Everyone has heard, watched a news report or heard about the great scandal echoing in church halls these last few weeks.
Whether we like it or not (and we probably should not like it!), we all need to learn how to give biblical correction to those who are in sin or in serious doctrinal error. Without correction, churches and families will be sidetracked and run into a ditch.
Right now, we are suffering through the marring and error of a few men who were appointed shepherds who have made grave mistakes.These grave mistakes have ruined lives. These grave mistakes have destroyed families and souls.
I am inspired by these men who have opted as lay people to address the elephant in the room. I live in a parish where the majority of men are missing and or think of faith as women’s work.
I cannot tell you how much it saddens me to not be able to talk to someone in my own generation that experiences the same dedication and love of faith that I have. I have detailed my struggle in finding a good Catholic spouse.
That is why this letter lifts my spirits that we can trust in that there are great Catholic men out there that desire to stay with our church and help guide it out of this forrest we are in.
Roman Catholic men have spoken up and written a beautifully worded letter pleading for the correction, purging and emendation of the church.
The letter begins with the following advisory:
‘This letter reflects the personal initiative of the individual Catholic men signing it. Professional affiliations are listed for identification purposes only. This letter is not sponsored by any group or organization. Signers are encouraged to engage traditional fasts involving food and/or drink, but the exact nature of each signer’s fast is a matter of individual discretion. Signers are encouraged to undertake a difficult but not overly burdensome fast.’
My favorite theologians Patrick Madrid and Scott Hahn signed it.
The letter can be read in its entirety here.
The letter is powerful. It is poignant and pulls no punches.
Yes, what is happening right now is ugly and reprehensible. It does not hedge in flowery words. It does not mask in superfluous words.
It has launched some deep hopes that I pray will take root.
Men, I hope you appreciate the many ways you’ve been gifted, called, and blessed. I hope you equally appreciate the beautifully different giftings, callings, and blessings of the women around you. I hope you see that you have been gifted with uniquely masculine traits that will bring a sense of safety and stability back to our holy church.
Men, I hope you love well. I hope you love in words and in actions. I hope you love in tender touches from your strong hands and in big bear hugs and in letting your chest be a pillow. I hope you love in big ways and in small, knowing that expressing your love makes you more of a man, not less. The victims who are coming forth are wounded deeply. They need your consolation. They need your truth and support.
Men, I hope you take leadership seriously. I hope you realize your role is important and how you fill it matters. I hope you show integrity in all that you do and say, never taking the easy way out or cutting corners just to get ahead. Please do not let any of this scandal off put your calls.
Men, I hope you continue to speak out. Silence in the midst of sin is a sin. Be courageous. Fear God, not man. Speak the truth in love.
If you know a man that wants to speak out and show the world that he is of good faith. Please have him read and sign the letter. He will be in great company.
Please men of good character speak up.