The Crisis in the Catholic Church Is Also an Opportunity
By Geoffrey Boisi
September 5, 2018
Sexual abuse scandal is a chance to address leadership and management failures
The Catholic Church faces a twofold crisis: sexual abuse and a breakdown of confidence in its leadership. Focusing solely on the former is folly. Both must be dealt with head on. In the US, and beyond, the Church is at a tipping point in its relationship with the laity. Many are beyond restless and impatient for tangible reforms.
The moral catastrophe of the sexual abuse scandal was reinforced when a grand jury report found that more than 1,000 children in Pennsylvania had been abused by more than 300 priests. Equally disturbing was the exposure of transgressions by the former archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, and accusations of a cover-up. But these are only the most recent events in a deepening crisis of trust.
Both laity and clergy are questioning the integrity and competence of certain members of the Church hierarchy, whose failures in leadership and management have damaged the Catholic voice of moral authority in the public sphere and the morale of the Catholic community. More than one generation of young people have been driven from the pews. However, it is important to note that this is not a crisis of faith but a basic question of accountability and leadership. Therein lies the opportunity.