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Thursday, March 06, 2014

More from William Barry SJ

I'm still reading Praying the Truth: Deepening Your Friendship with God through Honest Prayer by Jesuit spiritual director William Barry. The part I read today touches on "the dangers of secrecy" and he uses the church's cover-up of sex abuse as an example (pp.18-19) ....

As we learn more about the present sexual abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church, it seems that some church leaders felt that they had to protect the reputation of the church or religious congregation by trying to keep secret the horror of sexual abuse of children and teenagers. This brought disastrous consequences for those abused, for the abusers, and for the very institutions they wanted to protect. In retrospect they might conclude that what looked like a sane approach was actually out of touch with reality .... Communities of a religious congregation can gradually become like the caricature of the English men's club, where no one dares say or do anything that will upset the routine even when the routine includes some strange and unhealthy behavior by some of the members. One would be hard-pressed to see in such a community a gathering of friends of Jesus.


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