Sex Scandal in the Catholic Church

Church Sex scandals are a hot button topic these days and have maintained high visibility in the media recently.  I was moved to write this because I believe that the passion and intensity surrounding this issue has skewed a lot of people’s opinions and perspective and I believe that I can give a more balanced view on this issue.

It is terrible that as a people we have to be watchful even with those who we have been conditioned to trust, namely men and women who claim to come in the name of God. Sex scandals have not been exclusive to the Catholic Church, many preachers and pastors have fallen short of the grace and those things have become public. It is always disappointing.  I think part of the disappointment comes from forgetting these individuals are merely men and women. We have the tendency to elevate their position because of the part they play in our communities, social settings and the body of Christ. The reality is that yes, their responsibility is to lead and teach us about the Lord, but their humanity doesn’t leave with their calling.  Actually, as Christians we need to pray harder for our leaders because their attacks and strongholds are often as large as their calling.

I’ve heard people blaming celibacy for these events. I respectfully disagree. Priests and nuns know that this is a requirement of the commitment they have made. If sex was the driving force then priests having relations with Nuns or other secular adults would be just as, if not more, prevalent. The truth is pedophilia, rape, and sexual abuse is not sexually driven. They are driven by a deeper disturbance; it’s about control and power more than the sex itself.

 The other part where I respectfully disagree is where it has been commented that because it was male priests with male boys, that it was due to homosexuality. Homosexuality is not equal to pedophilia. Statistics show that the majority of sexual predators are heterosexual.

Now the thing that really bothers me about these cases is the way they have been handled. Whether the abuse was committed by clergy or the man down the street, the inequities in the handling of the situations are abhorrent. The fact that many of these priests were simply relocated to new communities, with no consequences or rehabilitation program, is ridiculous. On top of that, the new communities were not advised of the person’s past behavior. If the church wanted to take care of it internally, like the military handles issues that pertains to soldiers; I don’t have issue with that, however, relocating them to another community is unacceptable. Instead they should have been placed in some manner of recovery program and then reassigned to work in a position where they didn’t have access to children at all. Is that lack of forgiveness and mercy? No! That’s wisdom. Slapping their wrists and telling them to not do it anymore, without true rehabilitation, placing them back into the communities to do more damage, is irresponsible, dangerous and ultimately criminal.

It is hard for me to understand why servants of God would think that this would stay hidden forever?  The word of God says that “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13 NIV) which means that nothing that they were doing was going to remain a secret.

I encourage you to pray for our religious leaders. They have a great responsibility and with it great lengths of attacks. I pray that they take the authority that has been given to them by their calling and correct appropriately those who have been entrusted to them.

I pray for those who have committed these terrible acts that they find themselves in true repentance before God. That they turn their hearts, make amends when possible and face accountability for their actions.

 I pray for the victims. I hope that their hearts continue to look to God for redemption and healing. God can restore anyone, and He can restore the souls of these who are suffering and their loved ones.  I encourage you to pray the same

Be blessed.

Eggs and Bunnies by the Cross

As a Christian I want to celebrate things that are related to Christ and I’ve been on the search for the truth regarding our most common holidays. Easter is around the corner and all I’ve seen is colored eggs and rabbits. I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, but my sixth grade teacher taught me in biology that rabbits had bunnies and hens laid eggs, so that combination alone makes no sense to me.

On the other hand, from my years in church and annual “Good Friday” movies, I never saw rabbits, bunnies, hens or eggs related to the cross of Jesus Christ. Where did this come from? I’ve asked around and nobody seems to have an answer. After much searching, my good friend Google finally led me to my answer, several articles and web pages about the traditions of Easter.

In reality we are supposed to be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the thing that distinguishes Christians from other religions and sects, it’s the fact that our Lord is alive, and not only alive, but conquered death on our behalf. Somehow in the early days of Christianity, the celebration of the Resurrection coincided with a Pagan holiday dedicated to the goddess of offspring and springtime named Eastre. The story says that earlier Christians wanted to celebrate their festivities, but it would have been dangerous and Christianity was sometimes seem as criminal, therefore they decided to modify their celebration for their own safety and to attract non believers.

