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Blog Post #40: Now Is Your Time 

By Carol Kurivial | August 29, 2020

Sin | Sex Abuse | Catholic Church | Diocese of Toledo | Scandal | Fight 

As if spending your days trying to run a Catholic ministry isn’t challenging enough...along comes the latest sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, and this time in our own Diocese of Toledo!

I, like Kristen (see her recent post “Sin, Scandal, Shame, and Sex Abuse”), can barely breathe when I force myself to acknowledge in full (if that’s even possible), the realities of the situation and the many ripples of horror, devastation, despair, ruin and tragedy to the victims and their families...not to mention the damage done to the Catholic Church in general. My heart is heavy and I have moments when I want to throw in the ministry towel. I’m angry. And by angry, I mean furious...not only at the perpetrators of these heinous and despicable acts, but also at anyone who had any inkling of their happenings and didn’t do everything in their power to put an end to them.  

There is something seriously wrong somewhere and how does anyone even begin to process this mess?

And, trust me, I am very much in the “process” phase. Prayer, Mass, meditation, and spiritual reading are my usual go-to responses when I am beside myself. And I am most definitely very much beside myself.

Let me be clear: I am not about to walk away from God’s truth when I know full well that these horrific acts are not of God. That is precisely what Satan is hoping for, and there’s no way I’m going to satisfy his ugly appetite. Do you actually think that the priests, bishops, cardinals, and, potentially, even some popes who have cooperated in any way throughout history...and have helped this grave sin to perpetuate...are living God’s truth described to us so perfectly in the Scriptures? 

Absolutely NOT!!!!! And yet, we entertain thoughts of walking away because of the deeply fallen ones, when, in my opinion, we should be fighting back, demanding answers, and screaming God’s truths from the rooftops like so many courageous and victorious saints of the past. They are the ones we should be emulating. 

Catherine of Siena was one such heroic saint who led the Church at a very difficult and decisive moment. She was well known for her transformational abilities with people of all walks of life, including nobles and politicians, artists and ordinary people, consecrated men, women and religious, and EVEN several popes. She is well known for her role in pressing for internal reform of the Church and for promoting peace throughout Europe. 

Bishop Robert Barron also describes other courageous saints for us in his book Letter to a Suffering Church (his response to the sexual abuse crisis), when he talks about some several noted champions of the faith and of God’s truth! He actually put it like this, 

“...something new must come forth, something specifically fitted to our time and designed to respond to the particular corruption that currently besets us. Above all, we need saints, marked by holiness of course, but also by intelligence, an understanding of the culture, and the willingness to try something fresh. Somewhere in the Church right now is a new Benedict, a new Francis, a new Ignatius, a new Teresa of Kolkata, a new Dorothy Day. This is your time!”

Got that everyone? This. Is. Your. Time!! 

We are once again, as has been the case so many times in the history of Catholicism, at a decisive moment, as this is far from the first time the Catholic Church has come face-to-face with corruption, outrageous behavior, and unconscionable actions. We have a sordid past with some pretty ugly chapters. But someone always seemed to rise to the occasion and turn things around. 

As Bishop Barron pointed out, Benedict did it, Francis did it, Teresa did it, Dorothy Day did it...and so did a whole bunch of others!! And now he’s asking us to do it...or to at least play our role. And if you’re still alive, you’re totally capable of making SOMETHING positive happen. We are, after all, not in it alone. We have the gift of each member of the Trinity. We have the power of the Mass and the Sacraments. We have the Bible, tradition, and the teachings of the Church. And we have Jesus’ promise to never leave us or forsake us. 

So, yes, I am inspired by Bishop Barron and his battle cry of “Now is your time!” And I am encouraged to stay in the fight! Who really wins if we don’t? Exactly! So, FIGHT!!

“Fight by raising your voice in protest; fight by writing a letter of complaint; fight by insisting that protocols be followed; fight by reporting offenders; fight by pursuing the guilty until they are punished; fight by refusing to be mollified by pathetic excuses. But above all, fight by your very holiness of life; fight by becoming the saint that God wants you to be; fight by encouraging a decent young man to become a priest; fight by doing a Holy Hour every day for the sanctification of the Church; fight by coming to Mass regularly; fight by evangelizing; fight by doing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.” (Bishop Robert Barron)

I’d personally love it if everyone reading this post would get their own copy of the book, Letter to a Suffering Church, read it carefully, and respond in whatever ways you might feel God’s nudging. Trust me, He’s nudging all of us! And His nudges are constant and consistent!

This is not the time to be silent! There is absolutely no question that we are at a critical and decisive moment, and we are each being called to rise up and fight!

So, fight! Now is your time! 

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