It has been horrible to hear so much of the sexual abuse crisis – but nowhere near so horrible as the sufferings of the victims, be it remembered – and in this Catholic it has engendered confusion and competing emotions. I suppose we all begin with outrage: both at the commission of such crimes, and the attribution of them to the Church, and the Church alone. Then comes further horror: the realization that such imputation of blame is not wholly anti-Catholic bigotry, but in many cases richly deserved.
I suppose if priests and bishops smilingly preside over the loss and warping of the Faith, it is hardly surprising that they likewise look on unworried while perverse crimes are hidden away.
The greatest horror is that the Church of God, Christ's Body and Bride, far from acting as His instrument of salvation in converting and sanctifying souls, is so befouled by her sinful members' crimes as to be manifested to too many – especially the victims of abuse – as a monstrous Anti-Christ, an instrument of Satan, of destruction and degradation.
I am sick of the passive virtues espoused by mealy-mouthed clergy, wringing their hands, whining and whinging that they knew not, O they knew not, and that they feel so sad... How much worse suffered and still do suffer the little raped children! Where are the active virtues that would with manly vigour condemn, fight against and rise up to extirpate such outrages? Where is the bishop that would not walk alongside a pedophile to court, but rather slap him in the face for his abominable wickedness?
It sickens me to the core to read of the assaults of voices threatening the sanctity and the seal of the confessional: but, humanly speaking, who can blame those ignorant of the divine origin of the sacrament, who see it as but another device by which the wicked pretend to cleanse themselves while yet sinning on with impunity?
It is not as if a certain Eminence did himself or any Catholic any great service recently with his most imprudent comments, which not only were made at the worst possible time, but, in regard to confession, were so badly worded as to appear to corroborate the accusation that confession was misused, and that the proverbial "say three Hail Mary's and don't sin any more" was the advice given not too long ago to priest-perverts.
Frankly, if more than a few priests and prelates go off to prison, it will be no bad thing for the Church.