Why eggs and bunnies?

 Both have been perceived as symbols of new life and fertility. This is also associated with the blooming of flowers in the spring time. There was an abundance of eggs during this time as eggs were not part of their diets during the Lenten season. The eggs were boiled for preservation purposes.

Colored Eggs

This tradition was created as another way to celebrate.  Early Christians would exchange colored eggs, kind of like Christmas and the gifts exchange. Eggs were boiled in flowers to obtain their color, that’s why when people paint eggs in modern society, they tend to use pastels.

Now, here’s the thing; at least in the United States of America it is no longer particularly dangerous to practice our Christian beliefs and to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, so I’m thinking, ‘Let’s drop the bunnies and eggs.”. I know that all big business will take offense to this particular mindset because of what holidays mean to the economy, but it’s the truth. Some people may think, “But it’s for the children”. How about if we teach the children that we have a bigger gift than the chocolate eggs and the Eater baskets? We have eternal life!

We want the future generations to live in the truth and the light. I think its time to live in that truth by knowing what our traditions really mean. Now trust me, I’m not against chocolate. I give you permission to eat all the peeps and chocolate eggs you want, but let’s make sure we are clear in our hearts about what our true celebration is this coming Sunday; the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

 

 

Resources utilized 

http://wilstar.com/holidays/easter.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Bunny

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/easterintro1.html

The Good Wife-Heart

I’ve been watching this show off and on since it started. The show centers around a woman trying to rebuild her life after severe and complicated marital issues, but this week’s episode brought an interesting angle that is rarely portrayed on television, how important is salvation in your life?

 The husband in the story is a politician and wants to hire a pastor to improve his political image. He cheated on his wife and participated in some shady activities and found himself in jail, a series of events that not only placed his career in jeopardy, but also his family. The pastor refuses to play the political game and offers the man true salvation. In this episode, the husband starts getting interested in prayer, working with the pastor towards truly making a change. The episode ends with him inviting his wife to church, and it remains to be seen if he actually means it or if it’s just another scheme.

I found it very interesting, because unless you are watching a proclaimed Christian program like “Touched by an Angel” or “Little House on the Prairie”, it is rare to see a national network actually embracing Jesus as Lord and Savior as the way to change your life. Kudos CBS!

Watch it online:

http://www.cbs.com/primetime/the_good_wife/video/?pid=i1U2__M_8UGyLvSeMKDUPgFKE8Vvsm8n&vs=Full%20Episodes&play=true

Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew

Tonight was the season finale of this show that shows some celebrities’ at the most vulnerable moments in their life while recovering from their addictions. I’m sure some of the audience of this show wants to know the intimate secrets of these famous people, others watch as part of the inspiration of their own recovery process regardless of their personal type of struggle. It’s at moments like this when you realize the blessing of the anonymity. I can’t even imagine how hard it is to face your greatest demons in front of a camera. These are real human beings with real struggles and in a way it’s very admirable that they have place themselves in the same position of being icons, but this time to show their strength through their weaknesses.

Before the final episode, they showed some of the episodes from the previous weeks. The episode “Family Weekend” showed the mother of Layne Staley, former lead singer of Alice in Chains who passed away due to drug use, giving a very moving speech to those in rehab. The part that moved me the most was when she said that the best life they could live was to live ordinary boring lives. It reminded me about a lot of the reflections I’ve been doing this week about enjoying the simple things in life.

It’s not a matter of not having aspirations; it’s a matter of not idolizing those aspirations and enjoy the journey towards our goals. Once again, stopping to smell the roses and enjoy the color in them, including the thorns. Yes, those painful experiences in our lives that come to teach us valuable lessons. Slow down the pace. LIVE! Life is not just the enjoyments and pleasure of the moment or our possessions. Life is every moment in our life, every minute, every second, every relationship, every tear, every breath, every heartbreaking moment and every smile. We only have one shot at this ride; let’s live the true meaning that our Creator intended for our lives!

Disclaimer: picture taken from VH1