Have you noticed how these priestly sex abuse scandals keep happening during Lent?

I just finished reading a book titled, "10 Dates Every Catholic Should Know" which interprets significant and damaging events in the history of the church as times when Divine Chastisement was unleashed to pull the faithful back into cognizance of their vocation to practice virtue. As Catholics, we believe God intervenes in human history in the same way the he intervenes in each of our lives.

These scandals are teachable moments that should remind all of us that we are sinners standing in the need of God's mercy (Greg Erlandson of OSV said much the same thing in the current issue of that newsweekly).

These scandals are evidence that God is fulfilling the prayer of the whole People of God that our priests live out their chastity. To be chaste is to be chastened; evidently chastisement was needed, and evidently it's taking place. But let's not miss the point: chastity is not for priests alone! Our priests, acting in persona christi are fulfilling the Scripture, "by His wounds we are healed." Our culture, where we are meant to be leaven, needs to be chastised. In an age when the values of the sexual revolution are bearing their poisoned fruit, when depravity has become fashionable, it should come as no surprise that our priests are suffering on our behalf. This has always been so. Let us rend our hearts and not our garments, and pray that Divine Mercy will wash over these wounds exposed in the Body of Christ.

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