There has never been a more difficult time to be Catholic.
Each day, it seems, yet another priest is in the spotlight, facing allegations of sexual abuse. The Boston archdiocese of Cardinal Bernard Law is at the forefront of the scandal, where 86 defendants have already sued the church over allegations of abuse by former priest John Geoghan. Officials believe the defrocked priest may have accumulated as many as 200 victims.
In this morning's Arizona Republic, a Florida man alleges that he was forced to participate in a church-operated boy-sex ring in Miami several decades ago.
The scandals continue.
On the front page of the Republic this morning, there is another story of a priest who had sex andit was almost a relief to read that this case involved a cleric who claims to have had consensual sex with an adult female.
And it is in that relief that we reveal our shame. We embrace the knowledge that this case, too, may cast a shadow over the Roman Catholic Church but not one so dark as those cast by crimes against minor children.
That relief should fuel our anger. We should be angry that the increasing number of sexual allegations are shaking the Catholic church to its very foundation.
And we also should embrace our faith.
While the legal system and church leaders handle the wretched offenders, we should look at the work being done by God's servants in our communities priests who, on an Easter Sunday morning, can lift the spirits of the faithful so high they can nearly touch the face of God.
There has never been a more difficult time to be Catholic. And there has never been a more important time to hold fast to our faith.
Jerry Thebado, editor