When I was in the drugstore yesterday, I noticed the headline of a local newspaper, so I bought it and read the article. A former pastor at my parish has substantiated allegations of abuse against him per the archdiocese. I am not surprised because there was an allusion of abuse last year in the paper. Years before there were certain type of rumors. It's been almost a decade since this priest served at my parish. My memories of him are good though his theology was a bit loosey goosey. He was very popular, but I think he wanted to please the people and be liked. He was very, very likable. Unfortunately he had this dark side and did very bad things.
Now almost everything I write and think about him has a double entendre' in my mind. I wish it weren't so.
What to think? What to think? What to think? Why do I have to think? I can just remember what I remember.
Current pastor isn't as popular and runs a much tighter ship, but is busy doing the very tough job of trying to get all of us to squeeze through that narrow gate by being disciples of Christ. Many people in the parish don't like being led towards that gate because it's UNCOMFORTABLE. We people are fat with sin. There is so much in the worldly world to give up and give away to truly be Christ-like. Do you know how many WORRIES I myself would have to dump? And that is just the beginning. Many people have the left parish because they haven't gotten their way. I actually respect this current pastor MORE for having a backbone. Yep, sometimes I'm not thrilled with him either, but pastors come and go.
Current pastor will probably take on the difficult job of addressing the matter of the former pastor. He does that. Current pastor has had to, at different times, stand up and address frankly (yet in very careful language because there are always children present) unpleasant events.
Anyway, despite former pastor now on the bad priest list, I am going to try to remember the good he did too, and not concentrate on the weak, bad parts. The communion he served was still Holy Communion. The absolutions he gave during confession were still absolutions. The babies former pastor baptized are still baptized.
I am still Catholic. I am still a member of my parish because the only truly perfect church community is in Heaven.
Oh-former pastor quit the priesthood since he left my parish, just so you know.
I will leave the judging up to God and the court system.
Our parish has been through A LOT (that I haven't even mentioned here), but I think we're getting healthier in a way even if we're smaller. Just think of it as an ongoing renovation. But hasn't that been the story since the beginning of Christianity? Wasn't St. Francis suppose to fix or build the church? Have you read the Acts of the Apostles? Yep, some tough times there with people not always getting along or playing nice. Okay, I need to re-read that book to come up with specific examples.
But here we are! Two thousand and fourteen years after the Birth of Christ, and the Church is STILL on the Rock!
I think this Catholicism thing is a keeper.