However, it is also helpful to consider some facts to help offset the scandal mongering and misunderstandings. I recommend reading these three articles which do not excuse the evil done, but do help put things in proper perspective.
- How Could It Happen? Tracing the Causes of Sexual Abuse by the Clergy: Father James Martin, Huffington Post
- Keeping the Record Straight on Benedict and the Crisis by John Allen, National Catholic Reporter
- A Papal Conversion by John Allen, NY Times Op Ed
For myself, I think the greatest value comes in reading below the links (or most of them) where she reveals some of her personal past and her answer to an embittered young man who feels betrayed into wondering if there is any true Christianity at all.
A fair question, and perhaps the one that most vividly portrays the really big picture on how personal sins are never really only about us. Our personal acts of evil (let's say it like it is, right?) always, always affect others. Those ripples flow into places we cannot possibly foresee and affect not only others, but the faith as a whole. In our personal sins we drive others away from Christ. We cannot always see the ripples but that is not the point, should never be the point. That responsibility can now be seen and it is a rock placed on the shoulders of all the faithful. No wonder we need Christ's grace.
This week is Holy Week when our personal sins, our personal evils, drove Christ through His Passion to save us. What better time to reflect upon personal evils and the hurt they do to others? He calls us to repent that we may believe and have eternal life. Let us look with clear eyes to see the cost.