PASTOR’S NOTES for September 08-09, 2018
Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea (Matthew 18:6). These are extremely strong and harsh words from the mouth of Jesus. And yet, they seem, sadly, entirely appropriate for today. The national and international news of last weeks have been full of disgusting and disheartening revelations about egregious clerical abuse and appalling episcopal failures to protect the most innocent among us – our children, teens, and young adults. The McCarrick abuse, the PA grand jury findings, and public accusations against Vatican officials, including the Holy Father, are enough to instill doubt, fear, and concern in even the most fervent of the faithful. I too have been filled with much sadness and concern.
I am once again reminded of the great numbers (and even one would be too great a number) of individual persons who have been abused sexually, emotionally, spiritually, and otherwise by clergy. It is important that we, as Church, not allow the notoriety or position of the perpetrators or complicit cover-ups to overshadow these sons and daughters of God who have suffered, and suffer still. They are and should remain the primary focus of our attention, prayers, and support.
On-going reforms need to be made. Many solid steps have been made since the truth of these terrible events first surfaced in 2002. Such things as Safe & Sacred training, background checks, reporting mechanisms, and increased attentiveness/accountability are good first steps. These policies apply to the whole Church – clergy and laity. [If you are involved in a ministry at Holy Family/Archdiocese that involves anyone under 18 years old, you are expected and required to adhere to these policies.] Additional steps can be done and need to be done. Greater oversight and lay involvement in accountability review boards will continue to be essential.
Those who have/do perpetrate such heinous acts must be brought to justice both in ecclesial and civil courts. They need to be removed, make reparations, and repent. No tolerance.
Lastly, I invite you to join me in prayer. Let us hold all persons who have experienced sexual abuse / misconduct in prayer. Let us pray for the Church, that God may guide, purify, and sustain Her. Let us play for our bishops and clergy to have the courage needed to make the needed changes. Let us pray for one another, that we may remain true to Christ in this difficult time.
If you are a victim of sexual misconduct by a person ministering on behalf of the Church, or if you know of anyone who has been a victim of such misconduct, please contact civil authorities and the Archdiocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator Carla Hill. There are two ways to make a report to the Archdiocese of Indianapolis:
- Carla Hill, Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Victim Assistance Coordinator
P.O. Box 1410, Indianapolis, IN 46206-1410
317-236-1548 or 800-382-9836, ext. 1548 or email@example.com
- Ethics Point – Confidential – Online Reporting
www.archdioceseofindianapolis.ethicspoint.com or 888-393-6810
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Please give a few minutes before or after Masses to update your household information Holy Family Catholic Parish 3-year Census Update.
Altar Server Training for all returning & new servers to be held in church on Wednesday, Sept 12 (3:15-4:30p), Thursday, Sept 20 (3:15-4:30p), and Saturday, Sept 15 (8:45-10a)
Information session for the Sacrament of Confirmation Preparation Program for all sophomores will be on Sunday, Sept 30 at 4:30p in the DAC.
Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Pray for us.
~ Fr. Gries