the news from Pennsylvania in church this weekend, I would like to respectfully ask you to make some sort of statement either in your homily, closing remarks or in a public letter to the parish.
There are many people to whom abuse hits much to close to home, there are many people who are afraid for their children and many people whose faith is suffering right now and it will mean so much to hear these acts and those who perpetrated them denounced, in no uncertain words, by our trusted priests. We need to see that you share our hurt, our anger, our sadness and our passion for change. We need reassurance that we are doing everything so this will never happen again. Many of us will face open criticism and hostility from non-Catholic friends, family, and co-workers – you can give us the strength to defend our faith just by adding your voice this weekend.
We have seen what happens when too many people stay silent; in the words of St. Catherine of Siena all of us need to “proclaim the truth and not be silent through fear.”
We will be praying for you and all vocations, for the victims and their families and everyone affected by abuse in the world. May God guide, protect and forgive us.
Thank you for your time and may God bless you.
One thing I want to encourage everyone to do is in no uncertain terms support your parish priest right now – offer them words of encouragement, offer prayers, show them that the world does not judge them on the actions of others. We are hurting and so are they; we need to be united right now and support each other.
You can find my Letter to my Bishop HERE