I am feeling quite frustrated as a Roman Catholic right now. The most predominant Catholic story right now is what is going on in Ireland, with the release this week of the "Murphy Report," outlining decades of sexual abuse of children and the subsequent cover-ups by Irish bishops and those in ecclesiastical authority in the Archdiocese of Dublin. In a poll in today's Irish Times, readers were asked if the Catholic Church has a future in Ireland. The results are 3-2, with the no votes leading. People use words like "shameful," and "despicable," and "deplorable" to describe what has gone on. I don't believe our language contains words strong enough to describe this appropriately.
Why am I feeling frustrated? Another prominent story in the Catholic world today is that at tonight's celebration of First Vespers for the First Sunday of Advent, Pope Benedict XVI will premier the use of a new pastorale, or a gold pastoral staff that was made for him.
Ours is a Church suffering at its core because of the sexual abuse scandal and the scandal of the cover-ups. People feel that the Church has lost credibility and its foundation on which to preach and teach about moral issues. In the midst of this appears a new golden pastoral staff. Are we back at the base of Mount Sinai?
Not feeling much like singing and praying today, but, even in the midst of the frustration, I gotta sing, I gotta pray.