Will it ever end?

Recently details were reported on sexual abuse by more than 300 priests in Pennsylvania, and now allegations that disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick regularly invited seminarians into his bed but was made a cardinal regardless! The scandal has led to calls for a full Vatican investigation into who knew what and when about McCarrick.

Once again most Catholics will express shock and sorrow at the news, declaring their faith unshaken while at the same time remaining silent! With all due respect to Archbishop Miller who has called us (in all the parishes of the Archdiocese of Vancouver) “to offer our prayers for them (the victims) and to do penance for the sins committed against them,” I believe the time for remaining silent has long passed for all of the Catholic laity!  It is time for each of us to act and send a message to the Vatican that enough is enough!

It has been said that for evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men do nothing.

From 1985 to 1993, American bishops protested vehemently against dealing with sexual abuse by priests. 

The Archdiocese of Boston sex abuse scandal in 2002 revealed how Cardinal Bernard Law had concealed sexual abuse by priests and was forced to resign. Cardinal Law was never held to account. Instead he was promoted to a revered position as head of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, one of Catholicism’s most famous churches

In his 2012 Lenten message, Pope Benedict XVI called on the faithful “To be concerned for one another and not to remain isolated and indifferent to the fate of others.”  Further in his message he went on to say, “We must not remain silent before evil.”

Make no mistake, I love my Catholic faith. When I receive Holy Communion at Mass I truly believe that I do not receive something, I receive Someone and his name is Jesus Christ! I am not giving up on my Church. I am and will always be a Christian Catholic, but enough is enough. I will no longer be silent!

Leni Vandersteen 
Pitt Meadows


Re “The Church is being purged,” B.C. Catholic, Aug. 31:

Thank you for hopefully starting an ongoing communication about an issue that will be with us for decades.

Child abuse has been around for many years, and it is increasing. And yes, priests have to be held to a higher standard.

We are grateful to our Archbishop who has made it clear, even years ago, that abuse must be reported. This is the care we owe to the vulnerable. Children do not have a lobby. Tens of thousands of children have suffered unbearable pain – physical and emotional.

Many of those very intelligent and kind-hearted children who suffered abuse have become abusers themselves or ended up with mental illness. This explains why the nicest adults can be abusers.

We must continue to educate the public in and outside the Church about the evil of abuse.

We must be aware that watching child pornography is an active form of sexual abuse. It is a multi-billion industry and it is growing as children from poor countries and families are lured and forced into this net of criminals.

We must consistently make available contact information on how to report abuse.

We must provide access to someone to talk to if we are pained about reporting abuse, feeling that we may destroy relationships and families.

We need support in dealing with these issues.

And yes, we in Vancouver can offer our best practices to those communities who are afraid of taking the first steps.

Marianne Werner