Please Forgive

By the MOST REV. JOHN B. BRUNGARDT

Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City

Yes, troubling news regarding the abuse scandal in the Church.  We discussed it at length at our diocesan directors’ meeting and our presbyteral council meeting.  Some of the words expressed: betrayal, sadness, “punched in the gut,” shame, anger, horror, pain, ...

 I reflect in my mind and heart and spirit:

  • We all seek Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, the Wounded One. Jesus Forsaken on the cross. We ask for healing for the victims and their families.  Christ is the Divine Physician of our body and soul.  He will heal all.  “And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God” (Luke 17:15).
  • We are sinners. We bishops are sinners. We priests are sinners.  All are sinners.  The Gospel from a recent Holy Mass was the question to Jesus: “how often must I forgive … ?”  Jesus responds: “seventy-seven times,” meaning we are called to keep forgiving our brothers and sisters, over and over (Matthew 18:21-22).  I am sorry.  Please forgive us bishops and priests.
  • We seek justice. Justice for the perpetrators and enablers. We ask for deeper involvement by civil authorities and the laity, in order to seek justice.  “It is [the Lord] who judges the world with justice” (Psalm 9:9).

Bring all to prayer – our Loving Lord is with you; He loves you so much.