Dear Holy Father:
The world received a gift yesterday -- the words of Cardinal Mahony announcing the settlement of 45 sex abuse lawsuits in the LA Archdiocese, the largest in the U.S. Cardinal Mahony's words yesterday "The sexual abuse of minors is both a sin and a crime, and there is no place in the priesthood for those who have abused children" sent waves of hope throughout the world in just a matter of minutes, thanks to the internet.
Yesterday's news sent waves of HOPE to 45 unsuspecting victims of sex abuse crimes that endured a life time of pain. However, the feelings of hope were felt by children, adults, priests and nuns who don't even know the 45 victims included in the settlement. Yet, the power of love and prayer can move mountains. Afterall, if Cardinal Mahony can do it after years of legal delays and strategies -- then there is hope that the clergy sex abuse crisis will someday be confronted with truths, free from man-made legal technicalities and denials.
Yesterday's news also sent waves of SADNESS.
What about the victims of clergy sex abuse crimes and families who were denied due process, justice, healing and peace because of legal technicalities or fear of speaking out publicly?
What happens if Cardinal Mahony's announcement was pre-mature and there are further legal delays?
How long will all the wounded souls have to wait for the same messages of hope, justice, healing and peace of the 45 victims in the LA Archdiocese?
Will truth, openness and confronting the scandals with holiness finally bring reform and closure to the clergy sex abuse crisis?
When will our society understand the courage of clergy sex abuse victims and families who brought pain to the public's attention?
Tomorrow is another beginning, the first day of Advent. Catholics, non-Catholics and communities of faith throughout the world begin to spiritually reflect and prepare. The feelings of hope, faith and love will fill many hearts during the next few weeks and yesterday's news sparked a new ray of hope -- again at a time when we least expected.
Imagine... what would it be like if one day, news is released directly from the Vatican that the clergy sex abuse crisis will be handled with openness, truth and justice, free from religious, government or political influences. Children, adults, families, priests and nuns will be free to speak out with courage, truth and provided due process, free from abuses that have destroyed precious lives.
Today the world's media is consumed with betrayal, war, deceit, terrorism, crime and corruption. Yesterday's media sent waves of hope and faith that prayers are answered when we least expect. Just imagine the messages of hope, faith, love and renewals of faith that could change the world in just a matter of minutes, thanks to modern technology.
Without justice, there will never be peace. Without peace, our faith is empty. God bless you.
cc: Cardinal Roger Mahony
c/o Michael J. Hennigan, Esq., and Albert P.
Ballog, Esq. (via email)