Can we talk?

To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.
— St. Thomas Aquinas

Brothers & Sisters,

I'd like to preface this letter to you with the following warning: I'm probably going to babble and be terrible at explaining my feelings, but if you get through it and want to chat, please reach out. Since I've embraced this calling to be a priest, I've had the same question asked me of me each week, and I'd like to attempt to address it. While I don't mind having the conversation about it I think it'd be far easier to point someone to my thoughts, have them read it and then reach out and chat if they'd like. What's the question you're wondering? Some form of the following:

How can you want to be a priest with the sex abuse scandal that happened and with the most recent news that it’s still going on?

We should begin with the calling to the priesthood. I feel genuinely within my heart that this is where I am called to be. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought about the sex abuse scandal that rocked the church and continues to do so. Anyone considering this vocation would be crazy to not think about it seriously. For me though, one thing has always been evident. The church needs good men. And if I can be one of those good men then perhaps I can do some good in a 2000-year-old organization that could use some good right now. Yes, it'd be easy for me to lean on the scandal as an excuse not to follow through with this calling and you'd all probably say you understand. But for me, this is a non-starter.

Our community needs to be protected, taught, loved and shown the extraordinary love that God has for us and we can't do any of that if they don't trust the leaders of the church. It disgusts me that sex abuse and cover-ups happened and I think about it all the time, but I do believe that we can look to those that are doing good in the church as examples of what we can rest our faith upon.

Yours,
Jeff

Photo by Marko Blažević on Unsplash