I figured out today why I am so upset about what I have seen happen in our Church the last few months. I am embarrassed. It all began when the second bishop of our diocese was removed about 10 years ago because of sexual misconduct in his past, then our next bishop was removed for the same reason. So, then we fast forward to financial scandals with two priests being accused of stealing millions of dollars. One plead guilty, the other insisted on a trial and was found guilty and that was a huge embarrassment, listening to other priests tying to excuse his behavior. Then just down the road we have a priest who gets caught on the beach and in two weeks decides he will join the Episcopalian church.
I realize these men are human and that we all make mistakes. And I know the media plays a huge part in making this all so very public, but these men also did wrong. And I am embarrassed by it all. We work so hard to be honest, tell parishioners how we spend our money, everyone is fingerprinted and background checked, on and on. And though these things are important to do and I would choose them willingly, we do them out of fear and past mistakes. And yet, mistake are made over and over, and in such public forums that as a Catholic, I am embarrassed. How can we speak with any moral authority when the very men who have promised to guide us, are themselves leading lives that should not be emulated? I am not asking for perfection, but honesty; not for pride, but for humility; not for concern for self, but commitment. I once read this ( yes, it is totally out of context) and think it fits here, "The problem is not that Jesus was a man, but that more men are not like Jesus."