The Crisis

The Crisis

Comments by Fred Schaeffer, OFS

Several people have written to me and commented on the current (ongoing) crisis in the Catholic Church. After praying and thinking about this matter, you might want to read this article from the National Catholic Register, a very good report about what the USCCB is doing or proposing about the crisis the Church has been dealing with for past 50+ years:


I've personally been dealing with people in religious orders who felt compelled to get involved with clergy (priests and religious) in a questionable way, in the timeframes 1946-1952 (as victim), 1960-1961 and 1996-1998. People who feel attracted to others (my experience has dealt with male to male)-their desires cannot be turned off with the flip of a switch. It takes years of prayer and reflection to "turn off" the sexual impulses that drive these problems. It is an awful problem. In the early 1960's a book was circulated (unfortunately I saw it only once) listing known clergy involved with these problems and the amount of clergy involved was staggering. That said, I have every reason to detest the Catholic church and the lack of action to prevent these problems, but careful deliberation over the years have convinced me that this is not the way to go. I was away from the Church for 20 years, but in 1985 I returned to the Sacraments and I am glad I did. Praise God!


We (the people) ARE the body of Christ. Pulling out may seem a sound defiant action but in truth we would be hurting ourselves, our immortal soul. We who are Catholic, aren't Catholic because of the Church: we are Catholic because we love Jesus Christ first. Our primary relationship is with HIM. 


The Church helped, educated us as youngsters in our faith but the Church by "seeing nothing" also has to bear some of the guilt. We, ourselves who were involved in "bad relationships" also bear a burden, a burden of weakness and/or bad judgement. These are the thoughts that run through my head as these ugly problems are in the News again. It never ends, does it? This is not a new problem. It is an age-old problem that will never go away. We just pray the problems will not get worse.


There are many thousands of wonderful and devout priests, pastors, bishops and cardinals. But among those there are some who bear a burden of guilt. These are people who have ruined lives, and a simple apology to their victims simply isn't enough. As devout Roman Catholics we are taught to forgive. That hasn't come easy for me but time has erased the hurt and the names and faces of those involved. The timeframe when I was a victim took place in Europe, in my teenage years. 

To Catholics who are thinking of abandoning the Church because they are incensed with the latest crisis chapter, please think about what you are doing. You can blame the Church if you must, but please do not blame Jesus Christ. He will stand by you always, as He has for me.


Fred Schaeffer, OFS
August 19, 2018 


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