Sunday, August 5, 2012

Catholic Clergy Finally Get Their Day In Court

The New York Times recently released a story about Monsignor William J. Lynn, the 1st Roman Catholic official in America to be convicted of child sexual abuse charges by priest whom he had supervised during his leadership. His term, 3-6 yrs. The effect of trauma on survivors, possibly, a lifetime!

The state of Philadelphia has become a hot seat of scandal for adults and child sex abuse survivors this year. Msgr. Lynn's case unveiled decades of victimization against children in the Philadelphia archdiocese.

Under his supervision, pedophile priests were protected, allowed to minister continuously to parishes and were at times also transferred to unknowing parishes to continue serving. Monsignor Lynn's self defense at the time of his sentencing was that in his 36 years of being a priest he had done the best he could and had always tried to help people. If this statement summed up his best intentions, needless to say, his lack of remorse is revelatory and his poor judgment was deeply penetrable.

I was amazed when I read the headline about a church official's sentencing. I grew up attending Catholic services, genuflecting at the alter, doing my sign of the cross before priests. I remember witnessing unquestionable reverence for priests. No one even dared to defy the rules of these leaders without fear of being ostracized not only from a local parish but a community of believers.

Thus sentencing a religious figure is a turn for what I hope to see as a movement for sexual abuse survivors  to share their stories and to have more people be courageous enough to stand with them on the right side of justice.

We don't need a world of cowards anymore. We have enough. What our world needs is a spiritual reawakening and a connection to purification.

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