For Immediate Release August 29, 2018
Contact: Deborah Piroch, HLI Director of PR
(Front Royal, VA) – Human Life International joins Catholics and people of good will all over the world in expressing sadness and great disappointment in the scandalous revelations involving some Church authorities. Some engaged in ongoing and unrepentant sexual abuses, often against subordinates. Others covered up or otherwise enabled this misconduct to persist, perhaps even threatening to become systemic.
Nothing happens in a vacuum. Dissent and ambiguity have fueled the current crisis. The Church’s liberating teaching on human sexuality, marriage, family and life are often ignored, hijacked or tragically, even rejected. The lack of authentic leadership and teaching have exacerbated the problem. False ideologies go unanswered or – worse yet – are supported by Church hierarchy. HLI has witnessed firsthand the negative consequences and impact when Church leadership fails to proclaim and to uphold with clarity the Church’s moral teaching, especially on the evils of contraception, abortion and homosexual activity.
In the wake of these most recent revelations, many are expressing justifiable anger and frustration in our Church authorities and pastors of souls. The faithful place confidence in those responsible for the daily governance of the Church. They expect their shepherds to live by the Gospel’s demands and to protect the flock from predators. What we have learned is appalling and inexcusable.
Many would have the Church hide in shame, but fear is useless; what is needed is trust in what God in his Providence can achieve for His bride, the Church, in the aftermath of these revelations. Remember the teaching in the Gospel of St. John: “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.” — John 3:20-21
The only appropriate response is for increased transparency by the Church with respect to any and all persons who committed or knowingly facilitated these abuses. With appropriate leadership, this can be a time of great transformation and even renewal.
We hear many apologizing for the actions of those accused; however, we demand more than an apology. Saying “we are sorry” or “let us pray for forgiveness” is insufficient – and even insulting – while the systemic reasons for this crisis are unaddressed. Calls for forgiveness and for zero tolerance only become credible when all our shepherds act righteously to purge the Church of these immoral behaviors.
Our Lord tells us that some evils are so established that they cannot be removed by prayer alone; these evils demand fasting in addition to prayer. The evils that have come to light manifestly fall into this category. Please join us at HLI in a call to penitential prayer and fasting, with the intention that by God’s grace, our faithful shepherds of the Church will seize this opportunity. May we all insist upon a priesthood and hierarchy that are not only committed to a renewal of personal holiness but also to the safeguarding of the flock entrusted to their care.