Brothers & Sisters,
It's times like this that really test my faith, my feelings regarding the path I'm on, and this church that I love dearly. I've been in a fog for most of the afternoon and into this evening after reading as much as I can about the news that broke today. 300+ Priests were identified as credible abusers of over 1,000 victims during a 70+ year timespan (source). My heart breaks for the victims, and I know there's nothing I could ever say that will ever make them feel any better. I'll pray for the victims, the church, and the good priests out there.
I've never been sure how someone could commit atrocities such as sexual abuse, murder, etc. Our minds are wonderous things but how can it get so far off the rails that a person feels like these things are ok? Perhaps I'll never know. One thing I am struggling with is how someone could cover for a person who commits a heinous act. What in the world could possibly compel someone to do such a thing? It makes them no better than the one who committed the crime in my opinion. I'd also like to understand how someone could have such a narrow view of the world that they wouldn't understand the shame that would come to an organization because of the evil they are committing. It's not hard to connect the dots so what happened here? Were people so enveloped in their own egos that they did whatever they felt they needed to do? Who knows. There's no correct answer here as they're all terrible and wrong.
Another thing that strikes me is how many people just loop all priests together into this evil gang of people. Yes, the priests who sexually abuse children, seminarians, etc., are awful human beings and are committing acts of evil. However, not every priest is an abuser, there are quite a few good ones out there, and you might know one. You should pray for that priest tonight, when you see them next let them know you're thinking and praying for them and the church. They'll need your help and so will the church in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.