1 hour ago
This is going to come off as really blunt, but it’s what I would say, and it’s what I have said to the faces of some priests that I’m good friends with. It’s the same thing I would say to a male student when he was kind of feeling down on his luck or scared of something. I’d look them straight in the eye and say, “Man up!” “Be a man!” In this moment, we need fathers who recognize that the children, the sheep, are hurting. We need shepherds who are protecting us against the wolves. And we need honest men who are unafraid to say, “We have done wrong, and we will never allow this to happen again, and tell us and help us understand how we can make that happen.”
I think they need to know that the Church is not going to hang you out to dry if you were honest. In fact, I would say that many of us right now want that honest father who’s unafraid to say, “We royally messed this up. We have failed astronomically; we have failed, and we need the help of the entire Body of Christ to protect against this from ever happening again.”
I think it is a crisis of fatherhood because there haven’t been a whole lot of mothers allowed in the room. This is not a referendum on women’s ordination, by any means. I think women in positions of leadership and power within the Church could help with some of this. I think laymen and women in the room, religious sisters in the room, voices outside “clerics talking to clerics,” is very helpful at this moment. And I think the synod needs to talk about that. I think this document that Pope Francis dropped the other day, which said that it is no longer just bishops allowed to vote in synods, but the Pope could allow for other people, leaves room for women to have a greater voice. And I really do think that that will help the Church address this and heal from this.