Don’t Let Them Take Your Stories

Recently, an old friend posted an incredible story on Facebook about his and his wife’s years long struggles with secondary infertility. The story is almost too amazing to recount, and speaks of God’s incredible love and faithfulness for their family.

But the story also serves another purpose, one my friend isn’t shy about recounting: we need stories of hope in this time.

This friend is not attempting to distract us from the scandals because of his distaste for the media or discrediting of the victims. He wholly and fervently believes in the stories of the victims, and is just as sickened as anyone would be who has read the reports and articles about our current crisis.

This friend is not attempting to use this platform as a means of laying bare his dislike for Pope Francis, Benedict, John Paul II, etc. He loves his faith, and he has always loved (and defended) its leaders.

This friend is not trying to belittle our current crisis or say it doesn’t exist. It does…and he knows it.

But he simply wanted to share his story because, frankly, his story happened, too.

I told my husband last night that the current crisis has felt like a death in my spiritual life. The Church which I long trusted and defended, specifically its leaders, have let me down in ways which are painful and damaging, (but don’t even compare to the real victims who suffered immeasurably at their hands). Losing trust is like losing a person; the life we knew, in a way, seems over.

But I can’t walk away. I can’t walk away for all the spiritual and theological reasons; I love the Sacraments, I love the Beauty, I love the Grace. But I also can’t walk away because this deeply human part of me wants to be part of the solution. Now, more than ever, lay people are needed to see this thing through, and most importantly, to be a part of the change we want to see in the Church. And my part, at least in the beginning of this new beginning, is this podcast.

I have been working on this podcast for the past two years, and its still going. I have (and am still) collecting stories from brave and broken people of faith. I have come to believe that, in addition to the very real need for investigations and serious transparency, stories can begin to mend the wounds of our very broken church. And I believe that a strong sense of Catholic culture–steeped in the beauty of the Sacraments and the arts–can brings God’s love to the masses in ways our Church hierarchy hasn’t been able to in the past four decades.

And I will not let these men, and their horrific abuses and complicity, silence these stories.

At least once every day, I doubt whether or not I can continue with this podcast, and almost immediately, I hear the words of the beautiful and broken apostle: “Lord, where are we to go?”

Where are we to go from here? First and foremost, we must recognize we all have a part to play, now more than ever. Prayer, fasting, making reparations: those are good places to start. But we must go further. We must demand immediate action from our bishops. We must continually support and encourage victims of abuse in their courageous acts of speaking out. And we must use our gifts (we all have them!) to change the way things are. ┬áLet’s make a mess, folks.

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