There's Hope for Catholic Church

Boston Globe [Boston MA]
March 10, 2003

I HAVE been a Catholic all my life. Catholicism was the foundation of my spiritual development. I worked for the church in different capacities, and I have met men of the cloth who were caring, compassionate, and capable. But all too often I met and worked with men of the cloth who were arrogant, lacking in pastoral abilities, but enjoyed the benefits of places of leadership, and were assured of their place as long as they followed the rules. Bishop Richard Lennon's directive to pastors to send parishioners to the Ash Wednesday Mass of healing at the Cathedral is typical ("Bishop calls Lent a "time for healing," Page A1, March 6). Directives to the faithful, rather than examples of reconciliation, have been the way of the men in leadership for much too long.

The present sex abuse crisis has unearthed the pain and injustice of far too many years. Could it be that the small response to the Ash Wednesday gathering reveals a recognition on the part of the faithful that there is more to be reconciled than those in power wish to acknowledge?

People in the pews should reflect on how they have been treated by the church. Hopefully, they will begin to demand justice. Hopefully, they will begin to demand that ministry in all parishes reflect the needs of those who fill the baskets on Sunday. Reconciliation can be a heartfelt, honest experience of repentance of things that have kept the church from being the valid witness of truth, love, and hope.

Joanne M. Hogan


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