Two more excerpts from the series National Catholic Reporter is doing this week to look back at the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic church — which goes beyond a crisis, as Father Tom Doyle says, into a realm of darkness and betrayal for which there simply are not words adequate to express what many Catholics now feel about our pastoral leaders and our church itself, given what we've had no choice except to see and learn:
First, from NCR's editorial statement about the cover-up of abuse by our Catholic pastoral leaders:
The failure of the bishops was not merely strategic or an example of extreme incompetence, though that all was certainly part of the case. The deeper failure was their betrayal, at a sacramental level, of the community they were charged to serve.
In their deceptions and rationales, they put aside the God of love and justice and mercy. They put aside the God who summoned the little children. They put aside, for venal reasons, the God of life they so ardently preached.
Second, from Tom Doyle's essay about how abuse survivors have changed history:
I cannot find language that can adequately communicate the full import of this monstrous phenomenon. The image of a Christian church that enabled the sexual and spiritual violation of its most vulnerable members and, when confronted, responded with institutionalized mendacity and utter disregard for the victims cannot be adequately described as a "problem," a "crisis" or a "scandal." The widespread sexual violation of children and adults by clergy and the horrific response of the leadership, especially the bishops, is the present-day manifestation of a very dark and toxic dimension of the institutional church.