Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Just when you think things can’t get any worse, there is another revelation about some sin, some crime, some cover-up that has happened in our church. There is just no let up. It is so discouraging, so frustrating, so scandalous. Is there any reason to continue to believe, to practice your faith, to call yourself a Catholic? Yes, and that is because the church is not the kingdom of God, it is the instrument through which the kingdom of God is supposed to come into the world. But too often the church and those who run the church, mostly its priests and bishops, think they are in charge, in authority and infallible. Then the church becomes an idol, and worship of the church replaces worship of God. This is what has happened in the past history of the church, and what has happened in our current crisis. What is needed is a re-ordering of our religious sensibilities and perspectives. Like any institution that has “gone off the rails,” the church must go through a serious period of repentance and re-alignment. This can only be accomplished if every believer is taken seriously, and every voice is heard. So, yes, continue to practice your faith, but not just privately, publicly. Speak up. Demand answers. Call for accountability. You are the church. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. Through your baptism you are a priest, a prophet, a voice of the church, and your words and actions can make a difference.