The Catholic Church has always been very protective of its image. Still, nothing could contain the catastrophic mudslide of sexual abuse allegations against priests in the Archdiocese of Boston, uncovered by tenacious reporters from the Boston Globe.
It was like peeking behind the curtain only to discover the great and powerful Oz was an imposter. Child molesters, dressed in respectable Roman collars, had preyed on children for decades, leaving a wasteland of irreparably damaged souls.
Most priests heard about it, the same way I did, during a ‘Breaking News’ briefing on the television. Didn’t anyone in the diocese see this coming? Why weren’t we given the heads up?
The diocese gave no guidance to parish priests on how to address the constant barrage of questions and comments from the parishioners. We were making it up on the fly. Behind the bishop’s back, Long Island priests would dare say out loud, “Murphy must have known. Either he’s a terrible administrator or an outright liar.”
Occasionally two sentences in the Sunday bulletin would be indiscriminately placed between marriage announcements and the bake sale. They would read: Father X, who served this parish from X to X, has been removed from priestly ministry. Please keep him and any of his victims in your prayers.
“Are you kidding? I am not praying for a pedophile,” parishioners insisted. There were just some things that no amount of forgiveness or prayers could change.
Excerpt from A SAINT AND A SINNER