Can I wish anyone a “Happy Father’s Day”? Is it still apropos? Will it trigger any unsavory memories or responses?
Even way back in time when I was in Seminary, many elements of the Church were on a downward spiral towards embracing modernism and the wisdom of this age. I place much, not all of the blame on priests and bishops who are more interested in accolades and the collection plate, than they are about saving souls. Their allegiance to the TRUTH has taken a backseat to their own narcissistic PRIDE. It is the actions of a few nefarious RC clergymen that has put a abhorrent connotation on the title “Father”
Yes, I’m referring to the abuse scandals and subsequent coverups involving Roman Catholic priests and bishops. To this day these issues leave a sour stench on public opinion towards all who claim to be part of the Catholic faith.
Even those of us in non Roman Catholic Holy Orders often get lumped in with that negative public opinion — guilt by association. It’s so bad that every time I post on Twitter regarding the evils of sexual sin, I get lambasted as an RC “abuser” myself.
This attitude is sadly understandable. All sin is destructive, however when it occurs cloaked with a clerical collar, it is doubly egregious. Very little brings as much joy to our adversaries as when one of our numbers falls so fully from grace.
Though, thankfully, no such scandals have been attributed to my clergy, I make this very public apology to anyone who has suffered under such abuse of spiritual authority: What you’ve experienced is egregious and beyond the pale of acceptable actions. On behalf of the Holy Spirit’s Guidance and His authority, I offer you my episcopal apologies.
My promise to all who rely on my spiritual guidance, I pledge to be diligent in protecting children and adults from predators in my jurisdiction. In that vein, I have both an open door policy and willingness to confront such issues, as well as a zero-tolerance policy that offers no shield to predatory practices.
Unfortunately such deviant and destructive acts are not peculiar to any one social institution. All sin is a detriment to our relationships with one another and with our Most High God.
My sisters and brothers, my prayer today is that we may all be faithful to the leadings of the Holy Spirit in avoiding ALL sin, and that we will be guided daily towards the paths of holy righteousness.
I also pray the we may all seek to have a heart of forgiveness (as hard as that may be) even towards those who’ve harmed us. It is in learning to be forgiving as we’ve been forgiven that we truly begin to realize the greatness and extent of God’s grace in our own lives.