To the Editor:
I must take issue with Mary Lu Callahan’s letter to the editor last week and defend Bishop Thomas Zinkula’s message to the lay people calling us to devote ourselves to prayer and penance. In her letter she clearly stated that the bishops needed to show conversion instead of asking the lay people to do prayer and penance.
Perhaps the writer needs to remember that conversion comes precisely from the prayer and penance that our bishop is asking us for. When we pray and do penance for our hurting church, God pours out his mercy and grace upon it, which includes the abuse victims, the lay people and our church leaders.
Did Christ not offer prayer and penance for all of us? He did much more, suffering incredibly and dying even for those who do not deserve it. His sacrifice gave us our church and our sacraments and we can never thank him enough for that. We are all sinners and we all need forgiveness and the graces that our priests bring to us through the sacraments. As Christians, Christ calls us to pray and do penance for all, whether they deserve it or not.
Yes, there are priests and bishops who gravely sinned and hurt others. Yet there are also many holy, wonderful priests and bishops who are suffering due to this scandal. Praying and offering penance for them will give them strength.
I am thankful Bishop Zinkula has called us to more prayer and penance. It will not only draw down graces for our church, but it will help us all grow in personal holiness. To reject an opportunity to grow closer to Christ is certainly a mistake that we do not want to make.
To the Editor: