In a pastoral letter dated Dec. 8 and to be read this Sunday, Archbishop Chaput addresses the difficult year ahead for Philadelphia Catholics. On that day, The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, I attended Mass at St. John the Evangelist. It was a packed house. The faithful were diverse – business people on lunch, families, shoppers, local residents and the homeless. The common thread was devotion and that is powerful. Philadelphia Catholics are strong. We’ll survive the school closings, the trial, media coverage and fiscal concerns. Not facing the underlying issues of the clergy sex abuse scandal would be counter to the nature of our faith and far more damaging to our spirit and Church.
Archbishop Chaput indicates the fate of the priests removed from ministry last March will be announced in the first months of 2012. We hope he will also implement the recommendation of the Grand Jury report.
We hope priests and parishioners address these difficult subjects openly and non-defensively during the difficult months ahead. People want and need ministry and it should be honest and interactive. Please prayerfully reflect and take action on behalf of the least of our brothers – the unprotected children, the victims. Please also pray for and support our Catholic school system.
Yes. This will be a hard year, but I’ll take difficult over denial and lies any day. What do you think?
Click here to read, “Chaput letter warns faithful of painful year ahead,” by David O’Reilly, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 10, 2011