Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cardinal Mahony and Forgiveness

Surfing the net this morning, I came across Cardinal Roger Mahony's Blog.  He was blogging about "forgiveness."  Of course, my interest was piqued, and I read on.  He referenced, the same Guardini article that I used on my post on forgiveness. I wanted to comment on his post, but like myself, he doesn't have "comments."

I noticed that he does have a Facebook page.  So I went to that and posted what I wanted to say.  I also noticed other commentators on his page.  Most were sharply negative, crude, and full of deprecation.  Ah, flashback!

Coming from Boston, which is ground zero for clerical sex abuse, I empathize. Time is healing, and my righteous anger has yielded to rational judgment. I understand that our church leaders at that time followed standard procedures, followed current medical, psychological expert counsel, and legal advice.  Even so, they were in charge and bear the burden of responsibility.  The buck stopped with them.

Ministering to men in prison, I have met many inmates who are good, decent, law abiding citizens.  Their crime was committed under the influence, or they mentally snapped, or it was an accident.  It doesn't matter.  Someone has to take responsibility.  Someone has to pay for the wrong that was committed.  That means that some of these bishops should be thrown in jail.

I think Cardinal Law and Mahony should serve time.  They should take the lead and take responsibility.  Jesus did.  Jesus was in prison.  So weren't some of the apostles.  Church leaders in prison would lead by their example.  What would the New Testament be, without St. Paul's letters from prison?

Cardinal Mahony asks for forgiveness.  I ask him to see my post "Forgiveness is Not the Same as Absolution."     People can't forgive Cardinal Mahony.  No one can forgive Cardinal Mahony but Cardinal Mahony.  Forgiveness is for yourself.  You can't force people to love you, nor forgive you.  They have free will and have to chose rightly.  That's up to them.  Even if a perpetrator tells his victim that he is sorry, he can't make the victim forgive him.  The victim has to overcome his emotional baggage before he can accept apologies, and forgive himself.

Note that Jesus never says, "I forgive you," to all those who tortured Him.  He prayed for them.

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