Who Can Mock This Church?
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Published: May 1, 2010 - NY TIMES
Maybe the Catholic Church should be turned upside down.
"Jesus wasn’t known for pontificating from palaces, covering up scandals, or issuing Paleolithic edicts on social issues. Does anyone think he would have protected clergymen who raped children?"
"Yet if the top of the church has strayed from its roots, much of its base is still deeply inspiring.In the city of Juba, I met Cathy Arata, a nun from New Jersey who spent years working with battered women in Appalachia. Then she moved to El Salvador during the brutal civil war there, putting her life on the line to protect peasants..."
Yes, the people, including nuns like Sr. Cathy, are the face of Jesus in our midst! We are blessed the lived example of so many saints who have gone before us and who are in our midst.
That being said, this does not mean that ordinary Catholics can sit back and accept the status quo of inequality, injustice, and criminal behavior that is at the heart of our church's institutional meltdown! We are the church, all of us, not just the pope and the bishops. Catholics are responsible to do all we can to hold our leaders, including the pope and hierarchy accountable, for this global devastating sexual abuse crisis. We must take on the tough task of structural reform immediately. We need a renewed priestly ministry that includes women and men serving the church in a community of equals, that is fully accountable, open, inclusive, and just. Bridget Mary Meehan