Children, mostly boys, were demeaned and abused by the priests whom they trusted. Groomed with recognition and gifts, little boys have been fondled and premature feelings released by preying adults. Young men have been drawn into a form of pederasty that their role models made somehow lovely to them. Cast-off children have been strewn along the pathways of priests who have been moved again and again and placed into ministries where they abused again and again. As a direct result of their abuse, many of these children have grow-up with emotional problems that will never go away..
What can we priests do? Is it prayer, penance and vigilance?
Penance. I don’t even know how this can be done but we active priests in good-standing need to do penance for the sins committed by predator priests against these children. On our knees with mea culpas will not do it. Demonstrating in sack-cloth and ashes on the steps of our churches might help somehow. Maybe we should accept the curses, the spitting, the buffets. By the way, can fasting help? And, prayer. We need to pray for these victims, for their healing. Whatever that takes. We can’t ask anymore spiritual effort from these victims. Can we pray that Our Lord restore what has been taken away? But, prayer doesn’t often work that way. Still, we must pray. And, we need vigilance. We need to watch out for evil in the church, but in ourselves first.