Just when we think we’ve heard the last revelation of abuse and cover-up, we discover that some Bishops’ conferences around the world are just beginning the inquiry. So we sigh deeply again because we know the inquiry will bring more abuse and cover-up to light. It will add more evidence to the mountain we already have. Sigh.
To use a metaphor appropriate for this time: the Church is entombed in a darkness of her own making. And there’s an enormous stone in front of that tomb. The Pope has called it clericalism. It’s a huge stone that, until it is removed, will hold the Church in her deep and deepening darkness.
As I write this, it’s Easter Tuesday. Liturgically, we’ve sung our “Alleluia’s” and proclaimed the promise of the resurrection. We’ll continue to shout this song of praise for fifty days. But ecclesially, well, the Church is still in the tomb.
There’s Good News though! Not all the faithful are in that tomb. Some of us, like the first apostles and disciples, are not entombed. We are huddled, wondering what will happen now but we know, we know, death does not have the last word. Light pierces the darkness. No tomb can hold the Lord. So we dare to begin to imagine, and then to work as a resurrection people, with alleluias ringing from our lips even as we don our walking shoes. It’s a long way to resurrection, but we are inspired!
- We are inspired by love: Jesus’ for all the world and for His bride, the Church.
- We are inspired by the promise: Death does not ever win. Not ever.
- We are inspired by each other: By a Pope determined to roll away the clericalism stone, by faithful clergy and lay ecclesial ministers still living the Gospel, by parents presenting children for baptism, by families welcoming first communicants, by teens serving the poor.
- We are inspired by the media: Reporting that informs and challenges, that acknowledges its biases and seeks truth.
- We are inspired by writers, poets, prophets and sages: They remind us of our Great Story, of our vocation, our history, our call and our promise.
We are inspired to add our contributions to rolling away the stone of clericalism. ConSpirita Consulting Network offers leadership formation/training as one way to roll away the stone and let the light of resurrection shine again within the Church. Interested? Check out our website: www.conspirita.com. We’re focused now on leadership development, for God knows, what got us here, cannot get us there!
(1)“Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan to open first probe into child sexual abuse within its ranks.” Kyodo Staff Report. The Japan Times. April 8, 2019. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/04/08/national/catholic-church-open-first-probe-japan-child-sexual-abuse-within-ranks/
(2) Kathleen Hattrup “5 of the many times Pope Francis has warned against clericalism.” Aleteia. August 23. 2018 https://aleteia.org/2018/08/23/5-of-the-many-times-pope-francis-has-railed-against-clericalism/