Crucifixion by Gabriel Wuger, Wikimedia Commons.

 

The sexual abuse crisis of 2002 was often called the Long Lent. Have we at last reached Good Friday? If you have not yet read the statement of former Papal Nuncio to the US Vigano, regarding who knew what and when about Cardinal McCarrick, you can find it at the National Catholic Register.

The Lord’s closest companions have betrayed Him and denied Him publicly. The world will soon be mocking Him, beating Him, trying to extinguish at last what it has not been able to extinguish in two millennia.

On social media, many people are confused, shocked, and hurt, to the extent that some are considering leaving the Church or abstaining from the sacraments. My dear friends, my dear, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, do not do this! This is not the time to abandon Christ! If we do so, the Devil wins. This was his plan in helping bring unscrupulous men into powerful positions in the Church. But our heavenly Father had another plan, one we could see in today’s Liturgy.

In the first reading, Joshua tells the people:

“decide today whom you will serve,
the gods your fathers served beyond the River
or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are now dwelling.
As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

And the people answer him,

“Far be it from us to forsake the LORD.”

The Lord addresses all those hurting from the scandals with these words from the psalm:

“The LORD has eyes for the just,
and ears for their cry.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.

“When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.”

St. Paul reminds us that Christ loves the Church:

“and handed himself over for her to sanctify her,
cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
that he might present to himself the church in splendor,
without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish.”

Can we not trust Him to complete this cleansing?

Finally, the Gospel provides divine wisdom spoken through Peter — yes, the same Peter who would later deny Christ:

“Master, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.”

Did you listen to today’s collect?

“O God, who cause the minds of the faithful to unite in a single purpose, grant your people to love what you command and to desire what you promise, that, amid the uncertainties of this world, our hearts may be fixed on that place where true gladness is found.”

You see, the Lord knew from all eternity when the latest revelations would come, and He directed His Church to choose these passages and prayers as an immediate response. God is in control, as He has ever been. The renewed crisis — which has actually been ongoing, only hidden — is no surprise to Him. It cannot destroy His divine plan for us, unless we allow it to.

Now, many may ask, “If the Lord knew, why didn’t He prevent it?” This is a mystery we will only understand in Heaven. We must ask instead the question Peter asked, “To whom shall we go?” There is no one else who can grant us salvation. There is no other Church that was founded by Christ. There is nowhere else we can receive the Body and Blood of Christ to nourish us.

To nourish us. If you forsake the Eucharist, you will die.

Shall we leave the Blessed Mother to stand beneath the Cross alone? Shall we abandon Jesus to mockery, with no one left to praise Him? Should we not rather be the faithful apostle John supporting her — representing the faithful priests and bishops? Should we not rather as the laity be Mary Magdalen and the other women, unafraid to share in his suffering and scorn?

Perhaps it is not yet Good Friday. Perhaps more suffering and worse revelations are yet to come. Christ may still be on His way to Jerusalem. In the words of St. Thomas, “Let us go also, that we may die with Him.”

Connie Rossini

Note: For those struggling to trust God in the midst of this crisis or personal troubles, I recommend my book Trusting God with St. Therese.

13 thoughts on “To whom shall we go?”

  1. This morning I sat before Jesus in the the monstrance, my heart swooned with such love because I saw anew that HE is the dazzling holiness of the Church and no matter what happens or how ugly things get, if you believe this amazing truth, you will remain united . Fidelity shall be a beautiful witness to this truth.

  2. Bice A. Comichista ( Bice pronounced as bee-chay)

    My dear dear Connie. I had difficulty reading this because of the tears in my eyes. What a poignant admonition especially the “Shall we leave the Blessed Mother to stand beneath the cross alone?” paragraph. Truly think it should be read in every parish in the USA. Praying and fasting.

  3. Praying for the victims who were betrayed while remaining faithful to Holy Mother Church. Thank you and all the faithful who are in prayer.

  4. If you link to the letter by His Excellency the Papal Nuncio Vigano, you should also link to the July 7, 2014 memorandum by Dan Griffith who managed the Nienstedt investigation into the cover up of sexual abuse in the St. Paul and Minneapolis archdiocese. The memorandum was written a few days after counsel to the Archdiocese resigned. The memo, among other things, states: “The Nuncio [Vigano] said that the lawyers were not to pursue any further leads, including an allegation referenced by many of the affiants in Detroit that Archbishop Nienstadt may have had sexual relations with a Swiss Guardsman in Rome.” The two auxilliary bishops of the Archdiocese, Lee A. Piche and Andrew Cozzens, took the highly unusual step of writing a letter protesting the termination of the investigation.

    Unfortunately, the Church will have difficulty overcoming this crisis and regaining trust if coverups of abuse are perpetuated. Linking a letter from Papal Nuncio Vigano that is transparently a political attack on the Pope, as if it represented a positive direction for the Church is unfortunate.

    Your encouragement for Catholics to hold to their faith in Christ at a time of confusion and distress is, of course, appropriate. My religion has had its own sexual abuse and “Me Too” scandals lately — and i am so sorry both for the victims and for the teachings of all wisdom traditions that are lost when holders of those teachings are corrupted by power and worldly concerns.

  5. Hi, Alyosha. I disagree that it is a “transparent political attack.” Several bishops, including the head of the USCCB, Bishop Barron, and others who can’t be considered the Pope’s opponents in any way, have called for a thorough investigation. Vigano has responded to questions on the Nienstedt affair to my complete satisfaction. I do not believe any cover up was involved. It would be an extremely grave sin for Vigano to invoke his conscience, say he was ready to swear before God to the truth of his statements, then go forward with lies about the Pope that could destroy many people’s faith. I trust that he has not done that. However, I linked to the Register article not to say, “Look what the Pope has done!” (because I hop he will somehow be shown to be innocent), but to demonstrate what a grave state we are in at this time.

  6. Well, we agree on the “grave state”. it is heartbreaking. I am sure that the Church will survive — and that it will do so because of individual Christians who maintain purity of heart.

Share your thoughts with us.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top