We’ve received a torrent of scandals in the Catholic Church this summer. The flood waters overflow the river banks in life-and-death seriousness.
Our Ordinariate context
In some ways, I feel insulated from the crisis in the Ordinariate, as clericalism isn’t part of our culture, and most Ordinariate priests have received a different kind of formation. But I don’t want to be glib, not even for a moment. We’re part of the broader Catholic Church, which means we’re called to be a force for change. In other words, we’re called not to form a subculture, but to go against the tide around us.
Our broader context
And let’s be clear–there is still a tide around us. While there are many good points in yesterday’s statement from Pope Francis, he emphasizes that most abuse was in the past. That misses the point of the current scandal. We’re scandalized because despite all the past promises for change, a poisonous culture remains in much of the hierarchy and in many seminaries.
Our call going forward
When a stream settles down after a flood, the previously overflowing waters can leave pools on the banks. The water there seems peaceful for the moment, but because it’s stagnant, it won’t stay fresh. If you’re willing to get your feet wet, then the temptation is stay in those side pools to avoid any more floods. But those stagnant waters are a subculture mentality.
We’re called to change the culture, which means standing against the current and going upstream. That’s what it means to be the Church–to stand for what is ancient, unchanging and eternal in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and then to change the world.