Friday, March 26, 2010
How does a religion win its reputation back when it is the subject of daily scandal headlines? This is the challenge facing the Roman Catholic Church. Even the most charitable person would have to conclude that for decades the Church was inattentive to abusers in its priestly ranks, or it thought that it could cure them. Now it has to deal with those cases of neglect and there is little that the Church can say in its defense. It is particularly hard for an institution that sets itself up as a model for living and whose members are supposed to set themselves apart from the evil of the world. Perhaps the hardest task for the Church now is to keep its flock intact, especially since it appears that the hierarchy is guilty of the worst form of hypocrisy. The Church will survive this period but it might be smaller as a result. That is a pity, but the wound was self-inflicted.