A number of my liturgical friends on facebook discussed the possibilities for this past weekend. Mention the scandal or not. And if mentioning, which one? Bishop Morlino’s gays, Archbishop McCarrick’s nephews, or Cardinal Wuerl getting caught in a white lie or two, supposedly?
Pray for victims? And/or clergy, misbehavers, plus the people battered by bad news happening to others?
My own parish is stocked with retired priests, and there was no mention of scandal in any homily. Anointing of the Sick was scheduled, so homilies seemed short, and to the Eucharistic point. I think I’d rather have no word than a fumbled one. What some of my friends heard ran the gamut between good and bad.
If bishops were presiding anywhere, I’d think there would be more heat on them. What do you say when a significant chunk of folks in the pews are wondering about your own morals and values and what you’ve hidden from them? Even traditional-leaning Catholics have to be wondering. They can drop-kick Washington DC’s ordinary emeritus into the liberal camp if they wish. But Lincoln has to sting: the gulf from seminary abuse and the #metoo of a young priest to the progressive side is long than any football has been kicked.
As I was leading the Litany of the Sick this weekend, I had victims and survivors on my mind. The actual litany is here. The Pastoral Care rite offers the possibility of adaptation (#138), but a few substitutions might give us:
Let us pray to God for our brothers and sisters sinned against and for all those who devote themselves to the advocacy for healing, openness, and renewal.
Bless them and fill them with new hope and strength: Lord, have mercy.
Relieve their pain: Lord, have mercy.
Free them from their abusers and do not let them give way to temptation: Lord, have mercy.
Sustain and heal them with your power: Lord, have mercy.
Assist all who advocate for justice: Lord, have mercy.
Give life and health to our brothers and sisters for whom we pray in your name: Lord, have mercy.