Notice the focus of this letter; it's the same as was the focus of our parish "listening session" (the one that focused on feelings as opposed to opinions). It's strictly on the victims. Certainly it is important to minister to their needs, but that cannot be the sole focus so much that other facets of the mess are pushed from our minds. I frankly suspect that we are hearing all about the victims precisely because the chancery doesn't want us to raise other questions or worse (for them), to propose solutions uncomfortable for them.
I am hearing from various sources that a goodly percentage of archdiocesan priests have called for Cardinal Wuerl to resign, owing to his sheltering of McCarrick during his time as Archbishop of Washington. From the letter I get the impression that he has no intention whatsoever of resigning. This is one instance where I hope to be proven incorrect.
Anyone in the healing professions will tell you that in order for proper healing to occur, there must be removal of the harmful agent that is causing the distress. In the Church's present situation, that means that the removal of errant clergy - both the actual perpetrators and their enablers - must be removed. They must be removed from their positions of power and they must be laicized. I can think of three positive effects of such a move.
- Their removal will help prevent further abuse from happening. Some of the situations of which we are learning are rather recent - within the past five or ten years.
- Their removal will assure the victims that there still remains in the Church a sense of justice. That will have healing effects that will far exceed that of any "listening sessions" or "accompaniment".
- The removal will have salutatory effects for the perpetrators themselves. They will see that their crimes will not go unpunished in this life; perhaps that will cause them to repent and make good confessions before they die and go to their judgments.
- Obviously prayer and penance must be undertaken by each of us. That certainly means the daily Rosary and remaining in a state of grace.
- Discuss this matter among your fellow Catholics. Many are still quite oblivious to the current state of affairs. Educate them. That is one of the Spiritual Works of Mercy.
- If your priest strays from liturgical rubrics or preaches heresy, call them out on it. Be respectful, but by no means be demure about it.
- If your diocese has a problem with pervert clergy and they still retain their positions, cut off all funding to your chanceries. At the very least, that means boycotting any diocesan collections. If your diocese assesses parish collections, explore ways to contribute to your parish in ways that don't benefit the chancery (assuming your parish is orthodox). Don't be discouraged by talk of your boycotting hurting other charities; you can always contribute to the charities directly.