Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The month of August 2018 will be remembered as a month of infamy for the Catholic Church in the United States. The revelations of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury about clerical abuse of children by priests and the cover-up that happened after the fact is a stain that the Church will have to live with for generations. The victims of this abuse have had their lives irreparably damaged physically, psychologically and spiritually that it is impossible to know how harmed they and maimed their lives have been. Please remember these innocent victims whose souls have been ravaged by clerical sexual abusers in your daily prayer. There are no excuses for this behavior by men who masquerade as priests of our loving Lord.
During the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great we pray: “Remember, O Lord, the presbyterate, the diaconate in Christ and every holy order (Bishops & Cardinals) let none of us who surround your holy altar be put to shame.” This prayer has been violated in the most extreme way. Nonetheless, we need to remember how much those of us who serve at the Lord’s altar need to live our life in a most worthy way. This is a time of penance and purification for us who serve at the altar of the Lord. The Holy Father has spoken about this terrible wound inflicted on the Body of Christ and I do hope that we trust in the Lord and the Holy Spirit to show us the way to regain the trust that has been lost by the scandalous horrible actions of the unfaithful men of the cloth. Again if there are any kind of allegations in our Eparchy please contact the Safe Environment Office. Hopefully, all our priests are faithful in their service to the Lord.
I will conclude with the latter section of that prayer: “ Visit us in your goodness, O Lord. Reveal yourself to us in your rich compassion.” Despite the horrific actions of priests and the hierarchy the Church is Christ’s work from the beginning at Pentecost and He has promised us that the “gates of hell will not prevail or destroy it.” Thank you for your love and faithfulness and may Mary, our Eparchy’s Protectress show us the way to wholeheartedly serve her Son, our Saviour and Redeemer.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Bishop John Pazak, C.Ss.R.