Posted by: matt25 | November 30, 2011

An Archbishop, The Pope, and a Deacon Walk Into A Blog….

An Archbishop, The Pope, and a Deacon Walk Into A Blog….

This Blog post from the Catholic News Service contained the remarks of Archbishop Dolan of NY and as often happens, the comments afterward had little to do with his remarks.  Instead they quickly swirled around the sex abuse scandal.  Typically I do not even read, much less reply to comments, but for some reason this time I chose to.  This is what I said.

While I will not enter directly into a debate about studies and statistics I do want to acknowledge the pain and suffering caused by those that did such terrible, terrible things. I pray often for the precious victims of abuse as well as for the success of the efforts being made by the church to see that it happens no more. May God have mercy on us all and guide us into a world where children are safe whether they be in church, school, sports, scouting, family settings, or any other activity.

To comment on the Archbishop’s published remarks we must keep in mind that they are only a small sliver of what was said over a span of days and were intended to illustrate the positive foundation on which the local churches of NY state will build toward the future. There were other times, alluded to near the end of his remarks, in which to address problems.

To see that the ecclesial culture has changed, and continues to change, as it seeks to legitimately engage the issues of the day, one needs only to read the remarks of the pope to the bishops of region 2 (Dolan et al… found at where he recalled his pastoral visit to the USA in 2008 and in which he said, among other things:

“…the seriousness of the challenges which the Church in America, under your leadership, is called to confront in the near future cannot be underestimated. The obstacles to Christian faith and practice raised by a secularized culture also affect the lives of believers, leading at times to that “quiet attrition” from the Church which you raised with me during my Pastoral Visit. Immersed in this culture, believers are daily beset by the objections, the troubling questions and the cynicism of a society which seems to have lost its roots, by a world in which the love of God has grown cold in so many hearts. Evangelization thus appears not simply a task to be undertaken ad extra; we ourselves are the first to need re-evangelization. As with all spiritual crises, whether of individuals or communities, we know that the ultimate answer can only be born of a searching, critical and ongoing self-assessment and conversion in the light of Christ’s truth. Only through such interior renewal will we be able to discern and meet the spiritual needs of our age with the ageless truth of the Gospel. ”

As a father, a husband, and a Catholic Permanent Deacon I too seek a blessing and a word of hope. I seek to be re-evangelized through ongoing self-assessment and conversion in the light of Christ’s truth. I trust in my God (not my bishop) to provide that grace as I seek to serve his people under the leadership of my bishop and the pope. May the Word made flesh change us all again and forever as we prepare our hearts for His coming.


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