Fix the institution


To the Editor:

Since Aug. 14, when news broke of another pedophile scandal, this time involving 301 predator priests and many thousands of child victims in Pennsylvania, we have heard from Bishop Thomas Zinkula. He asked us to join him and Pope Francis in prayer, fasting and almsgiving to give us a “deeper solidarity with those who have suffered … to truly see them and their suffering; not turn a blind eye.” I am stunned!

According to National Catholic Reporter, the first report of this pending crisis came in 1962 and by 1985 a 95-page document was presented to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops about the magnitude of the crisis. Suggestions were made on how to handle predators. Just who has turned the blind eye? I know of no parent who is not trying to stand against a tsunami of anguish!

Like the writers of the psalms of lament, I am livid with anger! I am crying. I am sick to my stomach. I cannot sleep. I am clenching my fists and my teeth. I am muttering constantly at God, “Get down here and be God! Smote some folks. Fix this situation! The hierarchy has known for 33 years, yet we are still uncovering more predators?!”


We have also heard pleas not to leave the church. I have no plans to leave. Neither will I remain silent. The psalms of lament always reach a point where the writer has a change of heart; “I will acknowledge you are God. I am the creature. And I will continue to trust and hope in you.”

But asking us to pray and fast feels like we are being pushed to that quiet ending too soon. I am in need of strong, loud, public and prolonged lament. And I’ll let you know when hope has returned.

Helen Schiltz, M.A.P.S.


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