I am priest but not of or from your area. I admire very much the efforts you have taken and are taking for Church transparency, accountability and reform in wake of the sex abuse crisis.
Not long ago, some asked: Where are the good priests? Why are they silent? People have asked these questions and supplied possible answers to them. I would like to share some thoughts on why I am silent. Yes, I am scared to speak out. I am a coward. The Church pays my salary. It provides me steady work (ministry) and it gives me security. I have been a priest for many years. I’m in my later years. I am afraid of my future if I should publicly speak out and work for reform – reform that I know is so needed.
I fear even writing this should the wrong person read it and use it against me. I know this is terrible of me. The Church will dismiss you and let you go to fend for yourself. I’ve seen it. I know it. I so admire priests and religious who are able to be brave and are more trusting in themselves than I am.
Well, anyway, I just wanted to share this real fear and concern I have. I thought other readers of your site might want to know that what I feel and the fear I have are real. Perhaps other priests experience this too and so are afraid to step out publicly. We do care but our fear is crippling. I do not hold my fear up or justify it as an excuse. I wish it were not so but here it is.