Letter to the Editor: Where Does the Church Go from Here?
March 18, 2020
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury exposed clergy sexual abuse, pay-offs and systematic cover-ups in our Diocese. Now, in response to Bishop David Zubik’s letter sent last month to all members of the Diocese, in which he implied we have been negligent in our monetary giving, I have the following to say.
Bishop Zubik has held many listening sessions, but has not yet begged the entire laity for forgiveness.
Accordingly, the laity have listened to his words, but are not giving.
We, the laity, had a sacred relationship with the clergy, which Bishop Zubik and many of his fellow clergy have violated. They are servants of the Church, not masters of the castle. However, they seemed to care more for material goods and reputation than they did for the people, who are the real church. They must first love Christ, who is in the people: “Peter, do you love me? Feed my sheep” (John 21:15-17).
Such a gross violation of trust as we have recently endured requires deep, heart-felt, on-the-knees, sack cloth and ashes confession, apology and radical reformation if there is any hope of salvaging the relationship at all. The status quo is not acceptable. The church saying, “we already have it under control” is not acceptable. This impasse might be more obvious to those of us living a marriage covenant.
In contrast, the arrogant deafness with which the clergy leadership has proceeded is a testament against itself and an offense to the laity: “ whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)
We are the church. We are listening and waiting.
MICHAEL MARTINO, M.D.
The writer is a member of Catholics for Change in Our Church and a parishioner at St. Thomas More/?St. John Capistran Parish.