Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

What Is Missing Means Everything

Tim Lilley

For more than two months, virtually every news cycle has contained something about the 2018 edition of the clergy-abuse scandal in the U.S. Catholic Church. Missing from those reports are the things that, I believe, mean everything.

First, we heard reports about then-Cardinal, now-Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. Next came the release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report. It named hundreds of priests across six Keystone State dioceses and documented thousands of sexually abusive incidents, followed by cover-ups by bishops.

I grew up in one of those dioceses. When the grand jury report dropped, I downloaded it; more than 1,500 pages. Of course, I was most interested in the information regarding my home diocese. It made me sad to know that my home parish was the only one of the four Roman Catholic parishes in my home town that did not have a priest named in the report. However, two priests who served my home parish more recently have been removed after allegations surfaced regarding incidents that occurred elsewhere – and before they served my parish. I took no solace in that.

Supplementing these and other news reports have been an incessant barrage of blog posts and columns, many of them emanating from the Catholic landscape. I suspect nobody reading this can check his or her social media accounts without seeing something related to the scandal.

It stretches from Vatican City to countries on multiple continents; make no mistake, it’s not just America.

What that in mind, I want you to pause for a second to consider and answer this question, which I pose seriously and for an even more serious reason:

What has been missing from all of this?

I answer that question this way; I have not seen:

  • Attacks on the Eucharist
  • Attacks on any of the Sacraments
  • Attacks on the Holy Trinity
  • Attacks on the Blessed Virgin or St. Joseph
  • Attacks on the Archangels or any of the angels
  • Attacks on any of the Saints
  • Attacks on the Rosary or the Divine Mercy

Friends, I have not seen or heard anything – anywhere – that attacks the reasons that I'm Catholic and/or the reasons that I go to Mass. 

That’s why thoughts of “giving up” or “walking away” from any of those bullet points above have never crossed my mind. And they won’t.

Every time I have contemplated those bullet points recently, I have inevitably recalled a Hopi Indian proverb that I first saw decades ago. I suspect the Native American who first wrote or said it never lived to encounter Jesus. However, I find it impossible to not believe that this person somehow experienced a connection to our Lord and Savior.

The saying?

Truth does not happen, it just is.”

I find that truth in those seven bullet points above.

As a result – and as for me – I’m praying; and I’m staying.

Are you?