Monday, April 15, 2002

We Are (not the entire) Church

I wholeheartedly agree with those in blogland and elsewhere who have been drawing attention to and criticizing the priestly sex scandals and how they have been handled. And I agree that this is a crisis.

However, I also believe that we have allowed ourselves to get a bit carried away in our rhetoric. While the Catholic Church in the U.S. can accurately be described as being in a crisis, that does not mean that the Church Universal is in a crisis. Yes, there have been recent scandals in other countries, but there scope is much more limited (as far as we know) than the problem here in the U.S. And yes, the crisis for the Church in the U.S. may reach beyond our borders. But as of now, it is too much to say that the entire Catholic Church is in a crisis that rivals the time immediately prior to the Reformation, as I've read in more than one place.

Our situation is serious, but c'mon: overblown rhetoric all too often can have unintended negative consequences. Let's acknowledge the seriousness of our state and deal with it resolutely.

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