Cardinal Edwin F. O’Brien – Thoughts on Our Church

The following columns were written by Cardinal Edwin F. O’Brien and appeared in the Catholic Review.

The festival, which draws those from the greater metropolitan area to the St. Leo community, offers an opportunity to normalize Catholicism in everyday life, as well as promote religious vocations.

The abuses described in the report are criminal and morally reprehensible. Those acts were betrayals of trust that robbed survivors of their dignity and their faith.

I do know this … we have no power in other people’s spaces. But God does.

This is not a mere public relations crisis. It represents a tsunami of moral failures – grave acts of commission and omission – that have justifiably bewildered and angered God’s people and undercut the Church’s evangelizing mission.

The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Aug. 16 announced three key goals and a comprehensive plan to address the “moral catastrophe” of the new abuse scandal hitting the U.S. church.

Over the past few weeks, I have been going through some boxes of photos and mementoes. The idea is that I will organize them and maybe even discard some things I don’t need.

We celebrate Mary’s triumph in a moment that feels rather like the Church’s nadir. Mary, who witnessed the betrayal of her son and the cowardice of his disciples, knows, better than we do, what we are going through, why we feel as we do, and she is close to us with an amazingly tender maternal love . . . let us turn to her.

Sometimes people do terrible things. They hurt people deeply. They hurt children. They let down people who look up to them, people who trust them. They lie about what they do, and sometimes they tell the people they are hurting to lie, too.

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore acknowledged the renewed pain and anger caused by clergy sexual abuse following the release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report that details some of the actions taken by Cardinal William H. Keeler when he was a bishop in Pennsylvania.

At this difficult time in the life of the Church, we in the Archdiocese of Baltimore are especially saddened and troubled by the news of the late Cardinal William H. Keeler’s failures while serving as Bishop of Harrisburg, one of six dioceses cited in the grand jury report.