In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. One God, The Most Holy and Blessed Trinity, Consubstantial and Undivided.
Update: New links have been added to the list at the bottom of the article.
Christ is among us! He is and will be! Welcome to a new era, brethren (and sistren! Which is a word by the way…). Theodore McCarrick, after an unsuccessful appeal, was finally removed from the clerical state and is now officially a lay man, unable to publicly celebrate the sacraments, present himself publicly as a cleric, or speak on behalf of the Church. On February 15, McCarrick was notified of the decision of the Congresso and Pope Francis declared the matter res iudicata which admits of no further appeal in canonical trial proceedings. This is the first concrete step taken by the Vatican since the infamous “Summer of Shame” began in the United States in 2018.
God grant healing of soul, mind and body to the victims of McCarrick and every priest abuser! May those that have passed be remembered eternally. God grant that all those who have left the One Church or lost their vocation to the priesthood be comforted and reconciled to God.
Let His Justice strike every one of the abusers and complicit enablers with guilt and conviction of soul before the day of their deaths, or That Great and Terrible Day, when they will be meted out the punishment that has no end, and from which there is no respite. Lord Have Mercy! Lord Have Mercy! Lord Have Mercy!
Let us take a moment to pray these short invocations from the Byzantine Tradition and offer them up to Our Lord, God and Saviour through the prayers of the Theotokos and all the Saints for these victims:
Prayer at Midnight / Pivnichnytsa, Mesonytikon
We beg You, O Theotokos, as the unassailable wall and confirmation of salvation, destroy the counsels of the enemies. Change our sorrow into joy. Protect your city. Ensure victory for the righteous. Pray for the peace of the world, for you, O Theotokos, are our Hope.
Matins on Holy Saturday
When You descended to death, O Life Immortal You slew Hades with the splendour of Your Godhead And when from the depths You raised the dead All the powers of heaven cried out// O Giver of Life, Christ our God, glory to You…
Hades rules the race of mortal men, but not eternally; for when You were placed in the grave, O powerful One, You tore asunder the bars of death by Your life-creating hand and proclaimed true deliverance to those sleeping there from the ages, since You, O Saviour, have become the first born of the dead…
Hades was wounded in heart when it received Him Whose side was pierced by a spear, and it groans, consumed by divine fire, unto the salvation of us who sing: “Blessed are You, O God, our Redeemer!”…
“By my own will, the earth covers me, O Mother, but the gatekeepers of Hades tremble at seeing Me clothed in the blood-stained garments of vengeance; for when I have vanquished My enemies on the Cross, I shall arise as God and magnify you.” …
“Let creation rejoice! Let all born on earth be glad! For hateful Hades has been despoiled. Let the women with myrrh come to meet Me; for I am redeeming Adam and Eve and all their descendants, and on the third day I shall arise!”
McCarrick has gotten what he deserves. Laicization is the very least that all homosexual-predator priests deserve. These incestuous spiritual fathers are not worthy to be shepherds. In the worst cases they deserve criminal charges and penalties. Unfortunately the statute of limitation in the United States precludes McCarrick from any civic ramifications. So he has not received all that he deserves, and certainly not as soon as he should have gotten it. It has been floated around the Twittersphere that McCarrick will likely be laid up in a cushy apartment paid for by his Church pension and die a comfortably well off man. He has not been excommunicated, and as such is still in “good standing” with the Church. He can receive the sacraments and more than likely say Mass privately. Let us keep these things in mind as we mourn the loss of innocence of the victims, the scandalized, ourselves and our children. And now let us consider our way forward:
- Go to confession. I think it is commendable to be a frequent confessee, and I personally go once a week. It keeps us reconciled with the One who created us. Confession allows us to maintain peace of mind and heart knowing we are in the state of grace and are hopefully acceptable aspirants of Eternal Beatitude.
- Pray! Pray with Sacred Scripture and pray the official prayers of the Church. This could be Prayers from the Divine Liturgy, Divine Praises, Akathistoi, or the Holy Rosary. The treasury of prayer tools of the Church is vast, make intentional use of these gifts.
- Stay informed and get involved. Let your pastors (both parochial and diocesan/eparchial) know how these recent events have effected you and your family. Get involved with your local churches, Catholic Women’s Leagues, Knights of Columbus or other groups that are active in your community and suggest prayer vigils for victims and for justice.
Here are some helpful links with sound Catholic commentary on these events and more broadly on Same-Sex Attraction and Homosexual, so-called, Unions:
Dr. Taylor Marshall and Timothy Gordon (TnT) on the Scandal
Father John Hollowell against Priest Abusers
Knights of Columbus Novena for Repentance, Renewal and Rebuilding
Catholic World Report reporting on these issues
Catholic News Agency reporting on these issues
“The Way Forward” by Chris Sparks from Marian Helper the Magazine of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception
2018 Association of Member Episcopal Conference of East Africa Communiqué on Sanctity of Marriage
Glory to God for All Things. Amen.