Friday, May 03, 2002

McCormack's Address
Although the sin and crime of abuse may rest upon a small minority within our Church, the solution comes from a united effort by all of us. We are a hopeful Church and we are blessed with the strength of the many dedicated priests, deacons, religious and laity who toil everyday in the fields of the Lord.
Tonight let us unite not just in prayer, but in action. Let today be the day when we proclaim our faith by acknowledging our weakness and admitting our failures so we can create a community that truly reflects Christ's love of children and families.
I ask for your prayers that I may receive the guidance from the Holy Spirit to serve you well. And, I ask God to bless you and keep you in his heart.

I want so much to believe this statement. It is an excellent statement, on the whole: it acknowledes failures; expressives concern for the victims; and offerc concrete future steps. It does have some weaselly "we" in places where "I" would be more appropriate, but there is enough "I" for me to overlook that, especially when he says "I beg your forgiveness. In the words we Catholics use during Mass, I ask forgiveness 'for what we have done and for what we have failed to do.'"

It is my obligation, now, to believe this statement. McCormack must be held accountable to it, for sure, but he needs to be trusted. He has apologized, expressed appropriate concern, begged forgiveness, and presented a plan for preventing recurrences.

So why am I responding to it as though he told me he did not have sex with that woman--Miss Lewinsky? Is this a failure of Charity on my part, a justified reaction to continuing cynicism by the Bishops, or something else?


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